Luminarium review

[Shakar’s] first novel, "The Savage Girl," a scouring investigation into the rampant commercialization of the 1990s, earned him an impressive advance, followed by exalted critical praise. But when the book was released a week after 9/11, it was lost in the surge of grief, fear and rage. Now, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Shakar returns with an even more powerful and profound novel, marked by an involving and canny mix of metaphysics, morality, comedy, and romance. . . .  An intricately structured, imaginative, epistemological, and wildly eventful tale of illusion and longing, "Luminarium" fizzes with ideas, social concerns, and metaphoric splendor in its exploration of doubling in the twin towers, the two halves of the brain, mind and body, fact and belief, good and evil, life and death, aloneness and communion. Encompassing, caring, provocative, and funny, Shakar's novel astutely dramatizes moral and spiritual dilemmas catalyzed by the frenetic post-9/11 cyber age, while love, as it always has, blossoms among the ruins.--Chicago Tribune