By Rita Nicholson
Imagine traveling across the country via train following breadcrumbs your dead grandfather left behind five years ago. In A Lite Too Bright, written by Samuel Miller, Arthur Louis Pullman the Third does just that.
Arthur’s grandfather (also named Arthur Louis Pullman) was the author of an American classic, A World Away, and he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. During the last week of his life, he somehow managed to travel from California to Ohio, where he died. The narrator is desperate to find answers to the mystery of what happened to his grandpa and to escape his own personal demons from the past, so he embarks on a journey across the country to follow his grandfather’s footsteps.
I really liked all the characters, and each one had a unique speech pattern and something that distinguished them from others. The setting was also pretty cool. I’ve never read a book before where trains played such an important role, and I liked that aspect of the book.
The writing was very well done. It was very descriptive and even poetic at times. What was even better was the storyline. The mystery of Arthur’s grandfather’s last week was intriguing on its own, but the story later developed in an unexpected direction, and continued to do so to my surprise. A Lite Too Bright was definitely an interesting read all the way through, and because of that I can tell that a lot of time, effort and thought went into creating this novel.
Arthur’s narration was also very entertaining to read. His perspective was cynical at times, but it was appropriate, seeing as how everything about the world isn’t always the happiest of things. The book dealt with a few controversial issues, like the ethicality of money and how it’s gained by some, and different characters’ perspectives on these issues opened my mind to a new way of thinking.
A Lite Too Bright is definitely worth rereading, and I look forward to reading more of Samuel Miller’s novels if he happens to write more.