.

.

December 30, 2019

The Dreamers



The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
Science Fiction
2019 Random House
Finished on December 28, 2019
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

An ordinary town is transformed by a mysterious illness that triggers perpetual sleep in this mesmerizing novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Miracles.

“This book is stunning.”—Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.

Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

Written in luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life—in our waking days and, perhaps even more, in our dreams.

I loved Walker's debut novel, The Age of Miracles (reviewed here), and was thrilled when I learned she had written another book. It was published at the beginning of the year, but I delayed getting a copy until I knew I could devote my full attention to the book without any interruptions. Life got busy with travel and illnesses and before I knew it, a year had passed since I first read about The Dreamers. A few days before Christmas, I borrowed a copy from the library and started reading on Christmas Eve. I was completely sucked in from the opening lines and had I not been busy preparing our Christmas dinner, I could have easily spent the entire day reading from cover to cover, it was that compelling. The further along I read, the more curious I became about the cause and ultimate outcome of the pandemic. Eager as I was to have my questions answered, yet choosing to savor the book as long as I could, the final pages came far too quickly. Sadly, the denouement was anticlimactic and left me with too many unanswered questions. In spite of this quibble, I loved this riveting story and look forward to more by Karen Thompson Walker.

10 comments:

  1. I discovered that I own this book - not read as yet. Way too many of those, but anyway, I'm going to try to get to it. I don't think I've read The Age of Miracles either, but I remember so many really liked it. Bet my library has it. Glad to know that this one kept you interested even though the ending wasn't to your taste. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay, Rod and I both really enjoyed this book! Move it to the top of your stack. :)

      Delete
  2. I don't gravitate towards science fiction but think I might actually like this book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, I probably would argue that it's not science fiction but that's how it was categorized in the library system. If you read and enjoyed Station Eleven, you will probably like this one.

      Delete
  3. This sounds like so much fun, but the letdown at the ending is disappointing to hear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacy, it's still worthwhile! It made my Top Ten list this year.

      Delete
  4. Oh this sounds very intriguing! I'll have to add it to my list. Barely in 2020 and my list is already growing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iliana, it was quite suspenseful! Very similiar in tone to her previous book, which I also loved.

      Delete
  5. This sounds fascinating! I love having a list of must-reads! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stay tuned for my Best of 2019 list, which I hope will be followed by my Best of the Decade list. :)

      Delete

I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!