The Dreamers: A Novel
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Literary Fiction, Dystopian
Page Count: 320 pages (Hardcopy), 512 pages (Paperback), 320 pages (Ebook), and 600 minutes (Audio CD)
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
My Rating: 5 STARS
About the Author: From the Publisher (Click to link to Publisher’s Author Page)
Karen Thompson Walker “is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Age of Miracles, which has been translated into twenty-seven languages and named one of the best books of the year by People, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Financial Times, among others. Born and raised in San Diego, Walker is a graduate of UCLA and the Columbia MFA program. She lives with her husband, the novelist Casey Walker, and their two daughters in Portland. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon.”
Follow Author Karen Thompson Walker on Twitter, Facebook, and Author’s Website Note: The Author’s sites are all related to her previous New York Times Bestseller and have yet to be updated to include her upcoming novel The Dreamers.
About The Dreamers (From the Publisher):
“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.”
About Karen Thompson Walker’s First Book The Age of Miracles (Literary Fiction): From the Publisher:
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
People ∙ O: The Oprah Magazine ∙ Financial Times ∙ Kansas City Star ∙ BookPage ∙ Kirkus Reviews ∙ Publishers Weekly ∙ Booklist
“With a voice as distinctive and original as that of The Lovely Bones, and for the fans of the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood, Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles is a luminous and unforgettable debut novel about coming of age set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.”
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“Maybe everything that happened to me and to my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”
“Spellbinding, haunting, The Age of Miracles is a beautiful novel of catastrophe and survival, growth and change, the story of Julia and her family as they struggle to live in an extraordinary time. On an ordinary Saturday, Julia awakes to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth. The days and nights are growing longer and longer, gravity is affected, the birds, the tides, human behavior and cosmic rhythms are thrown into disarray. In a world of danger and loss, Julia faces surprising developments in herself, and her personal world—divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by Hannah and other friends, the vulnerability of first love, a sense of isolation, and a rebellious new strength. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker gives us a breathtaking story of people finding ways to go on, in an ever-evolving world.”
The Age of Miracles is available in Paperback, Ebook, and Audio from all booksellers listed above for The Dreamers
My Review of The Dreamers:
I began reading The Dreamers but was notified by NetGalley that I had been approved to read a book scheduled for publication in October 2018. As I read books in order of their publication dates, I, unfortunately, had to set The Dreamers aside for a couple of weeks until I read and reviewed the book that was scheduled to go to publication in October. I was anxious to return to The Dreamers, as it is a book that once you pick it up, you do not want to put it down until you have read the book from cover to cover.
That’s a subtle hint for you, the potential reader, as to where my thoughts are taking me even before I return to reading The Dreamers. – D.B. Moone
Karen Thompson Walker is an extraordinarily gifted and accomplished writer, which is why I included information and links to her first novel The Age of Miracles. I am just as anxious to read Walker’s first book for pleasure, as time permits. Thus, there you have a second hint as to where my review is headed with The Dreamers. As I indicated in the front-matter section of The Dreamers review above, The Dreamers is now available for pre-order in Hardcopy, Paperback, Ebook, and Audio (2) CD. I have linked the books to each bookseller for your convenience for pre-ordering, and I have also provided links for you to follow Karen Thompson Walker on social media in the same section above. To open the links, you will have to visit my blog: http://www.dbmoone.com, as the links are not available when posted to NetGalley and other sites. If you are reading this post from my blog, you can open the links provided, and each link will open in a separate window/tab for your convenience.
The publisher has provided a superb description of The Dreamers, so there is no need for me to add to the narrative, and I certainly do not want to give away any spoiler alerts. What I do want to say about The Dreamers is that we have never read anything like this book before.
Walker takes us into a fictitious story that is referred to as both literary and dystopian fiction, and yet dystopia implies squalor, the oppressed and frightened society. However, while there is fear in “the isolated college town” that Walker has created, we also encounter love, hope, joy, and sorrow. It is as if Walker morphed a Nicolas Sparks novel with a Shakespear play and in doing so she wrote a novel that is as affecting to the reader as it to the residents of this “isolated college town.”
From the first page to the last page of The Dreamers I became disgruntled when I had to stop reading and set the book aside to sleep or take part in the responsibilities of everyday life. When I came to the end of the book, there was a deep longing for more. I look forward to reading more of Karen Thompson Walker’s novels in the near future. Walker is an exceptional author, and I give The Dreamers my strongest recommendation.
I wish to thank Karen Thompson Walker, Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review The Dreamers.