[Reading] ➼ The Dreamers By Karen Thompson Walker – Rvtrek.info
In An Isolated College Town In The Hills Of Southern California, A Freshman Girl 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 Who Carry Her Away, Nor The Perplexed Doctors At The Hospital Then A Second Girl Falls Asleep, And Then Another, And Panic Takes Hold Of The College And Spreads To The Town As The Number Of Cases Multiplies, Classes Are Canceled, And Stores Begin To Run Out Of Supplies A Quarantine Is Established The National Guard Is Summoned Mei, An Outsider In The Cliquish Hierarchy Of Dorm Life, Finds Herself Thrust Together With An Eccentric, Idealistic Classmate Two Visiting Professors Try To Protect Their Newborn Baby As The Once Quiet Streets Descend Into Chaos A Father Succumbs To The Illness, Leaving His Daughters To Fend For Themselves And At The Hospital, A New Life Grows Within A College Girl, Unbeknownst To Her Even As She Sleeps A Psychiatrist, Summoned From Los Angeles, Attempts To Make Sense Of The Illness As It Spreads Through The Town Those Infected Are Displaying Unusual Levels Of Brain Activity, Than Has Ever Been Recorded They Are Dreaming Heightened Dreams But Of What 4 genre spanning stars The Dreamers is a different sort of read for me, and I m grateful I read it The premise A disease is affecting a college town causing unstoppable sleep and vividly strange dreams It all starts at a university in Southern California when a student, Kara, falls asleep and no one can rouse her, not her roommate, Mei, and not even the doctors at the hospital That event is then followed by another student, and then another, and then the town is sieged with panic by this unknown and perplexing illness.At first no one knows why this is happening Are the students playing a prank With the doctors finding no known medical cause, just what could be going on I personally cannot imagine how scared I would feel in that situation Karen Thompson Walker s writing is stunning, and I found my emotions all over the place while reading At times, I was panicked and forlorn, like the townspeople and students Other times I was emotional over the effects of this disease on the community and individuals within it There was palpable tension, and again, that frightfulness Not in the horror kind of way, but in that unknown, insidious, completely out of your control kind of way The exploration of dreams versus reality was also captivating The Dreamers is all about the characters and their raw and authentic emotions I was so completely transfixed I felt like I was a resident of the town, too I found The Dreamers a memorable, thought provoking, insightful, and frightening page turner This book spans genres, including eerily tense suspense, light science fiction, and dystopian all on a backdrop of a glorious character study Loved it Thank you to the publisher for the complimentary ARC All opinions are my own My reviews can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com This was magic Highly recommend, but for a very specific audience If you enjoy having tons of characters that you don t necessarily get time to connect with or like and appreciate a vague, mysterious tone through to the endget to it 4.5 stars. These days, science doesn t take much interest in dreams. 2 stars I m rating this purely based on my personal enjoyment and connection with the narrative Some people are going to love this book I read Walker s The Age of Miracles than six years ago, didn t love it, but wanted to give her another try I know my tastes have changed Maybe even the author had changed, too As it turns out, my review of her debut is fairly similar to how I feel about The Dreamers, comma splices aside.This book is full of dreamy hypnotic prose I can count on one hand the amount of books where this style has worked for me In fact, right now, I can t actually think of one There s this sense that you are looking down on everything from a distance through a haze It is written in third person and moves through small chapters vignettes, almost with many different people who I never felt a connection to The Dreamers premise is virtually identical to King s Sleeping Beauties, except here the sleeping sickness can affect men and appears to be contagious The major difference, I feel, is in how much we are pulled into the characters lives Sleeping Beauties was not a fast paced book, but I felt very drawn into the drama With a page count almost twice as long as this book, it s hardly surprising that there was far character development.In the first few chapters of The Dreamers, a girl dies under mysterious circumstances, her friends and parents mourn, and it is all narrated with such bizarre detachment The sleeping sickness spreads from there and the author explores how it affects many different lives Some of this is interesting some of it feels repetitive.It is a book for those who enjoy sleepy, beautifully written novels The characters won t stay with me, personally, nor should you come into this expecting a satisfying sci fi story in which things are explained Much like dreams, a lot doesn t make sense in this book What I will probably remember the longest are the quotes that touched me Such as this one This is how the sickness travels best through all the same channels as do fondness and friendship and love. CW Suicide.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube This narrative style From the first paragraph I knew I was going to be so pulled into this story, whatever it was going to be, by the writing There is something about it, the way Karen Thompson Walker tells this story It s third person narrative and I felt removed as if I was watching this on film or on the stage but at the same time there s an intimacy that affords the reader a connection to these characters, their fears, their loneliness, their pasts, and their dreams from this deep sleep While this felt very visual, I didn t find the language to be overly descriptive It was clear and concise and beautiful In a small town of Santa Lora, California the sleep sickness, caused by a virus first hits a college dorm One by one they are taken to the hospital, until some doctors and nurses fall into this sleep, and the hospital as well as the dorm are placed under quarantine and then the library where overflow patients are taken and the gym where the students from the affected dorm floor are taken It s an eerie feeling as Santa Lora is placed under quarantine no one in or out We see the crisis through the lives of fairly large cast of characters who are not depicted as mere statistics, but as real people that we may know or could be Rebecca, the second victim lies in the hospital and we come to know something about her that she can t know in her sleep state until the dreams come to her Mei, a lonely college freshman for whom connections become possible through the crisis Sara and Libby, eleven and twelve year old girls, who are forced to care for themselves Anne and Ben and their newborn daughter, adjusting to parenthood and facing the crisis These are some of the characters I came to know and care about along with others as the narrative alternates between their points of view, sometimes overlapping as they connect with each other.I might have given this 5 stars, but it lagged in the middle and then it seemed the ending came so abruptly I m not sure I really understood what the dreams meant Were they memories of the past Were they about the future But what I do know is that this was a haunting, thought provoking, and hopeful story Mei whose loneliness broke my heart, says of people she sees on the street , One of the women outside is walking barefoot in her business suit Where are her shoes Mei wonders, but that s the thing about strangers you don t get to hear their stories The thing I loved most about this book is that we do get to hear their stories Esil, thanks so much for the recommendation because you were right that I would like this book I m so glad I followed up because this is so much than I thought it would be I also highly recommend The Age of Miracles, the author s first novel which was a 5 star read for me I received an advanced copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley.