The Dreamers

The Dreamers

Book - 2019
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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, if only we are awakened to them.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812994162
Characteristics: 303 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

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 doct... Read More »

DPL_Graham Mar 26, 2019

It started in a dorm room in a sleepy California mountain town with one road in and one road out. Students slowly started to fall asleep and fail to return to full consciousness. They may make movement, murmurs, eyes moving in deep and rapid sleep, but the disease was keeping them under. Like any... Read More »

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Apr 03, 2020

This book follows the story of a sleeping sickness which shuts down a college town, and the quarantine the town goes under to keep it contained. I can’t give a proper summary without spoilers, but just a heads up the story is told from many viewpoints! There is a sense of unease throughout, once it draws you in it will keep you on edge and ready to keep reading!

Feb 10, 2020

For me this book reads like a sketch--a set of ideas--some of which might have made an outstanding young adult novel, and some of which are certainly the beginnings of powerful foundations for an adult audience (themes of fierce parental love, explorations of the concept of time). Sadly though this book just glides along, never becoming more than a subtly interesting set of sketches. I don't always need a book to be a great intellectual challenge (this one isn't) and I don't always need incredibly deep characterization (it's not here), but a novel does need to make a claim on a reader and so it needs to do some work, somewhere. If you're looking for a light read that touches on ideas of human behavior during epidemics or ideas about how time works you may enjoy this novel, but if you are truly fascinated by either of those topics, reading this book will feel like ordering steak and getting a bag of Funyuns instead.

Jan 29, 2020

Sometimes a book is just a book. This just feels like a book I read and can talk about casually, but my investment in it quickly dwindled because of the hollow characterizations and the surface-level philosophy behind it, and it felt like the plot had no rising action.

Nov 05, 2019

Luke warm read. I started reading it but then found other books to read so I put this one down. If I can't find anything else to read may pick it up again. Yawn.

Sep 10, 2019

This book seemed a little bit like a knockoff of Stephen's Kings "Sleeping Beauties". However, there wasn't really much of a plot in this book. Also, there were so many characters it was hard to become engaged with any of them. I provided an extra half star because of a surprise at the uncommon ending.

Jul 06, 2019

I loved Walker's Age of Miracles, and this didn't quite match that, but was quite good nevertheless. While well written and compelling, it slightly lacked emotional entry for me.

In a small college town in California, a student falls asleep and can't be awakened. Then another succumbs, then a dozen more, then hundreds of the town's residents are asleep for days, weeks, months. And all of these sleepers are dreaming - vivid, otherwordly, relentless dreams. We follow the lives and reactions of several left awake: Mei, the quiet roommate of the first victim; a pair of college profs and their newborn; two little girls virtually orphaned when their off-the-grid, survivalist father falls, etc. Walker's genius is her matter-of-fact approach as these people react to and try to live in their new reality. What becomes important and what falls to the wayside? In writing what is clearly a metaphor for a number of issues confronting us today, Walker gives us this best line when one of the few victims awakens: '"You've been unconscious for four days," a psychiatrist tells him, to which comes his devastating reply, "It's been a lot longer than that."'

JessicaGma Jul 04, 2019

A variation on a theme for post apocalyptic tales - not as dramatic as one would be if many people died, but sort of realistic as only so many were affected, and the end was a bit balloon losing its air (pfffftttt and done). I prefer "Station Nine" or even the recent "The Book of M" for a more creepy, ongoing story with more fleshed out characters.

Jun 17, 2019

Finished this over the course of a weekend and found it to be quick, illustrative and fun to read. I felt the characters could have been a little more developed and the mysterious illness explained a bit more in the end. The conclusion was resolute but a bit abrupt in it's finality. I agree that it may have worked better as a short story but interesting premise never the less.

Jun 15, 2019

The premise, the characters, the story... all fantastic. Drew me in so much I finished the book in a morning. Without spoiling, though, the ending was lackluster and kind of ruined the experience.

Jun 12, 2019

Owes a nod to "Blindness" throughout and to Alice Munro at the end. Still a good read, interesting style.

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