The Dreamers: Book summary and reviews of The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

The Dreamers

by Karen Thompson Walker

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker X
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2019
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

An ordinary town is transformed by a mysterious illness that triggers perpetual sleep.

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This is a skillful, complex, and thoroughly satisfying novel about a community in peril." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. [Walker] offers up a satisfying, suspenseful page-turner that leaves readers curious about the possibility of dreams...Recommended enthusiastically." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. What is the nature of an epidemic? What is the nature of consciousness? What mix of loyalty and love binds individuals together? These are a few of the questions Walker raises in her provocative, hypnotic tale." - Kirkus

"Frighteningly powerful, beautiful, and uncanny, The Dreamers is a love story and also a horror story - a symphonic achievement, alternating intimate moments with a panoramic capture of a crisis in progress." - Karen Russell, author of Vampires in the Lemon Grove: And Other Stories

"A modern Midsummer Night's Dream - Marisha Pessl, author of Night Film

"What a book! I read The Dreamers in a dream of sorts myself, entirely transported into Karen Thompson Walker's world of mysterious tragedy and infinite, if unexpected, compassion. This is a profound novel, and a deeply moving one...fortunate readers will celebrate this extraordinary book." - Robin Black, author of Life Drawing

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Author Information

Karen Thompson Walker

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.

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