Synopsis: 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.
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Whatever this is, it comes over them quietly: a sudden drowsiness, a closing of the eyes. Most of the victims are found in their beds.
Review: Written in the third person and a diverse set of characters, this is the story of a town plagued by a sleeping sickness.
The story starts with Mei, a college student, who sees her roommate Kara fall asleep but to never wake up again. Then this “sickness” spreads throughout the entire dorm rendering girls and then boys unconscious.
Next, the author gives a peek into a professor’s life and of the residents of the college town. We get a glimpse of this unknown disease touching everyone’s lives. Scientists arrive from all over the world in order to investigate this spreading endemic. Is this a disease really? or, is it akin to mass hysteria?
Mass Hysteria : A common type of mass hysteria occurs when a group of people believe they are suffering from a similar disease or ailment, sometimes referred to as mass psychogenic illness or epidemic hysteria
The Dreamers has a huge cast of characters which I mentioned before and I had trouble with that. There were so many things going on with the multiple characters cast that it left me feeling confused and irritated. Mei was my favorite character of all and would have liked to see more of her but alas, my wish didn’t come true.
The writing was descriptive and lyrical. It was well in tune with the scenarios in the book but the ending left me bereft of something .
Overall, this is a cross between literary and science fiction. I wouldn’t recommend it highly but I would suggest buying an ebook in case you are intrigued but hesitant.
Just because I didn’t love it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t . Take a review with a grain of salt ( *I have no idea if I said that right*)
|Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.|
Trigger Warnings include bullying, insensitivity to other cultures , animal death
Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Author: Connect with Author Karen Thompson Walker on Goodreads.
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Publication Date: 7 February 2019
- Hardcover(ARC): 320 Pages
Let me know if you’re planning to read The Dreamers or if you’ve read the author’s previous book Age of Miracles… I would love to hear your thoughts !