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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Krug Benjamin

The Anatomy of Dreams

Book Description:  It’s 1998, and Sylvie Patterson, a bookish student at a Northern California boarding school, falls in love with a spirited, elusive classmate named Gabe. Their headmaster, Dr. Adrian Keller, is a charismatic medical researcher who has staked his career on the therapeutic potential of lucid dreaming: By teaching his patients to become conscious during sleep, he helps them to relieve stress and heal from trauma. Over the next six years, Sylvie and Gabe become consumed by Keller’s work, following him from the redwood forests of Eureka, California, to the enchanting New England coast.

But when an opportunity brings the trio to the Midwest, Sylvie and Gabe stumble into a tangled relationship with their mysterious neighbors—and Sylvie begins to doubt the ethics of Keller’s research, recognizing the harm that can be wrought under the guise of progress. As she navigates the hazy, permeable boundaries between what is real and what isn’t, who can be trusted and who cannot, Sylvie also faces surprising developments in herself: an unexpected infatuation, growing paranoia, and a new sense of rebellion.

In the last year or so, there have been a lot of novels featuring dreams, sleep, and/or sleeplessness.  A fascinating subject for most of us, but this one end up being in the "not so much" category.  

This is a book that I wanted to like, yet as it turned out, was not.  Although there are parts where you intuitively know where it is going, it doesn't go exactly there.  Or it does, but in a way that I found unfortunate.  I can't discuss my quibbles without spoilers; you will have to decide for yourself whether or not the book will satisfy your expectations.

NetGalley/Atria Books

Science Fiction? Psychological?  Sept. 16, 2014.  Print length:  320 pages.


  1. My coworker wrote a novel about a dream (self-published). I haven't read it (and don't intend to read it--thank goodness he hasn't asked me to!). That's neither here nor there though, is it?

  2. I'm fascinated by the dream theme in general. However, I often find myself in a dilemma choosing one that really intrigues me; either it is too scientific for me to understand, or it covers too little facts, etc. ;P

  3. Wendy - :) I've read two books by friends. Not necessarily a comfortable situation!

    Melody - The Vault of Dreamers was fun! This one, not so much.

  4. I love reading books that can be interesting on the subject of dreams! I wish I knew the spoilers -- I'm tentatively interested, despite your reservations. It sounds weird and strange in a way that appeals to me.

  5. Jenny - Hope you read it! I'd love to know what you thought about it, whether you agree or not!

  6. That is pretty much how I felt. I wanted to like it so much but it just fell flat!

  7. Becca - Ah, good to know I was not alone in my disappointment! I looked forward to this one, but it did not satisfy me for several reasons.