Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Book Review | THE DREAMERS by Karen Thompson Walker

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January 15, 2019
Random House
Apocalyptic novels are not among my picks for casual reading, because they usually employ chaos and human degradation. They simply hollow me out for days after reading. Death with Interruptions by José Saramago is one among the few that I really like because of its atypicality.

THE DREAMERS may be one of those atypicals too. In the small town of Santa Lora California, a sleeping virus had spread. There were no symptoms. Patients simply went to sleep and cannot be awakened.
“...how much quieter that ending would be, a whole world drowned in sleep, than all the other ways we have to fail.”
The first victim was a student from a local college. Karen staggered into her dorm room, after a decent night of partying and drinking, fell asleep, and cannot be woken the following day. Initially, Karen’s dorm floor was quarantined. Over the following weeks, though, the sleeping virus spread and a cordon sanitaire were pitched around the small town. No one can get in or out. Military Humvees patrol the streets, while helicopters scan from the air. The whole town went into a meek, mutual panic. Each day, more people are sporting facemasks and latex gloves. But the doctors were baffled by the cause and how exactly the virus is spreading. Only one thing was determined, these sleepers have intense brain activity. They are all dreaming deeply.
“This is how the sickness travels best: through the same channels as do fondness and friendship and love.”
Walker’s narrative is both spellbinding and evocative. She paraded this host of people in different states and examined each one from within. There is no hysteria or visible menace, instead, we are asked to quietly recognize humanity amidst loss and fear of the unknown and to be in awe of how a spark of life can strive despite the odds.

If you are into audiobooks, Cassandra Campbell recorded a very convincing narrative.


Book details:
Title: The Dreamers
Publication: January 15, 2019, by Random House
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★★★★

* I won this book from Goodreads Giveaway.


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