Plot or Premise
A dream investigator discovers that a device for entering other people’s dreams is being misused and it is causing problems in the real world.
What I Liked
I had read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, which was a bit of a genre-bender for me. There are some odd twisty elements in it for psychology, bordering on the spiritual side. So I went looking for something along similar lines in a local bookstore. The clerk didn’t have anything in stock, but recommended this book. While some of the elements now show up regularly in sci-fi and fantasy books and movies, the premise was pretty stretchy for the time it was written (1993) and still held up to when I read it (2017 or so).
I loved the premise that the psychiatric institute is helping people through dream therapy, where they actually go into the dream with the person, a form of lucid dreaming where they can interact, and help them interpret their dreams. This isn’t a casual therapeutic practice, it is for those problems that are affecting the day life of the patient, and it is undoubtedly a fairly intimate experience for both doctor and patient, going into the patient’s dream world to figure out what they’re seeing in their dreams and why.
What I Didn’t Like
I only talked to the clerk and read the cover before buying it, so I didn’t do much research. I was definitely not expecting the almost R-rated content in some of the dreams, and it veered at times to being almost porn-like. In addition, the premise of the book that a device is being misused leading to a big giant “virtual” dream battle at the end seemed more suited to anime or cartoon than a prose novel about dream investigation.
The Bottom Line
Fascinating premise, brought low by poor sex and action scenes