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“A singular riff on steampunk—sophisticated, subversive entertainment that never settles for escapism.” —Jeff VanderMeer, The New York Times Book Review
“A gorgeously surreal first novel.” —Matthew Shaer, Bookforum
“The breadth and depth of Dexter Palmer’s storytelling is exhilarating. He’s written a smart, funny, sad, and beautiful novel, full of magic, mystery, mechanical men, and a delightful amount of mayhem.” —Scott Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Ruins
“Dexter Palmer has written a strange, passionate, enthralling first novel, a novel that is itself a kind of perpetual motion machine—constantly turning, giving off more energy than it receives, its movement at once beautiful and counterintuitive.” —Kevin Brockmeier, New York Times bestselling author of The Brief History of the Dead
The book actually gets legs in the final quarter where you meet some interesting characters but they only live for a scene or two.
Nonetheless, I found it a fine fun read, filled with interesting characters and layers of allusions (the ones that are painfully obvious, such as to "The Tempest" are only those just on the surface).
The novel offers such a rich array of characters, ideas, and imagery that reading it feels like eating an enormous, magical feast.
This is probably in my top ten books of all time. Nine of those are my favorite author; this one is probably number seven. Read morePublished 3 months ago by William Styczinski
This is a science-fiction tale of a dystopian society with influences from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and also some elements of horror. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michelle Boytim
Dexter Palmer's debut novel, The Dream of Perpetual Motion, is one of absolute magnificence. Palmer's novel is told by Harold Winslow, a greeting card writer who is imprisoned on a... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michelle Levy
Twenty words more that is all I need. Wouldn't Dexter be proud to have twenty more words to work with. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Steven Parkhurst
To be entirely honest this book was strange, and not your normal fantasy world strange, but full out messed-up weird. But I liked it. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mack
This is perhaps the most bizarre story I have ever read - or perhaps I should say, the most bizarre excellent story. Read morePublished 15 months ago by anonymous
The book has an entertaining beginning and creates a fascinating, steampunk-ish sort of world...but in the end, it fails to resolve so many plot points that it just becomes... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Lamont D
Most literary and culturally relevant steampunk I've read so far. Palmer's world is richly described, tragic, and funny. His protagonist is both relatable and somewhat repugnant. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Katina L. French
this is a surprising, unsettling, and profoundly insightful story, about human disconnections, the blind pursuit of an immutable purity that doesn't exist, the masks we put on... Read morePublished 18 months ago by A'eorryn