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The House of Discarded Dreams Paperback – November 16, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Eventually everything snapped into place. The once jarring prose that threatened to eject me from the book every few sentences suddenly blossomed into a flowing prose that lured me in and propelled me through the book. The imagery of it drew beautiful dream vistas, impossible landscapes tucked away inside a small beach house free floating somewhere in the ocean, and the chaotic blend of modern and ageless in stories told to calm a psychic energy baby festooned with amputated phantom limbs. The story is slow to unfold, taking its time to reveal to the characters that this house filled with their discarded dreams is not as benign as they assume, but the pace is comfortable and works well. On a negative level, the dialogue came across as stilted at times and this clashed with the flow of the narrative enough that it threw me from the story on more than one occasion.
Vimbai and her roommates, Maya and Felix, are the central characters in the novel, but they are part of an extended cast that is as diverse as it is strange.Read more ›
So, the story starts with Vimbai moving out of her parent's house and into the House in the Dunes with Maya and Felix. Unfortunately, the house goes out with the tide and begins to become bigger on the inside. The house begins to fill up with more creatures than what were there to start with and things become slightly creepy.
I have exactly one gripe. Sometimes the prose seemed emotionally removed from the characters. This did clear up as the book progressed (which leads me to think that it's being used to reflect Vimbai's emotional investment in the people around her), but sometimes it was a little off putting.
Fortunately I completely forgot about that minor hiccup in my fascination with the characters. Vimbai's perception of her relationship with her family (and other people) and how it changes over the course of exploring the new landscapes within the house. Each new space within the house and how it carried some special significance to each character seemed like an interesting reversal of the "house that destroys" trope one frequently sees in horror. I would go so far as to say that some parts of the house illustrate the home as a place of slow stagnation, especially those places with the catfish. I did like how this seemed to function as an allegory for Vimbai's relationship with her mother. I loved how well and how thoroughly her character had been thought out with regards to her relationship with her family, her ancestry, random classmates and her housemates.Read more ›
If you think you've read it all in Fantasy than think again. Sedia's latest The House of Discarded Dreams gathers odd mythology from around the world to create one of the most unique novels in Speculative Fiction today. Sedia shuns conventionality for a story that seemingly has no connective tissue to form something more than the sum of all its parts. It is the story of a young woman trying to find herself in a country that doesn't feel like her own. It is a modern melding of old and modern mythology and fears. It is a story of dreams and nightmares coming to life.
The story centers around Vimbai, a college student and daughter of African immigrants. Vimbai is drawn to a house in the sand dunes of New Jersey as an escape from her family as she searches for who she wants to be. Sedia brings some of her own experiences as an immigrant coming to America and living in New Jersey to the fore, but lots of research shows though as well. Africa has a mythology very unlike the style most Fantasy readers are use to, which makes The House of Discard Dreams a very impactful and original read.
Vimbai moves in with two other people who are given sketchy backgrounds, at best, one of which, Felix, has some sort of black hole in place of his hair and the other, Maya, a bartender in Atlantic City, who is the epitome of distant for much of the novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked up "The House of Discarded Dreams" at Borders during the final days. I grabbed it solely because the premise sounded so absurd, I just had to read it to see how the author... Read morePublished on October 14, 2011 by Ironcharles
I read little fantasy so picking up this one was an interesting experience for me. Especially given the setting and scope of the storyline, as a book of dream made flesh within... Read morePublished on August 13, 2011 by Amazon Customer
This book was wonderful. Sedia seems to have thoroughly researched so many components of this story, including culture, mythology and of course the science behind all of it. Read morePublished on February 7, 2011 by jed
Really great book, probably my favorite Sedia book to date. It's definitely not your run of the mill fantasy novel, no, not at all. Read morePublished on February 7, 2011 by Paul Jessup