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How the Dead Dream: A Novel Hardcover – January 25, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Since childhood, T. has been a mercenary disciple of authority and financial institutions. His idols were the statesmen and presidents of legal tender. This led to a cunning acquisitiveness, scamming neighbors out of their money with his phony charities and by hemorrhaging money from bullied classmates in return for protecting them. In college, he learns the key to success, while remaining emotionally apart from others. He is the frat brother always handy with sage advice, and renders aid when they get in serious trouble. His vices are almost nonexistent, but he gladly provides rides for his drinking buddies. Everything T. does is calculated toward success.Read more ›
As a boy T's principle passion is to `collect' money and stash it under his pillow at night. He receives a visceral thrill as he studies the lithographic etching on the American dollar bill. In college, he is a friend to all, but intimate with no one. It is `T' who is the designated driver, `T' who sorts out his friend's indiscretions and messy relationships. `T' himself avoids all youth's usual excesses, in favor of focusing on the market, real estate and mapping out his destiny. He is enamored with a vision of high rises, new highways, bright lights, holiday resorts, retirement homes in the desert, the creation of which will become the source of his material wealth and self-worth.
It is worth noting that the protagonist of "How the Dead Dream" is a male, and the writer female. It is the most convincing cross-gender writing I have ever come across. Never once did I doubt the authenticity of the male voice of `T'.
But what makes this novel so good? The writing to be sure, which is extremely lyrical at times, and the psychological insights Millet has which are quite breath-taking. In the end, what is most impressive, is the journey she takes the reader on. We meet `T' arch-capitalist, without a soul it seems, at first, but then gradually we see a change take place.Read more ›
Happily, this is not the case with Lydia Millet, whose point of view is one of the most unusual, and I daresay genius, I've come across since Magnus Mills' Restraint of Beasts.
In her first novel (I will now eagerly read her other five) she has written a grotesque fable with the sensibility and pungent sense of humor found in 30 Rock and Arrested Development.
Here Millet's novel focuses on T. who at an early age develops and articulates a Machiavellian view of the world to rationalize his insatiable appetite for greed and unrestrained capitalistic enterprise. Imagine Jack Donaghy expertly played by Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock inhabiting the body of a five year old and you'll understand T.'s psychological underpinnings.
We watch T.'s devilish entrepreneurial enterprises in high school as he uses extortion to protect a sad sack kid from the bullies who beat him and steal his lunch money every day at school. Even more glorious is T.'s justification of the extortion to the bullied kid's mother. Her every question is counteracted with a high school boy expert in the ways of legalistic sophistry.
As T. grows up and excels in real estate, using his predatory insight into the minds of his clients/victims to establish his empire, he has an unexpected breach in his life when he runs over a coyote.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"How the Dead Dream" is a surprising dramatization of how one man's consciousness evolves from utilitarian concerns to philosophical insight. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Lauricella
a very interesting take on a very important philosophy ...Published 13 months ago by Pasquale Moscatello
Incredible, amazing read. Such a powerful story, one that still has me reflecting. It's told in a remarkable way, feeling as if each word was carefully chosen for the perfect... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Debbie Wilson
This is a beautiful, haunting, wake-up call, in a different way than Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael". Read morePublished 18 months ago by YSQ
I bought this paperback because the title and the photo on the front cover intrigued me. Serves me right! The plot of this "novel" is quite preposterous. Read morePublished 21 months ago by J. Stahl
This novel was substantially different from what I expected. It's in fact substantially different from all the other novels I've read. I recommend it.Published on September 23, 2013 by Unclipped in Urbana
I really wanted to like this book, I just couldn't. It starts out slow and gets slower. The story switches from being about the main character, "T" and his life, to a PSA about... Read morePublished on June 1, 2013 by SeattleLoves2Trvl