- Publisher: Vintage Classics (2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099518279
- ISBN-13: 978-0099518273
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,494,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Palace of Dreams Paperback – 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
When is Ismail Kadare going to get the Nobel Prize ? I have asked this before. THE PALACE OF DREAMS is yet another masterpiece by this Albanian author. It has links to �The Three-Arched Bridge�, another of his great novels. While the tenor of THE PALACE OF DREAMS is entirely different from the latter work, they do the share the enviable quality of operating on several levels, which to my mind, always indicates the highest craftsmanship. The present volume resembles Kafka more than a little, perhaps also is reminiscent of Sartre�s play �No Exit�. At one level it is such a nightmarish fantasy, a bad dream played out in a couple hundred pages. At a second level, Kadare succeeded in writing a magnificent replica of the workings of secret security agencies within the administration of Communist era nations like Albania.Read more ›
Ismail Kadare's "The Palace of Dreams" is a book that reads like Kafka as influenced by the painter M.C. Escher with a bit of "1001 Arabian Nights" thrown in for good measure.
Ismail Kadare is an Albanian poet and writer. He is also the winner of the first Man Booker International Prize in 2005 and was selected from a list of nominees that included Saul Bellow, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Naguib Mahfouz, Milan Kundera, and Gunter Grass. The Palace of Dreams is one of his best known, many say best, work.
"Palace of Dreams" is set some time in the 19th-century in an Islamic-ruled Ottoman Empire that includes the Balkans (including Kadare's native Albania). The Palace of the title is a mammoth office building where the dreams of everyone in the kingdom are submitted for analysis. It is a Byzantine bureaucracy whose complexity is matched only by the dark, complex hallways and byways of the building itself. The Sultanate considers the dreams of his subjects to contain clues to the future. Like an oracle of Delphi, dreams are interpreted to predict plots against the Sultan or threat to the Empire generally. The interpretation of dreams is a powerful tool used to run the Empire and control its citizens and as a result the Palace of Dreams is the most feared agency in existence.
Into the Palace of Dreams steps a young new employee, Mark-Alem. Mark-Alem is a member of the Quprili family. The Quprilis are a powerful family of Albanian origin. For generations the family has produced high-ranking Viziers, the approximate equivalent of Cabinet Ministers, to the Sultan.Read more ›
The whole country has really turned into a ghost state, where people perform ghost work: Absurdistan.
Of course, this macabre ministry is only a veil for the bitter power struggle between the powerful. A bad dream interpretation could create an opportunity to lash out at the other throne contenders with deadly consequences for the innocent common citizens. The for the common man seemingly blind fatality is in fact the result of a deadly fight for control and power between the mighty.
Kadare's novel, inspired by Enver Hoxha's Albania, is a masterful portrait of the totalitarian state, where real life is replaced by hallucinations. The government's most important role is to try to control even the dreams of its citizens. A dark nightmarish regime.
This highly political work is composed and reads like a thriller. A real masterpiece.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very strange story by an Albanian writer short-listed for the Nobel prize in literature: politically subversive so the plot is symbolic to disguise the meaning.Published 5 months ago by Randall Hylkema
Said to be another must read for Kadare followers. It's worth the read!Published 8 months ago by AndrewBuyReview
The most Kafkaesque of all Kadare novels, The Palace of Dreams is a profound dark fantasy that reminds of masterpieces from Orwell, Solzhenitsyn and Kundera in its depiction of... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Fazal Rahman
If you are working for a bureaucracy (whether in a public administration or in a large company) this book will not fail to impress you. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Stefano Bertolo
Chillingly real. It's not your boss reading your e-mails, it's a totalitarian state eavesdropping your every move, your every dream. Written masterly. Kafkesque.Published 22 months ago by sokol zheku
Fine condition, came on time. Really liked The General's Army. This one seems generic Kafka, art ficiton, bad people in surreal fascistland of frightened sleepwalkers. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Richard steingesser
This is a novel that can appropriately be called Kafkaesque.It is a story of bureaucratic nightmare. Read morePublished on June 13, 2013 by JAK
This novel first appeared in Communist Albania and was promptly banned by the authorities. Set in the 19th century Ottoman Empire, the Palace of Dream is a vast building in... Read morePublished on April 10, 2013 by Ralph Blumenau
I really enjoy all Ismail Kadare's books. The language can be a little challenging at times, but I find the stories creative and thought-provoking.Published on December 20, 2012 by Christopher CJ Anderson