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The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio Hardcover – August 7, 2007

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1ST edition (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805083332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805083330
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,331,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Since his parents' death, Carlo has worked for his uncle, a merchant, but Uncle's patience with Carlo's daydreaming wears so thin that he finally gives the young man a purse of coins and ships him off to nearby Campania. Carlo, who has just discovered a treasure map in an old book, travels across the sea to the Middle Eastern port that marks the beginning of the Road of Golden Dreams. Planning to follow that perilous route to the treasure, Carlo hires two traveling companions: Baksheesh, a lazy, loquacious camel puller, and Shira, a young woman bent on revenge. Against all advice, Carlo follows his dream, only to find it changing as he comes to know himself through the crucible of the journey. A consummate storyteller, Alexander, who died in May, takes readers on a memorable journey as well. On one level, he offers them the vicarious experience of Carlo's adventures and the shame, relief, fear, anguish, hope, and joy he feels along the way. On another, he shares his fascination with human folly and courage and his appreciation for the mysterious powers of story and of art. One of Alexander's most appealing characters, Salamon, the humble, cheerful wise man, surely speaks for the author when he learns what Carlo is seeking and tells him, "What a shame if you should find it. Your quest would be over. And then what? As if a fortune could make up for the bother of gaining it. No, no, my lad: The journey is the treasure." Phelan, Carolyn


“An exuberant and compassionate tale of adventure . . . will keep readers enthralled every step of Alexander's final literary journey.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review


“A consummate storyteller, Alexander takes readers on a memorable journey.”

Booklist, starred review


“Masterful storytelling tinged with romance and humor makes this an engaging read.”

Kirkus Reviews

More About the Author

Few writers have inspired as much affection and interest among readers young and old as Lloyd Alexander. At one point, however, it seemed unlikely that he would ever be a writer at all. His parents could not afford to send him to college. And so when a Philadelphia bank had an opening for a messenger boy, he went to work there. Finally, having saved some money, he quit and went to a local college. Dissatisfied with not having learned enough to be a writer he left at the end of one term. Adventure, he decided was the best way. The United States had already entered World War II. Convinced that here was a chance for real deeds of derring-do, he joined the army -- and was promptly shipped to Texas where he became, in disheartening succession an artilleryman, a cymbal player in the band, an organist in the post chapel, and a first-aid man. At last, he was assigned to a military intelligence center in Maryland. There he trained as a member of a combat team to be parachuted into France to work with the Resistance. "This, to my intense relief, did not happen," says Alexander. Instead, Alexander and his group sailed to Wales to finish their training. This ancient, rough-hewn country, with its castles, mountains, and its own beautiful language made a tremendous impression on him. But not until years later did he realize he had been given a glimpse of another enchanted kingdom. Alexander was sent to Alsace-Lorraine, the Rhineland, and southern Germany. When the war ended, he was assigned to a counterintelligence unit in Paris. Later he was discharged to attend the University of Paris. While a student he met a beautiful Parisian girl, Janine, and they soon married. Life abroad was fascinating, but eventually Alexander longed for home. The young couple went back to Drexel Hill, near Philadelphia, where Alexander wrote novel after novel which publishers unhesitatingly turned down. To earn his living, he worked as a cartoonist, advertising writer, layout artist, and associate editor for a small magazine. It took seven years of constant rejection before his first novel was at last published. During the next ten years, he wrote for adults. And then he began writing for young people.Doing historical research for Time Cat he discovered material on Welsh mythology. The result was The Book of Three and the other chronicles of Prydain, the imaginary kingdom being something like the enchanted land of Wales. In The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen Alexander explored yet another fantastic world. Evoking an atmosphere of ancient China, this unique multi-layered novel was critically acclaimed as one of his finest works. Trina Schart Hyman illustrated The Fortune-tellers as a Cameroonian folktale sparkling with vibrant images, keen insight and delicious wit. Most of the books have been written in the form of fantasy. But fantasy, Alexander believes, is merely one of many ways to express attitudes and feelings about real people, real human relationships and problems

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Funny, heartwarming, rollicking and glorious!
M. Tobin
I strongly recommend The Golden Dream as a children's book and even as light adult reading.
Alan J. Webb
Lloyd -Alexander has written many memorable stories.
Susie Skavdahl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Tamera R. Vaughan on August 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My daughter and I have been fans of Lloyd Alexander for over ten years. We fell in love with Taran and the Companions of Prydain. We have read and reread all five books of the series. My daughter has corresponded with Mr. Alexander. When we received news of his recent passing, we both cried. We were relieved to know that we could look forward to one last book: The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio.

This book is not Prydain. There wasn't time for that kind of character development.

But Lloyd is present. His humor and his carefully hidden nuggets of wisdom are evident. The book moves with great, choppy speed. The language shifts and causes you to be off-kilter at times. But Lloyd gathers his companions deftly without you even realizing what is happening. He brings all of these wild and unconnected people together and creates this wonderful community. And you don't want to leave. On the whole the story is delightful. The book was too short, and should not to be compared to his writing in Taran Wanderer and The High King.

I don't want to say goodbye to Mr. Alexander, but he has left me satisfied.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By askmonkey on June 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the last novel of Lloyd Alexander, author of The Chronicles of Prydain. I was both excited and worried about reading this book. I loved the Chronicles of Prydain as a kid, but was afraid this book would be awful in comparison. Thankfully, this was not the case.

This story is about a young man named Carlo Chuchio, a character who is not as appealing as that lovable assistant pig-keeper Taran, but still interesting nonetheless. Carlo "the chooch" sets off on an adventure seeking great treasure and is accompanied by a fast-talking but lazy flatterer, a beautiful girl with a wild streak, and an eccentric genius. Their journey is filled with danger and excitement while the travelers encounter storytellers, brigands, and dream merchants, in a dazzlingly romantic fantasy world that seems to be intentionally reminiscent of the Arabian Nights.

While the story at time seems rambling, with random events happening one after the other, the reader is still left with an amazement at Alexander's storytelling abilities. I would not recommend going into this tale hoping for a grand-sweeping epic fantasy novel, but rather for a satisfying travel/adventure story, much like the stories of Sinbad the sailor.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Tobin on September 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you read one book this fall, this should be the one! It moves constantly forward with funny, fascinating characters and alternating humorous/dangerous encounters. The adventures and places are so alive and interesting, you get totally caught up in Carlo's fascinating road trip, and without even realizing it you become tangled as well in the character's stories and the philosphy of what it means to be human in any world. Funny, heartwarming, rollicking and glorious! You won't be able to put it down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason S. Taylor on February 27, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a gem. It is a tale of friendship and love and adventure. It is also a time machine which gives a hint as to what Marco Polo's world must have felt like from the inside. While the setting is supposedly fictional it contains a number of shout outs to the real life Silk Road that a historian can catch. It shows what the Medieval world was like from the eyes of a Medieval person; when the world was large and one could still say of some places "Here there be dragons." The imagination shown is splendid.

It is not a tale of kingdoms like the Prydain Chronicles. It is a tale of ordinary wanderers who are just a small spot in the thousands of people who traveled about the world. It is also a rather "low fantasy"; magic is not blatant like in some fantasies. In a way that adds to the mystery and wonder, and you feel it a part of the world.

A well-written book and worthy of your time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Chapman on July 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio is sadly Lloyd Alexander's last book assuming no further posthumous publications are on the way. The Golden Dream was not on my ever-growing list of books to read, but the gold and blue spine--think Morocco--shouts for attention on a library shelf. The cover artist and designer deserve some serious praise. I'm glad I read it and recommend it to anyone looking for a good story.

Like many of Alexander's stories, The Golden Dream records a road trip. The hero takes a journey but there is also a bit of a stranger comes to town mixed in. The narrator and protagonist is Carlo Chuchio, a naive young man and an orphan--known in his hometown, Magenta, as Carlo Chooch, "Carlo the jackass." The story begins with the gift of a book of tales, reminiscent of the One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Carlo finds a treasure map hidden in the spine. The map leads to a hoard of treasure hidden on the Road of Golden Dreams. After one too many clerical errors, his Uncle Evariste sacks him and kicks him out of his house. Feeling guilty about throwing a family member onto the street, Evariste gives Carlo a substantial amount of gold as a parting gift. Unable to find the mysterious bookseller who gave him the book and having nothing better to do, Carlo leaves Magenta for Keshavar, where he plans to assemble a caravan and search for the treasure.

To his continual consternation, everyone in Keshavar immediately recognizes him as a foreigner, a ferenghi. When Carlo asks Keshavarians how they know he's a ferenghi, they shrug their shoulders or respond that he smells like one. To his credit, Carlo manages haphazardly to assemble a group of followers and join a caravan. Each member of Carlo's party joins for a different reason.
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