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The Post-War Dream [Kindle Edition]

Mitch Cullin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.96 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Hardcover, Bargain Price $9.60  
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Book Description

Sixty-eight-year-old Hollis and his wife Debra have settled into their golden years in a gated community outside of Tucson, Arizona. Although they are devoted to each other, events that took place decades earlier, when Hollis fought in the Korean War, have left him with a deep-seated trauma — and with a secret he has never been able to share with his wife. As a reluctant Hollis revisits his past after his wife becomes dangerously ill, we see just how much the years of war changed his life forever. In rapturous prose, Cullin captures in The Post-War Dream the complexity of a marriage and the indelible force of the past on one man's life.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cullins's sterile eighth novel is the bleak dirge of Korean War vet Hollis Adams as he revisits the nightmarish past he has spent his life avoiding. The novel opens at Hollis's home in a golfing community in snow-covered Arizona, where Hollis dreams of processions of cattle and nomads wearing gas masks. Despite this surreal start, the book quickly becomes mired in the mundane: Hollis's wife, Debra, is ill with ovarian cancer and asks him to tell me about us, occasioning a reluctant retrospective of Hollis's time in Korea [...] Unfortunately, the narrative spends little time exploring Hollis and Debra's lives together or the other self that haunts Hollis, instead focusing largely on Hollis's retiree routines. Flashbacks to Korea provide welcome reprieve, but the reader never connects with Hollis or Debra, so their suffering feels muted, even as the narrative dives into stark tragedy. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Exacting, suspenseful, elegiac yet life-embracing.”—Los Angeles Times“Cullin followers will recognize the same sharp psychologist who meditated on deterioration in his previous novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind.” —San Francisco Chronicle"Mitch Cullin's fine novel The Post-War Dream is as much about love as it is about coming to terms with memories. . . . A sensitively told, finely crafted story." —The Denver Post

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 602 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400078237
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (March 10, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001UMCA00
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,225,654 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid storytelling, rich content April 13, 2008
The book ends with "...a sudden understanding that all things born are fated to move toward their end." That describes life and this book.

I have such mixed feelings about The Post-War Dream. I was glad when I finished because much of the story was so painful to read-and at the same time wished it went on forever. Mitch Cullin is a tremendous storyteller and writer who knows how to choose the right word for the right place. For example, he describes sunrises, sunset and weather in such effective detail that the sun didn't just set¬, it did it with such flare of words.

The painful emotions came from reading about a 1950's 18-year-old guy named Hollis who feels unloved at home so runs away and joins the army. Too quickly he is fighting in the Korean War. We live the fighting, loss, inhumanities and friendships right along with Hollis.

We also learn about the then-unnamed post-traumatic stress syndrome and how it affected Hollis all his life as memories and ghosts that haunted him.

The love Hollis and Debra have for each other is so well told you know this couple and really feel their pain. In their long love story, they believe they'll be together forever, having met when Debra was in high school and Hollis was just out of the army because his severe leg wound.

Throughout the book we are moved forward to the present and then backward to Korea and Hollis' younger days. Long-married Hollis and Debra now live in an Arizona retirement community. Life is good-until Debra is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. For two years she receives both traditional and experimental treatments. As Debra's illness progresses, she asks Hollis, "tell me about us"-and Hollis does, telling most but omitting some.
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More About the Author

Born in New Mexico during the "crossfire hurricane" year of 1968, Mitch Cullin is the author of eight books of fiction, including the novel-in-verse BRANCHES, THE COSMOLOGY OF BING, UNDERSURFACE, and the globe-spanning story collection FROM THE PLACE IN THE VALLEY DEEP IN THE FOREST. To date, his books have been translated into 14 languages.

A SLIGHT TRICK OF THE MIND, his revisionist account of an elderly Sherlock Holmes in retirement, is currently in pre-production with Focus Features. The film adaptation of his novel TIDELAND was directed and co-scripted by former Monty Pythoner Terry Gilliam, produced by Jeremy Thomas, and starred Jeff Bridges, Janet McTeer, and Jennifer Tilly. Besides slowly loosing his hair and writing novels in increasingly smaller and expensive dwellings throughout southwestern America, he continues to collaborate in all things with his long-term partner Peter I. Chang.

With Chang as director/editor, he produced I WANT TO DESTROY AMERICA, a documentary about the street musician Hisao Shinagawa that premiered at the 2006 Atlanta Underground Film Festival and went on to have multiple screenings at the 2006 Santa Fe Film Festival. In 2009, a second Chang-Cullin documentary feature, TOKYO IS DREAMING, had its premier at the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in the U.K., and features a soundtrack by Calexico's John Convertino.

He continues to write novels in decreasing spurts and increasing sputters, but usually he can be found ambling around his garden in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County.


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