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Bad Dreams Mass Market Paperback – April 5, 1995

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"A vindaloo of a gross-out ... Dream piles on dream, in an acid-house freak show ... a wicked romp through the decadent pop culture and sleazy habits of '80s London" -- so raved the British reviewers about this antic novel from award-winning Kim Newman. A tale of a fascinating family, with one of the most successfully surreal (you don't get confused or lose interest) climaxes I have encountered. This one is rich with dry humor, hooky like a pop song and yet horrific as well.

From Publishers Weekly

This sporadically gruesome and nearly always frightening horror tale is not for the squeamish or faint of heart, but readers enthralled by things that go bump in the night are in for a treat. When journalist Anne Nielson goes to London to investigate the death of her sister Judi, a drug-addicted prostitute, she finds herself enmeshed with the denizens of Judi's nightmarish world: dealers, pimps, sadomasochists and, most horribly, the Monster, a member of the Kind--a ghoulish race kept eternally alive by eating humans and ingesting their dreams. Newman ( The Night Mayor ) pits his spirited heroine against this fiend in several brutal, shocking and tense encounters. One might expect that the immortal Monster would have the upper hand, but Anne, certain that he killed her sister, proves a formidable foe. Will her dreams be won by the Kind? Fans of the genre should enjoy finding out.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf (April 5, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786702273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786702275
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,592,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although this is a 'vampire' story by the same guy who gave us _Anno Dracula_, the tone is very different. _AD_ was action/intrigue, with some horrific elements, but _Bad Dreams_ is out-and-out horror. The story centers on the Neilson family, all of whom are victims of 'Mr. Skinner' at one time or another; this vampire enjoys ruining lives as much as he enjoys taking them. In the search for the killer of her sister Judi, Anne Neilson enters a subculture of sex and drugs that would be nasty enough _without_ a supernatural evil hiding in it. Somewhere along the way, she gets drawn into the vampire's dreamworld; unlike a lot of stories that have used similar devices, this one manages to make the dreamworld convincing. It's not for the squeamish, but it's a good horror novel.
Kim Newman trivia: this book may be unique among Newman's novels in that - as far as I can tell - it's the _only_ one in which the characters are all his own creations.
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My first Kim Newman read, and I did enjoy it, even though the ghost and vampire metaphysics was confusing, unexplained and something you just had to roll with. A very talented early effort, I can't wait to get my hands on some of his mature work.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A big fan of Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula" series, I thought this book would be worth a read. It's much more of a straight horror novel than AD is, without the whimsical use of characters and real-life figures from throughout history. I didn't expect to see that, but I didn't expect the book to be quite as dark as it is either.

Newman doesn't completely abandon his tendency to use real people and events in this book -- he delves heavily into the spectre of the McCarthy anti-communism hearings and Marlon Brando and Martin Landau both make appearances of a sort, but for the most part this story is very much of his own creation. An American journalist in London finds her sister murdered and dessicated and seeks out the strange culture that led to her death.

The book is much darker, gorier and more explicit than I've come to expect from Newman, and while I don't fault him for trying something different (no writer wants to be pigeonholed, after all), it's not really my kind of book either. So it's well written, well done, just not really for me.
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