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Comment: 1966 Ace paperback; no writing or tears; light spine crease; s
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Dream Master Paperback – January 1, 1966

3.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ace 16701 (January 1, 1966)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002C0NQW0
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,673,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick Shepherd VINE VOICE on September 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Ideas have always been the movers and shakers of science fiction. But because of this, all too often other aspects of good literature have been ignored or given short shrift by all too many authors. Zelazny does not fall into this trap.

The driving idea behind this book is the ability, with the help of some fancy technology, of a trained neuroparticipant therapist to directly monitor and control his patient's dreams. There is a downside to this: the therapist had better be very emotionally stable himself, else he runs the risk of having the patient take control and impress his thoughts and emotional problems on the therapist. Zelazny takes this basic concept and wraps it first in truly excellent prose; much of this work reads almost like a prose poem. He adds two strong characters, Charles Render, the therapist, and Eileen Shallot, a blind-from-birth woman who wants to be a therapist herself, but must first get over the problem of how to deal with the sights and visions that her future patients will have. Render (and I believe the name is significant, though this is a literary device Zelazny did not normally use) is a tightly controlled person, carefully bulwarking his emotional walls from the pain of the death of his wife and driven to over-protect his brilliant son. Though repeatedly warned of the dangers, he finds the challenge of introducing Eileen to the world of sight irresistible. Thus the stage is set for a trip through the world of dreams, dreams that are perhaps both simpler and more comprehensible than the garden variety most people have, but described with such excellence that it is almost like seeing a sequence of pictures, watercolors and oils in vivid colors.
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Format: Paperback
First let me start off by saying that I am a huge Zelazny fan and that would most likely make me extremely biased. But I also like Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, and Lovecraft - so I think I can be fairly open-minded and am somewhat well-rounded. Contrary to most of the reviews on this book, I thought that 'The Dream Master' was very very good. True the characters could've been deeper, but Zelazny's writing style is captivating in and of itself. There is so much happening in this novel and is at the same time almost without purpose. This, I would say, is a novel for the Zelazny fan who has already read (and liked) his Amber Series and 'Lord of Light' (also check out 'Night in Lonesome October' for a new avenue of Zelazny thought) - because I think that this novel is more like 'basking in the sunlight' of the style of a truely ingenious writer. So in that respect it succeeds and if you appreciate a writer's style and ability to interest (even without a major plot!) then you would probably enjoy this one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not a great science fiction book, but it is a good one. I do not want to give away the plot, but the hero of this book can shape(control) the dreams of others for character changing purposes. How and why he does this and the last pstient hedoes this for is the subject of this book. If a good book-an entertaining read- is what you are looking for,this book is what you are looking for,
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Format: Paperback
Zelazny's prose is always polished nearly to a poetic lustre, and once you jump into it, it carries you along so swiftly that it seems almost unsafe to get out until it comes to an end. He doesn't insult the reader's intelligence by overwriting or overexplaining. The drawback of that last trait is that in any work of his you're liable to find yourself speeding along only to slam into a brick wall raised by some arcane reference of the author's, leaving you momentarily dazed and wondering what you just read. Having said that about his work in general, I'll say that it's mostly true in this work too. Others have said it reads like a padded short story, and that's exactly what it is. It was originally published as the so-called novella "He Who Shapes," which won a Nebula award in 1965. It's better in that shorter form, but Zelazny did a passable job when he subsequently expanded it into this fuller version. Often short stories suffer when expanded like this (Hemingway's "To Have and Have Not" comes to mind), but in this case I think both versions are very good. If you haven't read the short story, you won't know what you're not missing when you read "The Dream Master." Still, if you're new to Zelazny, you're probably better off picking up a compendium of his short works or of Nebula winners that includes "He Who Shapes." His work is easier to digest at first in small servings.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this years ago, but it was like new for me. What particularly attracted me is how spookily accurate his 1960's predictions about the future are. He had much of it nailed! And, of course, he's an excellent writer.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Roger Zelazny’s The Dream Master (1966)—expanded from the Nebula Award winning novella “He Who Shapes” (1965)—revolves around the Freudian notion of the centrality of dreams and importance of decoding dreams for psychoanalytical treatment. Susan Parman, in Dream and Culture (1990), points out that Freud was initially focused on “treating ‘abnormal’ patients” but soon “expanded his theory of psychoanalysis to explain puzzling events in ‘normal’ behavior” including dreams. Freud’s influential work The Interpretation of Dreams (1899) argued that the “dream expresses the secret wishes of the soul” where the dreamscape is the “arena” in which good and bad forces are engaged in a struggle. Thus, the dream is a message that must be deciphered by an “allegorical hermeneutician” (Parman, 104).

Zelazny posits a future where the allegorical hermeneutician does not need to listen to the vague recollections of his/her patient. Rather, a neuroparticipant attaches the patient to a complex machine which not only allows access to the dream arenas but facilitates the creation of particular dreams. How the patient reacts in the constructed landscapes is an integral part of the psychoanalytic treatment program. Thus, the format and forms are modified by the neuroparticipant while the patient fills the stage with emotional significance and narrows in on particular symbols (9).

Unsurprisingly considering the work’s themes, The Dream Master is drenched with layers of often hilarious psychoanalytical references: the main character’s smothering “mother-like” paternalism, a dog with an artificially enhanced intelligence named Sigmund who exercises his dominance but patrolling the streets looking for primitive dogs, Render’s “totemic” cufflinks, and of course the voyages though the dreamscapes.
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