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Hunts in Dreams Paperback – July 5, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Paperback, July 5, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Startling and utterly original.”—Newsday

“A beguiling novel . . . Perceptive and captivating.”—The New York Times

“Gorgeous, inexplicably sad and funny.”—Salon

“Drury is an absolutely delightful writer who has carved out a world of his own in American fiction, one that is odd, revealing, and yet filled with love.”—Library Journal

"Here's an author who sees and hears what others either miss or fail to note the significance of."—Richard Russo
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Tom Drury's fiction has appeared in THE NEW YORKER, HARPER'S MAGAZINE, and the MISSISSIPPI REVIEW. His previous novels are THE END OF VANDALISM and THE BLACK BROOK. One of GRANTA'S "Best Young American Novelists," Drury was raised in Iowa and lives with his wife and their daughter in Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (July 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618127402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618127405
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,137,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Tom Drury is one of those gifted writers who deserves wider attention than he has. After the publication of his first novel, The End of Vandalism, Granta chose Drury as one of America's best young novelists. With Hunts in Dreams, he makes good on that promise. Drury is a master of dialogue who can show the emotional distance between husband and wife in just one exchange. His style in this book is deceptively simple, often masking layers of symbolism. His characters are quirky midwesterners who spend a weekend searching for meaning in a largely indifferent universe. One of them stops at nothing to retrieve an antique gun once owned by his stepfather. A seven-year-old boy wanders the town at night surprising himself with his adult thoughts while wielding his secret six-shooter pistol. These characters often try to root themselves in the present by identifying with their pasts -- and they don't always succeed.
Drury is at his best -- and funniest -- in the details. Drury names a bomb lover's dog after an explosive chemical. " 'Here, Cordite,' " he would call, with darkness settling over the suburb where they lived. 'Come home, Cordite.' "
For any readers who love true fiction, this is the book for you. Drury uses his imagination, and he has an uncommon ability to see meaningful, interesting details in that imagined world. Such details make Hunts in Dreams memorable even after you close the covers and place the book on the shelf.
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Format: Hardcover
This small, but dense book delivers more of what I enjoy about Mr. Drury's writing: Smart, precise, but easy sentences; dead-on dialogue filled respectfully with the incidental, accidental humor of people trying to get it right; a narrative style that seldom lingers or overexplains; and a gift for expressing the fragililty of our connections to ourselves and others. A brave and honest outing for a this gifted artist.
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Format: Hardcover
I should not have read this book without having read the predecessor, or should I? The jacket says this novel is set in The American Midwest as his previous novel was. That comment alone in no manner suggests to me this is a sequel. I tried to divine whether it was by checking on, "The End Of Vandalism", and it's still not clear. My comments are based on this work as a stand-alone story.
Mr. Drury writes very sharp, and at times very clever prose. Some of the dialogue is as witty as you will come across. He also provides enough characters for a 500 page novel much less the 200 pages we are offered here. If this were indeed an installment in a series I would have thought more highly of it, and enjoyed it more. He creates a dysfunctional setting full of dysfunctional characters of varying degree and it makes for a good read. And that is where it ends.
Unless of course this is a series and the stories of his characters are going to continue. For this is one of those books that do not culminate in any form of resolution, rather it feels as though someone tore out the last several chapters of the book.
I like finding new Authors and enjoying their work. I have a real problem with expensive short books that are closer to a large fragment than a book, and may or may not be part of a greater whole because the jacket and the interpretation of it by others is at best vague, at worst wrong.
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Format: Hardcover
Really, an excellent example of why books will not die. This book has it all -- the kind of book that becomes part of your life -- you keep thinking about the characters after you've read it, to the point you're wondering about your sanity, what with having to remind yourself you don't really know these people, since they are, ahem, actually fictional.
Read this one and I will also pass on to you a word about another slim and eminently readable novel about contemporary America: "Love Songs of the Tone-Deaf" by Asher Brauner. A wonderful slice of American life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nothing Nobel Prize worthy here, but a sweet story, well written. Great sense of place and Drury explores the dynamic of a strange cast of family characters in a realistic, yet poetic way. And don't strange characters comprise all of our families when you get right to it?
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Format: Hardcover
Searching for stability and an overall sense of purpose in life is the underlying theme to Tom Drury's latest novel. Set in a mundane, midwestern town over the course of an October weekend, the characters seek out personal comfort in their dreary lives.
In an attempt to connect back with his long-lost childhood and stepfather, Charles Darling goes to any length to retrieve a sentimental shotgun. His wife Joan retreats to a weekend, animal-shelter seminar while trying to find happiness in her otherwise lack-luster marriage. Her orphaned daughter returns home trying to gain a solid stepping stone into adulthood. And their young son Micah inquizzitively explores what reality his little world holds.
Although wonderfully written, I didn't really connect to the characters or much care about their plight. It just seemed like, young or old, everyone hit a mid-life crisis at the same time. There are no great issues tackled here, just the overall blandness that life con sometimes produce and how one family dealt with it.
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