The Dreaming Jewels
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The Dreaming Jewels

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,197 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Winner of the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Life Achievement Awards

"One of the masters of modern science fiction."—The Washington Post Book World

Eight-year-old Horty Bluett has never known love. His adoptive parents are violent; his classmates are cruel. So he runs away from home and joins a carnival. Performing alongside the fireaters, snakemen and "little people," Hort

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MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published September 21st 2009 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1950)
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Kathryn
The book blurb states this was Sturgeon's first novel and it is an impressive beginning. The only other book of the author's I have read is More Than Human, which was slightly more ambitious but also less enjoyable. I sympathized with the characters in this book far more. The story was simple and sincere but captivating and beautiful as well. The setting reminded me of HBO's Carnivale, that perfect and doomed show I wish to this day had never been cancelled. I am having a difficult time deciding...more
Stephen
3.5 stars. This is another one that is right in the middle of 3 and 4 stars. This is another well written, emotionally charged story about an 8 year old boy who runs away from his abusive foster parents and joins up with a travelling carnival full of "special" people. From there it is a "coming of age" story as only Sturgeon can tell it full of unique aliens, misfits, mad doctors and dreams of worldwide destruction. Recommended!!
Nate D
Jan 28, 2014 Nate D rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: exceptional runaways
Recommended to Nate D by: Bucket of Blood in Chicago
Shelves: read-in-2014, sci-fi
For the 1950 first novel of Vonnegut's model for Kilgore Trout, I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one. A very human coming-of-age balanced by some dips into bizarre scientific study of abstract life (a little more optimistic about mediating between these worlds than Stanislaw Lem, however). And for a while wholly unpredictable, culminating in a completely startling revenge sequence. Ultimately, the trajectory has to reconform a relatively normal set of guidepoints, though -- the second...more
Oscar
Siempre me han atraído las historias de personas maginadas, parias, freaks y "monstruos", tanto literarias como cinematográficas. Directores como David Lynch en su genial retrato sobre J. Merrick en 'El hombre elefante'; el universo de Tim Burton, sobre todo en 'Big Fish'; o David Cronenberg y sus pesadillas, han dado importancia a estos seres. Todd Browning, en 'La parada de los monstruos' ('Freaks'), película en B/N de principios del siglo pasado, ya nos los mostró con toda su crudeza, y no er...more
Simon
Theodore Sturgeon only wrote SF because no other genre could possibly have contained the immensity of his ideas. But he wrote unconsciously of the genre and his work tends to be devoid of the usual trappings found in many other SF writers work. That this was originally published in 1951 only serves to intensify my admiration for this man's work, reminding me just how ahead of his time he was.

Sturgeon is an ideas man so one might compare him to the likes of A.E. van Vogt and Philip K. Dick but he...more
Erik Graff
Mar 25, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sturgeon fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Theodore Sturgeon is unusual among mainstream male science fiction writers of the fifties and sixties in that he writes with sensitivity, focusing more on his characters than on technologies or extraordinary plots. He is favorably comparable to Ray Bradbury, though less given to the utterly fantastic. This, his first, novel is a sympathetic portrayal of an abused boy, a theme unusual to the period, and of how his alliance with other social rejects saves humanity.
Liz
Last Christmas, I mentioned to my parents that I'd like to read more science fiction. Being the hella-nerds they are, mom and dad pooled their resources and, predictably, went overboard. Christmas morning, I unwrapped a giant cardboard box filled with sci-fi paperbacks. I was overwhelmed, but pleased with my new stockpile. I would reach in and grab a book every now and again by someone I had at least heard of: Heinlein, Bradbury, Clarke, and other typical fair of the genre.
But then I started lo...more
Hannah
I liked this book, it was a quick, absorbing read. The story and the characters could have been more fleshed out; the plot was ultimately rather thin but it did have me on the edge of my seat for a while there.

I think I'm the opposite of Michael below me: I'm not much into SF, especially not the technical kind with lots of spaceships, but I'd love to get into SF like this more. Is there a name of this kind of SF? If anyone happens to read this and has any tips, let me know!
Luis Salas
I've reread The Dreaming Jewels a few times since 1992. I still quite like it. In particular, I enjoy the Americana of the WWII era setting and the use of the carnie world as as a relief against which the perversion of the mainstream world is cast. Great early sci-fi.
Charles Dee Mitchell
I don't know enough about Sturgeon's writing to know if he realized just how weird this story is. As its central plot device, an eight-year-boy passes himself off as a female midget for ten years. Although an explanation is later offered, fantastic but in keeping with the story, nothing is made of this by those who are in on the deception.

The setting is a traveling carnival. The jewels are beings that fall from space with great regularity but disappear into earth's landscape. They are living bei...more
Giacomo Boccardo
Il protagonista di questo romanzo è Horty Bluett, un ragazzino orfano di entrambi i genitori, che, in seguito ad un brutale scontro avvenuto con il patrigno della famiglia adottiva, scappa di casa per finire in un luna park itinerante. Il motivo che induce il patrigno a trattarlo in malo modo è il disgusto provato sapendo che il figlio ha mangiato delle formiche. La ragione di questa azione trova spiegazione più avanti nella storia ed è tutt'altro che scontata.

L'unico oggetto che Horty porta via...more
Neil McCrea
"They caught the kid doing something disgusting out under the bleachers at the high school stadium, and he was sent home from the grammar school across the street. He was eight years old then. He'd been doing it for years."

That opening paragraph is quite the hooker, to use Stephen King's parlance, it draws you into the book and sets the pace for what's to come.

The works of Theodore Sturgeon have been a major gap in my classic Science fiction library. I haven't managed to avoid him entirely, of c...more
Raj
Horty is a little boy who runs away from his abusive adoptive parents and joins the carnival. There he finds friendship and company but never realises that his companion Zena is protecting him from the carnival's leader, the Maneater. It's not until many years later that he discovers the truth about himself and the jack-in-the-box with the jewelled eyes that he couldn't bear to have apart from him.

The central notion of the crystal jewels in this book is fascinating. A strange, mostly unexplained...more
Ана Хелс
Бленуващите кристали е елегия за нечовешкото, родено у човека в преследване на възможния край на човешкото. Ненавист към себе си, обърната самота и копнеж по срещане на себе си в другия, създаване на светове сънища през смъртта и любовта с еднакъв знаменател, и толкова много неразбираема човещина. Отново светът е в ръцете на деца, макар и не точно деца, всъщност и не точно хора, но по-човешки от единствените, за които бях почти сигурна в хомо сапиенският им произход и на които им се пада ролята...more
Beth
The sub-title is "The Dreaming Jewels" A re-read from my youth -- first published in book form in the early '50s. The basic premise is that there are aliens among us, aliens who occasionally copy a human being who then goes on, unconscious of his non-human status, to operate as best he/she might in human culture. Circus freaks (this was written in the early 50s) may be incomplete humans or failed copies. At any rate, it’s a good place for a copy to hide. Underlying discussion—what makes an indiv...more
Metaphorosis

reviews.metaphorosis.com

3.5 stars

Horty is injured by his foster father and runs away, joining a carnival. With the help of a friend, he gradually discovers some unusual powers.
I continue to kick myself for not discovering Theodore Sturgeon earlier. This book is not on a topic I'd normally have considered picking up, but I found it well written and engaging throughout. The SF element is technically crucial to the concept, but in fact it's not essential to the story, which is about people and rela...more
Devowasright
i wavered between three and four stars. it is an -incredible- idea, but the rest of the story is a bit lacking in originality, and definitely reads of its time- (ie, a bit dated in many regards). i went with 4 stars largely because the characters were well written, and i just basically had a blast reading it. fun counts for something, right?
AmblingBooks
"An intensely written and very moving novel of love and retribution." � Washington Star

Listen to The Dreaming Jewels on your iPhone, desktop, or smartphone.
Debra
Jul 16, 2011 Debra marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King recommended book. Noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981.
Joe Santoro
I was pretty psyched to read this, after I really enjoyed the Microcosmic God from the Sci-Fi Hall of Fame book... I wasn't disappointed. Horton was an orphan who was barely tolerated by his parents, until the day he got thrown out of school for eating ants (yeah, I don't get it either). A struggle ensuing, resulting in Horty running a way with Carnival midgets, and pretending to be a female midget in a freak show.

As I type that, it sounds really terrible, but it totally made sense, I swear. The...more
Manny
I hadn't thought about this book for ages, until the other day when I read Jessica Treat's fine short story Ants. They both start in pretty much the same way. Coincidence?
Roberto Zanasi
Un finale veramente triste, e una storia non entusiasmante. Mi aspettavo molto quando ho incontrato la figura del musicista che aiuta la ragazza, e sono rimasto deluso. Niente di speciale.
Terri Kempton
A fine, solid book - quick science fiction read that's straight out of an earlier era. Not a life-changing book, but entertaining enough.
Allan
I read this a long time ago, and if memory serves, it's still my favorite piece of Sturgeon fiction.
Kernos
Disappointing. More fantasy than SciFi. Not the best of Sturgeon.
Ben Lainhart
A quick, strange and fun exploration of humanity and love.
Erik
awesome sci-fi story


creepy vaudevilleish
Cody
i wish i could morph / become a woman
Ryan
Very good read, highly recommended.
Ron
Oct 04, 2008 Ron marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Purchased 9/24/2008.
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Theodore Sturgeon (1918–1985) is considered one of the godfathers of contemporary science fiction and dark fantasy. The author of numerous acclaimed short stories and novels, among them the classics More Than Human, Venus Plus X, and To Marry Medusa, Sturgeon also wrote for television and holds among his credits two episodes of the original 1960s Star Trek series, for which he created the Vulcan m...more
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