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The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters (The Glass Books #1)

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  4,432 Ratings  ·  620 Reviews

Gordon Dahlquist's debut novel is a big, juicy, epic that will appeal to Diana Gabaldon fans and lovers of literary fantasy, like Keith Donohue's The Stolen Child. The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters begins with a "Dear Jane" letter in which Celeste Temple learns of the end of her engagement. Curiosity leads her to follow her fiancé to London where she uncovers a secret. F

Paperback, 753 pages
Published January 3rd 2008 by Penguin (first published August 1st 2006)
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mark monday
Nov 28, 2010 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foggy-nights
top ten things i like that are at least tangentially associated with Glass Books of the Dream Eaters:

is there a more ill-suited name for a subgenre? what exactly is punk rock about corsets or guns or victorian morals or dirigibles? gack! that was the sound that just came out of my mouth when considering the word "steampunk". still, i love the genre despite its name.

"Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Feb 24, 2010 Victoria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awful, sold, not-for-me
Not one to shy away from long books, I found both the title and inside-flap description of this book to be quite intriguing. Unfortunately, those were the only redeeming qualities of this 760-page book. The editors must have fallen asleep reading their copy as many times as I did and just didn’t want to admit it. This book needs an editor. Creatively chopping it in half and selling it in parts (as they did with the trade paperback version) is NOT editing. The book is simply WAY too long. Even th ...more
May 13, 2008 Angela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Finally finished this book! Phew! After a very promising and intriguing first chapter, for me it unfortunately went downhill. Practically all the characters, with distracting unpronouncable names, are introduced in the second chapter making it impossible to remember who is who. (I ended up writing them down on a piece of paper!)
The book is bogged down with overly-detailed descriptions of buildings, places etc. which are unnecessary in many cases.
There are too many convenient coincidences, like d
Aug 09, 2015 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Διαβάζοντας -μετά από χρόνια- το 2ο μέρος της σειράς, λέω να ρίξω λίγο φως στον παρεξηγημένο κόσμο του Dahlquist μιλώντας για το 1ο βιβλίο, το οποίο ωστόσο διαβάζεται και ως standalone.

Πρόκειται για ένα μυστηριώδες βιβλίο που σε σαγηνεύει τόσο με τις αρετές όσο και με τα προβλήματα του. Η ιδιαιτερότητα του έγκειται στο γεγονός ότι κάθε κεφάλαιο πρόκειται για ετεροχρονισμένη αφήγηση των γεγονότων από την πλευρά ενός εκ των τριών πρωταγωνιστών. Με τον τρόπο αυτό ο αναγνώστης βρίσκεται αντιμέτωπος
Jul 01, 2007 Cristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Set in Edwardian England, "Glass Books of the Dream Eaters" is one part adventure, one part fantasy and two parts completely demented (and I mean this as a compliment).

Apparently, many people are undecided about how to rate this book. From what I've observed, people either love it, hate it, or are filled with begrudging indifference.

Apart from all of the "scoffing" and the grossly superfluous use of the word "cabal" Dahlquist manages to write a very interesting and unlikely trio of heroes.

Jan 31, 2013 Les rated it it was amazing
My, oh my was this exactly as promised. I picked up this book because I misread the review from the Daily Mail on the back. I thought it read "an exotically-charged, rip-roaring adventure..." It does not. In actuality it reads "an erotically-charged, rip-roaring adventure..."

Nevertheless, every rave review from a UK newspaper on the back was so very right. This is an incredibly intricate plot that weaves together three protagonists, whom combined make one very unlikely cabal of heros. With excel
Mar 02, 2009 Gerund rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
AT 760 pages, The Glass Books Of The Dream Eaters is just 24 pages thinner than Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.

And with its epic scope and decidedly English air -- despite the fact that it is set in a nameless country -- this tome seems at first blush to promise a fantasy-adventure which is just as riveting.

In a darker version of the predicaments that face Jane Austen's heroines, the protagonist Miss Temple (we later learn her first name is Celeste, but only a few intimates are allowed to
A fascinating book which demanded my full attention and quite a lot of time, but was well worth it. It's quite difficult to explain what it's about without giving away crucial details of the plot (the nature of the mystery at the book's heart isn't revealed until a significant way through), but it's at turns thrilling, scary, and erotic, and most of all compelling. A big, juicy, labyrinthine novel, full of suspense and intrigue - one to really get your teeth into. Quite brilliant.
La novela no hace mención ni del año ni del país en que transcurren los hechos, pero parece que se trata del siglo XIX, en Inglaterra. De la historia apenas se puede contar nada, para no arruinar una lectura de 900 páginas a futuros lectores. Los protagonistas y héroes de la novela son tres: la señorita Temple, una joven orgullosa y adinerada, criada en ambientes campestres, empeñada en descubrir por qué su pretendiente la ha abandonado sin más (si supiese los líos en los que se va a meter...); ...more
Mar 31, 2009 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adult fans of historical fantasy
Recommended to Alan by: Cuppa Joad, the Alibris book blog
This is a hefty volume - over 750 pages in hardcover - whose elegant, fluid prose is of consistently high quality throughout: complex, bold and even witty. Frankly, The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters would be a tremendous achievement even if it weren't also a ripping good yarn. This is Dahlquist's first published novel, and he writes with an assurance beyond his years and experience.

Dahlquist establishes a trio of disparate, unlikely but likeable protagonists for his story: diminutive but stron
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
This book has three viewpoint characters,there is Celeste Temple the proper young lady,Cardinal Chang the assassin and Dr Svenson the man of doctoring and science.

Cardinal Chang first encounter Celeste on a train when she is covered in blood after going to the villains mansion to search for her fiancee to know why he vanished and broke it off so suddenly.I cant remember how the doctor enters the plot as he was pretty unmemorable and with all the other things you had to keep track of in this book
Apr 19, 2010 Andy rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010
I picked this up purely from the cover which was nicely and intriguingly designed (never judge a book...) and what sounded like a story right up my alley. It took me a whole week to plough my way through and a lot of the time I was having to try. The basic underlying story is interesting with a greatly bizarre and unique premise but the execution is lacking. Problems:

Huge numbers of characters with mostly unnecessarily unpronounceable names made it difficult to keep track of who was who (indeed
Jul 26, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters were my first introduction to the genre of "Steampunk Fantasy", or maybe it's the first book of that genre as it is certainly unlike anything I've read before. Regardless of what other reviewers have written here, I myself could not put it down; talk about downright fun escapism! Written in the style of a gaslight era seriel novel it had everything: mystery and suspense, action, sex [with a healthy dose of fetishism], shockingly evil yet somehow strangely allu ...more
Jan 16, 2009 Hilary rated it did not like it
If I were in a good mood, I would call this a sprawling behemoth of a novel. If I were not, I would refer to it as maundering tosh. In either case I can tell you for a fact that I got bored and skipped about 200 pages (as it's over 700 pages long, I'm still counting it as 'read', if only for the hours I'll never get back), and still managed to keep up with the plot. This is largely because it's written from three points of view, and any time the characters meet they are at pains to tell one anot ...more
Sep 16, 2012 El rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to El by: Josiah
So steampunk is a thing and people really like it. Last week someone I work for saw I was reading this and asked me about it. I used the word "steampunk" and she got terribly excited. "That's like a thing, right?" She asked. Yes, it's a thing. Turns out she had just seen some show on HGTV where they were trying to sell a home that had been designed in a steampunk fashion. How in the world does one sell a steampunk-fashioned house? Why, you host a steampunk party, of course!

I don't have a lot of
Finally this book is over. It's taken me over a month to read The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, when generally I aim to read 100ish pages a day. Part of this is that I've been doing a lot of hours at work, but mostly it's that the story is so convoluted that I found I had to be really alert and focused to have any idea what was going on at all. I kept losing track of characters and their significance and so had no clue of whodunnit (view spoiler) ...more
Apr 22, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This probably took me longer to read than it should've--mostly because the plot got bogged down a few times in the middle and I needed to put it down and read something else--but that being said, I finished this epic novel yesterday and really enjoyed it. Overall, this is one of the most unique novels I've read in a LONG time. Part period-mystery, part-thriller, part-fantasy, it is hard to say what this novel is like. But what I will say is that fans of either of those genres MAY really dig this ...more
Jan 21, 2009 ian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm generally a very patient reader and am likely to enjoy whatever story I read, regardless of literary merit. But this book just stretched my patience to its limit![return][return]The first quarter of the book was engaging enough. The pace was good and I was excited to find out more. But, as I entered into the 2nd quarter of the story, the plot just kept dragging more and more.[return][return]The characters became annoying and their adventures frustrating. [return][return]But I hung on, thinki ...more
Apr 01, 2015 Annise rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book. I was instantly drawn in. The writing style – so quintessentially steampunk – was beautiful. Miss Temple was a compelling lead. I was enthused. I was hopeful. I wanted it to be a new favourite. There is a lot that I could have loved about it. But every time I found something to love, I hit something else that annoyed me, or that I didn't like, or that was downright problematic.

Miss Temple is an excellent protagonist. Through the course of a somewhat hesitant in
Feb 17, 2009 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The book starts out when our heroine, the spunky Celeste Temple, receives a curt missive from her fiance that their engagement is off. She sets off to do a bit of espionage to find out why he suddenly changed his mind (crucial information he neglected to include in his note), which lands her in a whole heap of trouble. She quickly discovers that her mild-mannered (but ambitious) Roger has become mixed up with a sinister group that has invented a technique for mind-control. The villains, collecti ...more
May 05, 2009 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a raucous adventure that runs the reader along a taut high tension line. Dahlquist insists on action, relentlessly dealing it out like a meth addled blackjack croupier. This novel reeks of all the "mistakes" that a first book suffers from: too many characters, too many storylines, extreme violence, and ultimately the scenes are scenario driven. I'm thankful for this naivete. Refined authors tend to cut, and smaller stories end up quieter, whereas this is a pipe bomb. This is big and unap ...more
Barbara ★
This book has been on my TBR since 2009 which I acquired it from a used bookstore based on it's interesting inner flap. Of course, once it went on my shelf, I totally forgot about it. Until yesterday that is when I used this thick tome to help flatten a new rug and realized I needed to read it.

The premise is interesting and the fact that the reader has absolutely no clue what is going on keeps you glued to the pages. This strategy works for the first half of the book and then everything goes to
It's been a long time since I read this, but I remember picking it up and thinking, this is really weird, but not in a bad way. It's kind of steampunk, grown up version of His Dark Materials, but with less deicide. I thought that there was only this one, but then I discovered that it's the first of three. Then I scare up a hard cover copy of the second book for $4, and it's time to revisit this. Once I've read some Stephen King.
Mirela Ivancevic
Feb 09, 2014 Mirela Ivancevic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jako zanimljiva priča, ali jednostavno predugačka. Puna dugačkih opisa koji traju i po 10 stranica, da je barem 300 stranica manje , radnja bi brže išla i bila bi napetija.
Jul 27, 2011 Hannah rated it really liked it
Following the perspectives of Miss Temple, a young lady recently jilted by her fiancé, Cardinal Chang, a renegade hired to kill a man, and Doctor Svenson, a German doctor sworn to protect his Prince, The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters follows them as they strive to uncover a deep and dark secret and perhaps become more swept up in it than they would care to be.

Though I had to force myself to read 100 pages every day to ensure I finished it in a week (and believe me that was a struggle with the
This is what The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen should have been.

The Glass Books basics are thus: 3 unconnected characters -- Miss Temple, a recently transplanted heiress from across the ocean, Cardinal Chang, a local assassin who isn't actually Chinese, & Svenson, a doctor in the entourage of visiting Macklenburg aristocrats -- are thrown together in their attempt to overthrow a mysterious Cabal of villains. Their motives start out as personal -- each of them has lost someone they care
After a second read, many years after first encountering Glass Books I can remember exactly why I loved it's plotty, adventurey, intruguey web so much. It drew me in, it wrapped me up and it tired me out.

This was my first encounter with the faintly mystical genre of Steampunk. Never before had I come across the emalgamation of Dickensian streets, gothic sci fi, technology beyond it's years and plucky adventuring. I was entranced. It was also a bit racy - which adds to it's appeal.

Glass Books fo
Nov 25, 2010 Laurie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This massive (760 page) book weaves together the adventures of three people: Miss Celeste Temple, Dr. Abelard Svenson, and Cardinal Chang as they try and thwart the plans of a cabal which is working to take over England, a portion of Germany called Macklenburg, and eventually, I’m sure, the world. They have come into possession of some unique technology, which allows them to both suck the memories out of peoples brains and give them power over those people. Ultimately, it allows them to do much ...more
Sep 17, 2007 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved, loved, loved this book.

Three unlikely heroes...thrown together. I was really upset when the book ended, I wanted to carry on with the characters! I can't really find any better words to describe it than this review I found, so I have stolen it....

G W Dahlquist has imagined a wonderfully elaborate alternate Victorian realm, replete with Dragoons, brothels, steam trains, labyrinthine libraries and ministries, first class hotels and opium dens. (The novel has some of the flavour of Philip
S. Lynham
Jun 18, 2015 S. Lynham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book stood out from the others on the Goodwill shelves and the blurb made it sound like my kind of book so I brought it home although I never heard of the author and that is usually how I choose my books. Apparently, from my quick perusal of other reviews of the book, this is "steam-punk fantasy" and I am hooked. There were times when I wondered where the editor had been while slogging through the over 700 pages of this story. I agree with some of the previous reviewers that this could have ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Change description 2 9 Oct 30, 2015 08:00AM  
What's The Name o...: SOLVED. fiction, set in 1800s era England, weird blue stuff [s] 3 28 Jun 01, 2014 05:35PM  
What's The Name o...: Steampunk (mystery) [s] 5 28 Aug 17, 2013 02:50PM  
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Gordon Dahlquist, also credited as G.W. Dahlquist, is a novelist and a playwright.
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Other Books in the Series

The Glass Books (3 books)
  • The Dark Volume (Miss Temple, Doctor Svenson, and Cardinal Chang, #2)
  • The Chemickal Marriage (Miss Temple, Doctor Svenson, and Cardinal Chang, #3)

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