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The Dreaming Jewels

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  1,754 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
Eight-year-old Horty Bluett is mocked by his classmates & abused by his adoptive parents until the day his father severs three of his fingers. He runs away, taking only a gem-eyed doll he calls Junky, & joins a carnival. Finding acceptance at last, Horty never dreams that Junky is more than a toy, nor does he realize that a threat far greater than his cruel father ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published 2000 by Gollancz (first published 1950)
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1984 by George OrwellBrave New World by Aldous HuxleyAt the Mountains of Madness by H.P. LovecraftStar Maker by Olaf StapledonEarth Abides by George R. Stewart
Best Classic SF Novels (1930-1950)
16th out of 55 books — 85 voters
Dune by Frank HerbertFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyThe Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburyThe Foundation Trilogy by Isaac AsimovRendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
Golden Age & New Wave SF
95th out of 227 books — 240 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Charlene
Having read Sturgeon's Some of Your Blood a few years back, I've been on the lookout for more affordable Sturgeon books. Earlier this year, this one was on sale, and adding the narration was only a couple of bucks more, so I jumped on it. Luckily, I was very pleased with my decision.

This story was nothing at all like Some of Your Blood. But with an opening line of: "They caught the kid doing something disgusting out under the bleachers at the high school stadium.", how could anyone not continue
...more
Kathryn
Sep 10, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it
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
Nate D
Jan 28, 2014 Nate D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: exceptional runaways
Recommended to Nate D by: Bucket of Blood in Chicago
Shelves: sci-fi, read-in-2014
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
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!!
Simon
Apr 26, 2011 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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
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
Liz
Dec 05, 2013 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Knigoqdec
May 10, 2016 Knigoqdec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
~Giveaway книга ^^~

Когато "чудаците" са повече хора от хората...
Свързвам разказа (по моите критерии това е разказ) на Стърджън с един пасаж от стихотворение, което ми беше направило голямо впечатление, когато бях ученичка, и което странно се връзва с тази история. Съответният пасаж звучи ето така:
"Но в затвора попаднал на хора
и станал
човек..."

Красивата и нежна любов на Зийна към момчето, първоначално обречено да живее в един отвратителен свят на омраза, ще променят света му.
То не е обикновен чо
...more
Andrew
Feb 27, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it
Theodore Sturgeon to me is a bit of mystery - I have a number of his works and I am slowly working my way through his collected works (an impressive series I must admit) and his short story " Saucer of loneliness" is one of my all time favourite stories - even before the new twilight zone turned it in to an amazing episode - but still his work surprises me.
He is universally accepted as one of the all time great science fiction writers being cited by many authors as being their favourite or an i
...more
Erik Graff
Mar 25, 2012 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Charles Dee Mitchell
May 24, 2011 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it liked it
Shelves: mid-century-sf
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
Neil McCrea
Feb 11, 2013 Neil McCrea rated it really liked it
"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
Apr 16, 2015 Raj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Kristina Andreeva
Jun 25, 2016 Kristina Andreeva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: Фентъзи
Много закъсняло ревю, но все пак: http://knigoqdec.blogspot.bg/2016/06/...

„Бленуващите кристали” на Теодор Стърджън, е една доста динамична книга. Това е роман, който се чете на един дъх не само заради по-краткия брой страници (да се има предвид, че форматът и шрифтът са по-различни от стандартния). В книгата се съчетават както фентъзи елементи, така и много общочовешки теми - за взаимоотношенията мeжду хората, за желанията и мечтите и за това как да оцелеем в един свят, в който е трудно да се д
...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!
Maria Beltrami
C'è una forma di vita aliena che ha invaso la terra, ma nessuno se n'è accorto, a parte un medico pazzo e mefistofelico.
Nessuno se n'è accorto perché questa forma di vita non agisce, non interferisce, se non producendo dei "sogni", sogni che sono creature, duplicati imperfetti delle creature del mondo.
Qualcuno di loro viene collezionato, come fenomeno da baraccone, nell'orribile circo del medico, e in questo circo un giorno arriva un bambino che fugge da un patrigno crudele, e che viene accolto
...more
Idleprimate
This is an astonishingly great book. It is, all at once, a painful and uplifting story where the fantastical elements provide an allegorical relief for adversity, and alienation, the cruelties of the world, the meaning in all we express and the power of connection and purpose. It has an arch, lurid, operatic sort of story; it incorporates a gloriously luscious noir sensibility, and a homeliness that reminds me of John Steinbeck or Morley Callaghan. It has prose that balances being muscular and d ...more
L S
Aug 12, 2007 L S rated it it was amazing
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.
Manny
Feb 24, 2009 Manny rated it liked it
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?
Gideon
May 26, 2015 Gideon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The original cover is incredibly pulpy. I love it so much.


The way this book unfolds is so subtly scifi and I love it. There’s no robots, no space travel (except implied), no aliens trying to take over (intentionally). Just aliens that aren’t intednding to impact humanity at all.

Theodore Sturgeon builds a word that has one foot in the mundane and one in the unusual. The introduction of carnies will tend to do that. For some reason I can’t explain, Sturgeon’s world works incredibly effectively ev
...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
Ана Хелс
Mar 16, 2013 Ана Хелс rated it it was amazing
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
Gina
Jun 11, 2015 Gina rated it it was amazing
Theodore Sturgeon was an amazing writer who never failed to satisfy. I really enjoyed The Dreaming Jewels and have kept my old paperback. The premise of the book could have easily been hokey, but it isn't because the characters are real. I don't want to say much about this because I think half of the fun is discovering what happens as you read, but this book grabs you from its opening line and does not disappoint.
Kalin
Sep 02, 2014 Kalin added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Теодор Стърджън е от ония пишещи, посветили писането и (без преувеличение) живота си на човешкото: онова, което ни прави човеци. Без значение къде; кога; какви сме се родили.

На Запад събратята му по перо го наричат „въплътената любов“. Рей Бредбъри, Роджър Зелазни, Харлан Елисън, Джийн Улф, Самюъл Дилейни – те не само черпят вдъхновение от свежестта и силата на прозата му; вдъхновяват ги, като хора, примерите за човечност и проявленията на човечността, които изригват и от най-мрачните истории на
...more
Misha
I loved More Than Human. And while this shares themes with that one, it is a distinctive book.

For one, this first line and paragraph: "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."

I have fallen for Sturgeon's writing style, his oddball characters and unpredictable storytelling. He writes, as his character remarks on the b
...more
Beth
Nov 10, 2009 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Christopher
Aug 06, 2016 Christopher rated it really liked it
The Dreaming Jewels (1950) is an emotionally charged novella that feels more contemporary than a reader would assume by its date of publication. Its plot is one we have heard before: a young orphan, Horton, runs away from his abusive step parents to join a traveling circus. A set of jewels with transformative powers are embedded in the eye sockets of his favourite toy, which is taken along with him.

What makes the novel feel so modern are its pool of characters, who are mostly drawn from the cir
...more
Metaphorosis
Jul 22, 2014 Metaphorosis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2014-rev

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
Althea Ann
Sep 26, 2013 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange little foundling Horty is abused by his adoptive parents, and runs away. He's 'adopted' by a group of midgets and joins a travelling carnival... but the carny hides some deeper secrets and more subtle cruelties than even his previous life.. what is the explanation for Horty's mysterious abilities? And why is he so strangely attached to his childhood toy, a jack-in-the-box with weirdly glittering jewellike eyes?
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?
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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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