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Bones of the Moon (Answered Prayers #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,721 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Cullen James is a young woman whose life dictates her dreams-and whose dreams control her life.

In her first dream, she found the perfect man-and the same thing promptly happened in life. Now, she has begun to dream dreams set in Rondua, a fantasy world of high adventure, full of tests of her courage and strength. Slowly and quietly, her dream world is spilling over into he
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 3rd 2002 by Orb Books (first published 1987)
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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Subtle Knife by Philip PullmanNeverwhere by Neil GaimanAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Fantasy Books Set in Two Worlds
81st out of 515 books — 563 voters
Rock Star by Su WilliamsPeter, Enchantment and Stardust by William  O'BrienDream of Me by Jennifer FroelichPeter by William  O'BrienThe Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
best books concerning dreams
14th out of 167 books — 160 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,801)
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Nancy
Cullen James is married to a wonderful man named Danny, has a baby daughter, and a good friend in her neighbor, Eliot. Cullen begins to have vivid dreams in a land called Rondua. As the dreams progress, they start to intersect with people and events in Cullen's life.

This is a wonderful, touching and very unusual fantasy. I got all misty-eyed by the end. Everyone should have a friend like Eliot.
Algernon
I finally picked my first Jonathan Carroll book, after hearing his name for years in different fantasy forums. Maybe the expectations were too high, or maybe Bones of the Moon is not the best entry point, but I feel a bit ambivalent right now. While I love the presentation and the vivid imagination that produced the Rondua dreamland, the actual plot and the ending were a letdown.
The first third of the book has very little to do with the fantastic, being a delicately weaved and often funny love s
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Scott Foley
I've read Carroll's Land of Laughs and found his characterization very impressive in that particular book, although I felt his plot bottomed out toward the ending as it abandoned those previously established traits.

With Bones of the Moon, however, I never really connected with his protagonist, Cullen James, or her friends and family. While they had interesting backgrounds, they simply didn't feel real to me. Because of this, and what I consider awkward dialogue, I couldn't fully immerse myself i
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S.A. Hunter
Bones of the Moon is a melding of fantasy and literary fiction. I wasn't sure how to read it sometimes. In a straight fantasy novel, being whisked away to another world while asleep would be pretty standard magical stuff, but with the literary fiction influences, one must consider the symbolism. The characters even talk about the possible symbolism of Cullen's dreams, and this made me uncomfortable with the fantasy part of the story, strangely enough. I wanted to just go along with Cullen and Pe ...more
Nicole
I love Jonathan Carroll books; he's what I wish I could write if I were an author. It's the details that he chooses, the way he so fully develops a character, full of flaws and fears and wonder, and the unexpected ways the story moves. Reality and fantasy are fluid, the overall truth of the emotion is where the importance lies and our imagination is expanded to get there.

All vagueness I know, but I just don't want to get into plot review. Some random asides: the characters names are so marvelous
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Simon
I can't quite figure out why I didn't enjoy this one as much as other stuff I've read by Carroll. It has the same warm, sympathetic characters, the same level of invention and imagination, but the story never really pulled me in. It felt a little aimless and meandering, and the protagonist never really seemed to do anything other than survive traumatic events because..what? She's a nice person and we want her to? It wasn't really clear to me how the "real" world and her dream world were able to ...more
Bill  Kerwin

Happily married new mother Cullen James begins to have vivid serial dreams about a land called Rondua which she explores with a hat-wearing dog called Mr. Tracey and a young boy named Pepsi. Soon, dreams and reality begin to intersect and overlap in disturbing ways. An interesting, unusual fantasy.
Myles
Jonathan Carroll comes highly reccomended. This is only the second one of his books that I've come across since discovering his existance through Goodreads. Sleeping in Flame (varied mileage) was an inventive and disturbing novel about the dark truths behind fairy tales and legends - similar to Bones of the Moon except Carroll deals with mythology of the individual and the landscape of dreams.

Cullen James doesn't seem so different from other young women around her in New York City, but in her dr
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Laura
The Bones of the Moon is an interesting little book about Cullen James. Cullen is happy with her life. She has a wonderful husband, a healthy baby daughter, and loving friends. Everything seems very wholesome and normal until Cullen begins to have very clear and sequenced dreams of a journey through a magical land with a boy named Pepsi. Her dreams in this land become a second life, of sorts, as she finds herself on a hero’s quest. Strangely, the dreamworld and the waking world begin to collide ...more
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
There are stories that have me on tenterhooks wondering what happens next, and then there are stories that feel as if they always existed, as if I knew them long before this particular author wrote them down, but I still have to read on, there's still a lot of suspense because there's still an element of chance and I don't know how the given author is going to cut the deck. And in this case because, like any Carroll novel, it's written so well and peopled with quirky, wonderful characters, good, ...more
Jeff Koloze
Those studying Post-Abortion Syndrome will find this fantasy novel delightful reading. (The narrator’s gay friend suggests that this is the purpose of the novel when he claims that the existence of the bizarre dreams of the aborted mother, the main character, is a way to resolve her PAS guilt; cf. page 116.) Moreover, while the religious elements are subsumed (for obvious reasons; the characters are typical moderns who must think religion has an inferior place in their lives), a contemporary rea ...more
Bill
Jan 04, 2010 Bill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody who likes good writing and a good story
Recommended to Bill by: karen
I was in quite a quandry about what category to include this book in. It's published by Tom Doherty who publish sf, and there is a lot of fantasy involved but it is also very definitely literary fiction as well, very well written at that. So in the end I put it in both categories. Anyway it's an absolutely brilliant book. My many thanks to Karen yet again, for introducing me to such a treasure. I will definitely be reading all the rest of his books.
Fox
There is something incredible about Jonathan Carroll. No matter how strange the plots of his books are, no matter how absurd the happenings within them are, he makes them seem real. "Bones of the Moon" is an incredible book that ingeniously weaves together the dreams and realities and how they all intertwine. Everything fits, and yet not so well that both stories don't still contain their own hearts and abilities. Everything works in the end.
Julia
Dec 19, 2008 Julia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of fantasy, creative art
Shelves: magical-realism
One of Carroll's most fantastical; here's what his website says:

"Cullen James' first dream was to find the perfect man--and it happened. Then she dreamed of being able to live with her man in Europe, while they were both still young and full of wonder: and that happened too. First in Greece, and then in Italy, she had hold of the kind of life of which we all dream. Better yet, she became pregnant and looked forward to the day when the child would come and she could love it: make it part of her i
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T4ncr3d1
"E' difficile convincersi che casa nostra è il luogo in cui abitiamo e non quello in cui abbiamo lasciato il cuore."

Primo episodio del "sestetto delle preghiere esaudite", nel quale viene presentato il personaggio di Weber Gregston (presente negli altri libri della serie).
Come libro di apertura si presenta ancora come poco maturo, con uno stile semplice, una narrazione fin troppo liscia, oserei dire pure ingenua. E' per questo motivo che non gli do il voto massimo; più che altro, sarebbe ingius

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Desiree
Jan 23, 2013 Desiree rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one.
I was very disappointed with this book because I had enjoyed The Land of Laughs so much and, as a result, respected Jonathan Carroll as an author. However, after reading this book, I can't say that any longer because, to me, this reads like pro-life, anti-feminist propaganda masquerading as a fantasy book, which to be honest happens more often than most people probably care to think. My opinion is based on the fact that the story only truly begins after Cullen, the protagonist, has an abortion a ...more
Tripp
Jonathan Carroll, one of the greatest American fantasists had a bit of a dud in Bones of the Moon. For most authors, it would be reasonably accomplished, but for him, it wasn't quite up to snuff. The book uses the overlapping of a classic good vs. evil fantasy quest with the real world to illustrate how people can cope with loss. The fantasy world was too unrealized and bizarre to have any appeal and the characters were on the thin side.

William Browning Spencer's Zod Wallop is the book that Bone
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Charles Dee Mitchell
Cullen and Danny James live in New York City with their infant daughter. Their happy marriage has been preceded by misfortune, sadness, and tragedy. They meet in college. Danny is dating and then marries Cullen’s roommate. The roommate dies in a car accident. Danny, a college basketball star, moves to Europe and plays professionally for Milan. Cullen works in New York publishing, become pregnant by a German photographer, and has an abortion. She writes Danny, who rushes back to New York to be su ...more
melydia
Cullen James (who is a woman, believe it or not) is happily married to Danny, is being romantically pursued by a famous movie director named Weber Gregston, has a fabulously (and stereotypically) gay best friend named Eliot, corresponds with her teenage axe-murdering former neighbor, and has serial dreams about a land called Rondua, in which her son (named Pepsi) is attempting to collect the five Bones of the Moon with the aid of giant animals Martio the camel, Felina the wolf, and Mr Tracy the ...more
Caitlin
Quite a wonderful book with moments of beautiful writing. I read this because Neil Gaiman borrowed heavily from it in A Game of You - probably my favorite story arc from Sandman. Neil definitely owes a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Carroll for giving him the outlines of this story.

It is audacious for a man to write about abortion and its impact on a woman's life and later motherhood. It is too easy for such a man to come off as judgmental, but Carroll shows that imagination can take you many pla
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Violet
Dreams are a funny thing. They differ from person to person as each unique psyche builds strange and amazing worlds, using reality as the foundation. But often the line between reality and dream is blurred, especially when you’re surrounded by a world that you have become attached to.

We’ve all woken up, confused and disoriented, believing that that what just occurred in our heads was real. I often feel the same way when pulling my eyes out of a book. That’s why it was sort of strange reading a n
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David
2.5 Stars (wish we could do half stars)

I wanted to like this book more than I did, and the initial reviews and comments made me quite excited. I think I was not quite sure what I was getting into and at times I feel like the book does quite know what it is either.

Cullen James is a beautiful, smart woman who had an abortion when she was younger, has moved on to marry a great guy and eventually land in New York after a brief time in Europe. Her marriage is strong and realistic. Cullen and her husb
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Christopher
Dec 15, 2013 Christopher rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: perhaps no one.
There are many facets of the masculine personality present in Jonathan Carroll’s Bones of the Moon. From the paternal Ward-Cleaver-esque Mr. Tracy, to the brutal and power-hungry Jack Chili; from the perfect husband, to the chauvinist-turned-sycophantic would-be lover, most every male pattern known to exist is incorporated by Jonathan Carroll. Pepsi, arguably the hero of the tale, is a man-child who very quickly learns all he needs to know from his mother in order to succeed in his quest. Culle ...more
Marta
„Kości Księżyca” to trzecia powieść autorstwa Jonathana Carrolla, a zarazem moje siódme spotkanie z twórczością tego pisarza. Spotkanie niezwykle udane, dodajmy. „Kości Księżyca” prezentują wizję krainy tak niezwykłej i nadrealistycznej, iż porównywać można ją jedynie z absurdalną Krainą Dziwów, wykreowaną przez Charlesa Lutwidge’a Dodgsona, bardziej znanego jako Lewis Carroll. Ta zbieżność nazwisk zdecydowanie nie może być dziełem przypadku! Raczej cudownym ukłonem tego świata w kierunku miłośn ...more
Ryandake
the logline: married new mom finds that her dreams are leaking over into reality... uh oh.

this book is, for me (very subjective opinion coming!), a bit like the puppy you thoroughly adore but which willnot stop peeing on the rug. the parts in the real world are charming and sweet, for the most part; the parts in the dream world (Rondua) are--well, like dreams. vivid, disconnected, not amenable to interpretation.

i am not a fan of extensive dream-stuff in a novel; unless a dream serves to push th
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Maura
if i haven't already recommended Jonathan Carroll's books to you, i've been a bad friend. please forgive me. his books are fantasy, but so rooted in reality that most bookstore file them under fiction rather than SF/Fantasy. if you read the whole series, you'll find main characters from one book popping up in others as throwaway references, which i find very fun.

i just tried to write up a quick summary of this one, and it all just sounds so bland when i say it. gah, i'd make an awful critic. so
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Amanda
Normally I don't read fantasy-type books but since this was lent to me by a trusted soul, I gave it a try. Bones of the Moon exceeded my expectations and turned out to be a really quick read. Or maybe I just read it quick. This appealed to me mostly because the major portion of the book is set in reality. One of the things that always irked me about fantasy books is the seemingly haphazard way things are named and the way things work. I realize that is the imagination of the author but mostly it ...more
Adam
Apr 21, 2009 Adam rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Probably my least favourite Jonathan Carroll novel to date. I will admit that I almost always take issue with his deus ex machina ending. However, that was the least of my complaints for Bones of the Moon. The fantasy element was thinned out to be almost non-existent until the last few pages. Oddly enough, this ending was probably his most earned since no one steps in from out of nowhere to save the day that hasn't been built up. It is his least fulfilling ending, though. It feels rushed and not ...more
Monk
This book is just flat out weird. It's the only Carrol book I've read which makes me an oddity among Carrol fans. I just haven't found any other titles he's written that have piqued my interest, but this touched on my 'fascinating environment' interests.

The protagonist is a woman who has a lot of issues and rightfully so. She's widowed and has had to make some very tough choices in her life. How she copes though comes from what at first seems like a retreat within the self and into the landscape
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Jonathan Carroll (b. 1949) is an award-winning American author of modern fantasy and slipstream novels. His debut book, The Land of Laughs (1980), tells the story of a children’s author whose imagination has left the printed page and begun to influence reality. The book introduced several hallmarks of Carroll’s writing, including talking animals and worlds that straddle the thin line between reali ...more
More about Jonathan Carroll...
The Land of Laughs The Wooden Sea  (Crane's View, #3) White Apples (Vincent Ettrich, #1) Sleeping in Flame (Answered Prayers, #2) The Ghost in Love

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“I forgive nothing. If you stole my orange crayon in the fifth grade, you're still on my hit list, buddy.” 85 likes
“Death doesn't make you sad- it makes you empty. That's what's so bad about it. All of your charms and beliefs and funny habits fall fast through a big black hole, and suddenly you know they're gone because just as suddenly, there's nothing left at all inside.” 31 likes
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