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The Dream Merchant

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  987 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Winner of the Netherlands' most prestigious children's book award, this epic adventure quest draws readers deep into a collective dream world — and sweeps them along on a riveting journey through a reimagined past.
"They're going to send you on a sales trip and it'll be the death of you — I know what's going on at Gippart. You're their guinea pig."
Josh Cope is a bit of a dr
Hardcover, 632 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Candlewick Press (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,930)
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I don’t think I have any book in my collection I have read as many times as The Dream Merchant, even if most of these readings were attempts. My sister bought it for me years back, because of the “better than Harry Potter!” sticker it had on the cover, and she knew I was devouring the books back then. I’m not going to make any claims about whether or not the sticker was telling the truth, but I do feel like it should have read “More confusing than Harry Potter!” because oh dear, this is one conf ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Alessandra rated it it was amazing
To be entirely honest, I picked this book up solely because I was going on holiday and it was long and I'm a fast reader. I quickly sank into the book, wrapped up in the world that Hoving has created, and enjoyed it immensely.
Oh yes, it's very confusing, complicated and intensive, and reading it quickly is probably a very bad idea. It's not a quick frolic in a fantasy land, nor does it pretend to be. But if you're willing to apply a little time and dedication, it is thoroughly engaging. The bas
Jan 06, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
It's been a few years since I last read this book. BUT when I did I LOVED it. It left a major impression on the younger, less experienced reader me. It was constantly easy on the ears. That's what I remember loving about it. The writing was clear and the wording never awkward, the scene setting vibrant, and the characters extremely believable. Which is pretty (very, in my experience) rare for a YA book. You could feel that each character was their own individual person and there were stark contr ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Savvy YA readers as well as adults
Recommended to Terry by: I read a review
This is not your every day YA novel. The concepts are more complex, for example, than the straight forward Good vs Evil of the Harry Potter novels. The story is about a multinational corporation that is hiring children to help them expand their markets. The children are lured into these sales associate jobs with promises of extraordinary adventure as well as actual income that they can spend in special company showrooms full of remarkable toys, games, and futuristic inventions. Josh, Baz, and Te ...more
Jo Bennie
Dec 01, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: h
Joshua Cope is a very ordinary 11 year old boy, not particulary talented, unlike his best friend Baz who is an amazing drummer. He has a dysfunctional but not particularly so family, he lives with his mother Mo and her partner and visits his father at the weekends. His older sister is mildly annoying, as is her boyfriend who is always asking to see Joshua's collection. Which is where what Joshua considers his own talent comes in, he's a good thief. Late at night the phone rings, but none of the ...more
Apr 08, 2011 Alice rated it it was amazing
I remember reading it solely for the thickness of the spine and the lack of anything else to read. Then, it turned out to be one of the most confusing epics that I've ever come across. I always knew I liked dreams and the concept of them being just as real as the real world. For those of you who basically rated on its muddled inconsistency, I can tell you right now that the author intended it to be this way. Dreams aren't crystal-clear projections of your desires--they're the manifestations of a ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Lauren rated it did not like it
This book is a complete and utter disappointment. Six-hundred some pages of pointless "adventure", characters that do not evoke any emotion from the reader, and a long, drawn-out history that is impossible to remember. Ultimately, the book has no point whatsoever. The characters are frustrating and aggravating. I dreaded reading it. Not recommended.
Jul 14, 2012 Piper rated it really liked it
The Dream Merchant is an exciting story following the journey of Joshua Cope and his friends as the embark on an dangerous adventure in dream time.
The book is set in modern times at the beginning but soon goes into the mysterious world of dream time or umaya. Umaya is the place outside real time that is independent from real time and is made out of peoples dreams. This mysterious world is ventured into by Gippart, a large company that goes back in time and sells goods in umaya.
Joshua Cope is j
Mar 30, 2009 Jessi rated it liked it
The Dream Merchant by Isabel Hoving is about a twelve year old boy named Joshua Cope who is recruited by Gippart International as a salesman (or rather salesboy). Gippart specializes in selling merchandise to people in the dream world, also referred to as umaya. They don't usually enlist twelve year olds but they feel that Josh has a special gift and they need him for an urgent umaya mission; to find the legendary people known as the Tembe.

This book has two modes: I can't-wait-to-read-what-happe
Mar 17, 2013 Luna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Libro geniale. Ma veramente geniale. Diverso dal solito, come trama e come idee. Possono 3 ragazzini entrare in quello che un mondo forgiato da un sogno collettivo? Tutti i sogni degli umani, nei secoli, creano un mondo parallelo, composto da tutti i sogni di tutti, al punto da farne una realt alternativa ma perfettamente credibile. E in cui il tempo passato parallelo al tempo presente, basta addormentarsi e si cambia anno, indietro ogni notte di 35 anni. Assolutamente affascinante. Per...... ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Aime rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Josh Cope, is a dreamer. He can fall asleep when he wants an where he wants.
One night he is getting a call from Gippart, they ask him if he wants to work for them.
Josh is sent into a dreamworld to sell products. But dreams also come with nightmares.
They call it a Umaya.

For some reason Josh and his friends can not come out of the Umaya anymore.

The Dream Merchant, is a book I loved when I was a little child.
Every year when we would go on vacation my mom bought us some books. One of those books wa
Apr 01, 2016 Staara rated it it was amazing
First of all it's great to read a fantasy book, in which the Asian and Black characters are not used as the token Asian and Black characters in fantasy books.
Both Baz and Teresa have important roles in the book and their characters are far more developed than most Asian and Black characters in fantasy books-for this alone I give the book 5 stars-as well developed non-white characters in fantasy books are vastly unrepresented.
Why take the Harry Potter books-which I love, characters such as the P
Dec 15, 2014 Aislinn rated it it was amazing
This book…where do I begin. This is a book you certainly will never forget, for good and bad reasons. Now I gave this book 5 stars, because I think overall it deserves as such. However, there are some aspects of the book where I debated about giving it 4 stars.

Anyway, this is a very great and quite unique story. It started off slow; due to all the world building and explanations. I almost gave up on it. But I kept reading and I’m glad I did. This story was a little off balance. You were super b
Simon Barton
Jan 22, 2012 Simon Barton rated it really liked it
Excellent fantasy tale about buying and selling from dream worlds. Targeted at Children but still a very enjoyable read for an adult in my opinion. Based around an international company that uses children to enter the dream world and work for them and a new kid is found that they think can open a new market for them in the past. Great imagination and a story line that keeps you intrigued all of the way through.

52 book challenge - Author was born in Holland
Oct 06, 2015 ESV rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Ik vind het boek de gevleugelde kat leuk omdat het een fantasie boek is met monsters, spoken en tijdreizen. Dit kan niet in het echt. Het boek is heel uitgebreid. Als er een nieuw personage komt word er eerst iets over dat personage verteld en dan gaat het boek verder. Je leest ook precies wat de hoofdpersonen doen, hoe ze het doen, wat ze eten enzovoort. Wat ik ook leuk vind van het boek is dat je leest wat Jasje denkt en voelt. Je kunt je dus goed inleven in Jasje. Citaat: “Bors plotselinge v
Khairah Boukhatem
Apr 17, 2014 Khairah Boukhatem rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, re-read
This was the first book I loved. I't still is. Josh is just an ordinary boy, a talented thief and a great sleeper. One day his phones rings ,luring him into a world mystery, lost twins, umaya and the end of time itself. A epic adventure which leads to being, in my opinion, one of the best and most complex books I have ever read.
Danielle Wood
Aug 21, 2012 Danielle Wood rated it really liked it
For a 'children's book' this is very good. Hoving has created an original and brilliant concept with well developed characters, an intricate but gripping story line, and a writing style which is perfect for developing a more mature and sophisticated reading experience for young people.
I would highly recommend it.
Jan 05, 2015 B. is currently reading it
Don't remember most of it, but I do remember it would bear rereading.
May 18, 2012 Rikke rated it it was amazing
Literally one of my favourite books.
Jun 16, 2012 Denis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enchanting fantasy story.
Rikke Heimirson
Jul 28, 2012 Rikke Heimirson rated it it was amazing
Freaking fantastic.
Adam Veeser-Johnston
"The Dream Merchant" is a fantasy book by Isabel Hoving. this book is based around a group of teenagers who are sent to find how to travel through time.

The plot is about Joshua who is called upon by a company that he knows nothing about, Gippart International, and is brought in for an interview. Gippart is hiding something from Joshua that has Joshua in a bit of trouble with a person named Gip, and another named Kat and their father, Sipparti.

The main characters are Joshua who is a 13 year old b
Jan 12, 2011 Sheralyn rated it liked it
The goal of the author seemed to be to keep your attention through sheer confusion. You keep reading just to figure out what on earth is going on and why. There are many stories going on at once and only the most important sees any conclusion. Mild language and one very remote sexual reference was distracting and not needed. I was not impressed with the general expectance of greed and theft, but also gratified that the horrors were not justified. There is always a villain to tag the heels of the ...more
Nov 09, 2015 Sandra4444 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
*Real rating: 1.5 stars*

After having tried to finish this for months, repeatedly borrowing it from the library, I have to give up after reading 5 chapters.

It's a shame, because the idea was not bad, but I just couldn't relate to Josh or any of the characters, really. I thought it would be better than it was, simple as that.

What can I say about the writing? Not bad, but not nearly captivating enough to make me want to continue reading.English is not my native language,but I don't know if I would
That was a marathon. An epic journey into a world created by dreams to search for a people lost for a thousand years. In terms of creativity, it's a huge world, with a variety of individual characters including a witch whose magic works through soap suds. The interplay of dream and reality and the ability to change a dream to change reality is an interesting idea, especially when skills learnt in dreamtime are put into play in the real world. The other thing which is nice is the focus on friends ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Manrix rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ondanks dat ik niet meer echt in de doelgroep van het boek pas, was het ontzettend meeslepend, vol levendig taalgebruik en werd het verrassend duister. De setting is fantasierijk, maar zo geaard in de dagelijkse realiteit dat je constant van alles en nog wat herkent, ook al zitten ze letterlijk in een droomwereld.
Geweldig boek.
Feb 19, 2015 Werehare rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

Una singolare combinazione di ottime idee e pessima realizzazione. La trovata alla base di tutto - un'azienda che sfrutta i viaggi nel tempo per vendere oggetti attraverso le epoche - è davvero interessante, un modo intelligente per dare freschezza a un tema (viaggi nel tempo) altrimenti già visto e rivisto nella letteratura moderna; eppure l'autrice riesce a impantanarla a colpi di personaggi mosci, ambientazione messa insieme più per stupire i gonzi undicenni che per effettiva coerenza i
Sep 06, 2014 Sam rated it it was amazing
This book I first read back when I was 5 or 6 years old and it was the first book of significant length that I properly read. Since I have re-read this so many times, it is personally very close to my heart, and I definitely recommend it.
Oct 28, 2010 Paulo rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it had a story i could really get myself into and it was fun wanting to know what was going to happen after each page.I rate this book a 4/5 because it was a good but but not one of the best i have read like at times i could think about what was going to happen next and something like it would happen but its a four because most of the time it would not happen. the way the conflict is resolved is that at the end they found out who they where working for and that the fami ...more
May 06, 2015 Peggy rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up years ago in a second hand book shop and since then have read it countless times. I love the story as it is not to complicated and yet it keeps you drawn in. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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Isabel Hoving was born in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She began her career as a secondary school teacher, during which time she became very active in the Dutch women's movement.

She eventually gave up her job to study literary theory full-time, and spent some months in Senegal, West Africa for a research project.

Hoving's first book, The Dream Merchant, was published in the Netherlands as The Wing
More about Isabel Hoving...

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“What's supposed to happen, at the end of a quest? Cheers and accolades, Josh knew; people throw their hats in the air, and you glow with pride as they lift you to their shoulders. What else? Medals, speeches and a great feast, and then a ballad about your exploits, and finally, as the fireworks go off overhead, a soft, clean, fresh bed.” 3 likes
“That's the positive aspect of trade I suppose. The world gets stirred up together. That's about as much as I have to say for it.” 2 likes
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