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The Palace of Dreams

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  1,809 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
A sinister totalitarian ministry called the Palace of Dreams recruits Mark-Alem to sort, classify, and interpret the dreams of the people in the empire, seeking the master-dreams that give clues to the empire's destiny.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 5th 1998 by Arcade Publishing (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Jul 22, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: albanian
”Mark-Alem pressed on, his mouth dry despite his attempts to reassure himself. After all, what did it really matter if he did get lost? He wasn’t on some vast plain or in a forest. He was merely inside the Palace. But still the thought of getting lost terrified him. How would he get through the night amid all these walls, these rooms, these cellars full of dreams and wild imaginings? He’d rather be on a frozen plain or in a forest infested with wolves. Yes, a thousand times rather!

He hurried on
Sep 19, 2012 Ema rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ema by: Maia Oprea
I wonder why so few people have read this novel, because it's quite amazing. I can't say that it's completely original, because it reminded me of Kafka (The Castle) and Saramago (All the Names), but imagining an institution where people's dreams are analyzed... That is a brilliant idea, masterfully developed by Ismail Kadaré.

Mark-Alem comes from a powerful Albanian family, the Quiprili (Köprülü), and his relatives decide that he should apply for a job at one of the most influential institutions
Nickolas the Kid
Τι είναι λοιπόν το Παλάτι των Ονείρων;
Ο Ισμαήλ Κανταρέ γράφει ένα βιβλίο έχοντας σαν βασικές του επιρροές το 1984 του Όργουελ, την Δίκη και γενικά το έργο του Κάφκα και την Θεία Κωμωδία του Δάντη. Ο συγγραφέας σκιαγραφεί την αλλοτρίωση του ανθρώπου και της εξουσίας , γράφοντας μια αλληγορία πρώτα για το απολυταρχικό καθεστώς του Ένβερ Χότζα που σαν δικτάτορας κομμουνιστικού καθεστώτος καταδίκασε την γειτονική Αλβανία σε σχεδόν 50 χρόνια σκότους αλλά και κατ’ επέκταση για όλες τις μορφές εξουσία
john Adams
Jul 02, 2010 john Adams rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The Palace of Dream, by Ismail Kadare

If Kafka's The Castle and Orwell's 1984 got freaky with it and had a baby the result would be Kadare's The Palace of Dreams. Karade is an Albanian and I would argue that the Palace of Dreams belongs to the long and productive tradition of subversive communist literature that cleverly disguises its critique in a novel about the fantastic. Karade's subversion isn't so disguised; it kind of hits in the face, but he's Albanian and not a Russian and he lives in Fr
João Carlos
Oct 09, 2016 João Carlos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bab, l2016

Fotografia de Gali Tibbon

Foi a minha estreia com o escritor albanês Ismail Kadaré (n. 1936)

Entendo porque é que Ismail Kadaré é um eterno candidato ao Prémio Nobel da Literatura - em 2016 surge como um dos favoritos - 16/1

Review em preparação...

Biblioteca Municipal António Botto - Abrantes - imagem do exterior

Biblioteca Municipal António Botto - Abrantes - imagem do pátio interior

A propósito de ”O Palácio dos Sonhos” de Ismail Kadaré

Desde 1887 existe uma biblioteca em Abrantes. Em 1993 após pro
Christiana Hadji
Sep 01, 2010 Christiana Hadji rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-nov, non-greek
Ένα αλληγορικό μυθιστόρημα που παραπέμπει στον απόλυτο έλεγχο και την τρομοκρατια που εξασκούν τα δικτατορικά καθεστώτα στους λαούς. Το κράτος ενσαρκώνεται στο "Ταμπίρ Σεράι", το Παλάτι των Ονείρων, μια τεράστια γραφειοκρατική μηχανή που εξασκει την απόλυτη παρακολουθηση των πολιτών - καταγράφει και αναλύει τα όνειρα τους με σκοπό να εντοπίσει πιθανές απειλές για την ασφάλεια της Αυτοκρατορίας.
Ο Κανταρέ περιγράφει πολύ παραστατικά την εφιαλτική, σουρεαλιστική ατμόσφαιρα που επικρατεί στο Παλάτι
Jun 08, 2017 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kadare's metaphor for a monolithic police state and its workings. Set in the late 19th century Ottoman Empire--I figured this out from several subtle hints in the novel--along with elements from the late 20th century, this novel tells of a young man, Mark Alem, who is employed by the Palace of Dreams, the author's surreal intelligence agency, where dreams from all over the empire are collected, sorted, interpreted, with an eye to discovering which might be a "Master-Dream" pointing to a possible ...more
The unique idea at the heart of this story is instantly intriguing. Mark-Alem, scion of the powerful Quprili family, is given a job at a prestigious institution: the Tabir Sarrail, or Palace of Dreams. Transcriptions of citizens' dreams are collected here in their thousands, then pored over, analysed and interpreted for indications that they contain some divine prediction, a message of glory (or doom) for the Empire. The eventual aim of this mammoth task is to identify the 'Master-Dream', the mo ...more
Ruqaiya Said
Sep 01, 2012 Ruqaiya Said rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Noor al zubaidy
Recommended to Ruqaiya by: Nema al Araby
I put this book down in complete awe. I remember feeling the same when I put down Chronicle in Stone. Kadare is an amazing writer. The Palace of Dreams like most of Kadare's work is political. It talks about the "Tabir Sarail", a secret government agency under the watchful eyes of a totalitarian government that specializes in analyzing dreams of the citizens. The main character, Mark- Alem belongs to the influential Quprili family who have had their share of political trials and tribulations ove ...more
Mar 31, 2013 Louise rated it it was amazing
In this spare novel Ismail Kadare creates a metaphor for the police state. A young distaff scion of a family powerful enough to rival the leaders of Ottoman Empire is given a job in the Palace of Dreams. Here, a huge machinery gathers the dreams from around the Empire. It copies, sorts, interprets, sifts and archives them.

Just as a thought police thrives on rumor and innuendo, so does the Palace. The power struggles of the mighty, are not discussed or understood even among the intimates of the p
Jul 12, 2009 Alta added it
The Palace of Dreams, written in Tirana between 1976 and 1981, takes us into an entirely different universe set at the fictitious crossroads of a 20th century dictatorship and the 14th century Ottoman Empire. Characters from those ancient times mix with contemporary characters—state employees and office clerks reminiscent of Kafka’s world—in a bureaucratic labyrinth identical to any other bureaucracy, save for its purpose: to collect, sort, interpret and finally choose the “Master-dream” of all ...more
Dec 26, 2009 Sonsoles rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, politics
it has disappointed me... most of all the end, there is so much open things at the end, wich lets you the feeling of emptiness.
At the begining, the complicated description of the Tabir Saray and how it works was so delightful, the idea of compilate all the dreams and trying to find the meaning is great, the complicated society, government and the way of working reminded me to George Orwell 1984. The powerful family wich the main character has is also very interesting.
The atmosphere of the book i
Philippe Malzieu
Feb 26, 2014 Philippe Malzieu rated it it was amazing
Why some writers express the plenitude of their talent while resisting a totalitarian mode? Why we have the impression they lose their talent when they live in democracy? It is a little provocative but is totalitarianism a nécessary source of inspiration for writers who however suffer from it. That applies to Soljenitsine, Kundéra and as well Kadaré. I met him a few years ago in a Bookstore. I bought his new book (that I did not like) and I had told him that in any event, his best book was "The ...more
Nema Al-Araby
Feb 10, 2010 Nema Al-Araby rated it it was amazing
I love love love this novel, it's definitely one of my fave ever! I admire novels that talk about dreams and their interpretation. And because I believe in conspiracy, this even made the novel greater. I loved several quotes, the language was very poetic and wise. I truly admire Kadare for this masterpiece!
Oct 04, 2010 Caitlin rated it it was amazing
This dystopic novel in some ways works much better than George Orwell's 1984, which had Gregory Zamyatin's "We" as its predecessor. It is a more original work than 1984 and is delightfully written. A powerful and important critique of totalitarian regimes. Kadare, an Albanian, wrote the Palace of Dreams as a critique of Tito's Yugoslavia, but it can be applied to all hegemonic states.
فهد الفهد
قصر الأحلام

آخر كتاب لكاداريه، أقرؤه بحزن، يمكنني أن أعود لقراءة هذا الساحر الألباني دوماً، ولكن لذة الاكتشاف ولت، ما لم يحصل العجوز على جائزة نوبل وهو مرشح دائم لها، عندها ربما تلتفت له دور النشر العربية، وتنشر كل أعماله، وخاصة (جنرال الجيش الميت) التي يقصد فيها جنرال إيطالي ألبانيا ليستعيد عظام الجنود الإيطاليين الذي قتلوا هناك في الحرب العالمية الثانية، أو (أبريل المكسور) التي تعالج موضوعاً ألبانياً صميماً يدور حول الثأر، وغيرها من الروايات التي يزيد عددها على 15 عملاً، أقدر أنها عظيمة كعظمة
Neat book, my second Kadare.
Mihai Savu
Dec 22, 2013 Mihai Savu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Ismail Kadare este unul din cei mai mari scriitori europeni, cunoscut pentru romanele sale alegorico-politice. Trăind şi studiind în timpul regimurilor comuniste din Albania, respectiv Rusia, Kadare atacă totalitarismul prin alegorii, cum este cea din romanul “Palatul Viselor”.

Apărut în 1980, romanul este interzis imediat in Albania de catre regimul lui Enver Hodja. În 1990, Ismail Kadare avea să ceară azil politic în Franţa, spunând că "[...] dictatura şi
Dec 03, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een bijzondere roman die me deed denken aan De Stad der blinden en aan de boeken van Kafka. De beklemming, de bevreemdende situaties, de ambtelijke molen in het grote rijk waar Albanië deel van uitmaakt.
Het keizerrijk waarin de roman zich afspeelt is een afschrikwekkende totalitaire staat met bijzonder griezelige trekjes. Om zichzelf te beschermen heeft de staat bijvoorbeeld een decreet uitgevaardigd waarin burgers die een noodlottige blik bleken te hebben, de ogen wordt uitgestoken. Als beloni
May 27, 2009 Brad rated it really liked it
Sadly, I wasn't able to finish The Palace of Dreams. I lost it with only thirty-eight pages left, which was an oddly fitting end to what turned out to be an odd experience with an odd book.

The book is about a mysterious ministry in the Ottoman Empire that collects, reads, sorts and interprets the dreams of its citizens as a prophetic means of unlocking crimes and conspiracies against the state. Into this organization goes Mark-Alem, a maternal son of the powerful Quprili family.

I reached a plac
Lilla Smee
Oct 30, 2011 Lilla Smee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could compare Kadare to both Kafka and Orwell (and I would not be the first to do so), as this novel has both the surreal, nightmarish quality of The Trial and the social and political weight of Orwell's 1984. The novel allegorises a totalitarian police state though a bizarre, nightmarish beaurocracy in the form of the 'Tabir Sarrail' - the Palace of Dreams. The story is set in the 'United Ottoman States,' yet its culture and politics more closely resemble that of socialst eastern europe; ther ...more
Sep 03, 2013 kaire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
أفخم روايات اسماعيل كادريه
أجواء غريبه عن ملاحقه الأحلام وتورط أصحابها بها
العقاب على النوايا والأحلام
نفس البهارات وخلطات روايه 1984
Fatma Almarzooqi
أكره الحديث عن البيروقراطية ..
Alin G.
Mar 14, 2011 Alin G. rated it really liked it
Shelves: albania
[Review in romanian]
Ismail Kadare este un autor despre care am auzit destule lucruri de bine (nu doar “e tipul ala din Albania care scrie“). Imi este greu totusi sa incadrez Palatul Viselor intr-un singur gen – are atat elemente de realism magic (un Palat in care lucratorii interpreteaza visele), cat si elementele unei distopii despre un stat totalitar (acestia monitorizeaza visele unui imperiu in cautarea celor premonitorii care au legatura cu statul). Este deasemenea un roman despre luptele de
Jul 07, 2010 André rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, dystopia
A few months ago I was about to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and decided I might need a book to keep me distracted during the long hours locked in the plane. I randomly picked The Palace of Dreams, previously knowing nothing about it or it's author. I ended up sleeping through the flight and the book was postponed until recently when I travelled to London (which, by the way, is now one of my favourite places on Earth) and decided to bring it with me.
The book follows Mark-Alem, a member of the Q
Farhan Khalid
Divine signals

Allah looses a forewarning dream on the world as He dispatches a signal to the earth without bothering about where it will land

The Palace of dreams

The palace of dreams is always bigger than it seems

Tens of thousands of dreams were arriving from all over the Empire

The palace is full of mysteries, strange people and secrets of every kind

Everywhere he met with the same silence, the same emptiness

Influence and crimes

The masses don’t rule but they do possess a mechanism through which t
Gumble's Yard
Feb 18, 2017 Gumble's Yard rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
Much more Kafkesque than his other novels (with unlike some of his other novels a clear “K” type character taking an unwitting role in a threatening dictatorship). Enjoyable enough but reader is left with impression that much of the allegory (other than the obvious 1984 type references to a totalitarian state that goes beyond even informers to analysing dreams with in many cases the dreams and their interpretation a political fabrication) and Albanian historical references (particularly around e ...more
Aug 11, 2010 Sofia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Posted on my book blog.

This book follows Mark-Alem, a young man from an aristocratic family in the Ottoman Empire, who, at the bid of his family, starts working in the Palace of Dreams. This is a place where the dreams of every person in the empire are collected, sorted and interpreted, in order to control the citizens and find the Master Dreams, the ones that give clues into the future of the Sultan and the Empire. The building is a nightmarish maze that engulfs Mark-Alem in despair, and his po
Michael Scott
Aug 11, 2009 Michael Scott rated it really liked it
In this allegory of the workings of internal police in authoritarian states, Ismail Kadare introduces many of the notions that can be found in the literature from behind the Iron Curtain: the power of the state's internal police, the ruthlessness of reporting, the torture of the folk, the tragic destiny of the "burgeoisie", the waking up of the innocent. The hero, Mark-Alem, is a young man from an once powerful family in the Osmanian Sultanate who is set to land a safe job in the powerful intern ...more
Mar 21, 2013 Kavita rated it really liked it
the premise of this book - a mysterious government branch that spies on its citizens through their dreams - is an interesting one, and one that leads to many questions about the nature of government. not only is one struck by the absurdity of the concept of prosecuting people for their subconscious thoughts, but also by the way the narrator of the book seems largely unmoved by the disturbing things he has seen while working there. you'd think that seeing coffins being carried out of his place of ...more
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Ismail Kadare (also spelled Kadaré) is an Albanian novelist and poet. He has been a leading literary figure in Albania since the 1960s. He focused on short stories until the publication of his first novel, The General of the Dead Army. In 1996 he became a lifetime member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of France. In 1992, he was awarded the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca; in 2005, he wo ...more
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“Every passion or wicked thought, every affliction or crime, every rebellion or catastrophe necessarily casts its shadow before it long before it manifests itself in real life.” 6 likes
“The government can catch a hare with an oxcart!” 5 likes
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