The House of Discarded Dreams
THE HOUSE OF DISCARDED DREAMS, BY EKATERINA SEDIA
This one was recommended to me by a friend who is very into Magical Realism. I'm not sure what that means, to be honest, but I guess it would be something like Urban Fantasy with a blasé outlook. Weird shit happens and everybody is really cool about it.
Synopsis: Vimbai is the American daughter of Zimbabwean immigrants. She moves to a house in the dunes, trying to escape her mother, and ends up in a weird universe in the middle of the ocean, alon...more
Myself and a few other bloggers have been holding a Blog Carnival for the book. You can find a roundup of links at Paul Jessup's site: http://pauljessup.com/2011/05/09/hous... . I ...more
It's pretty good, and has some really insane ideas. I like books that just grab an insane idea and run with it. This one has a couple: a guy with a small universe instead of hair, a floating house that's much bigger on the inside, a ghost baby with too many arms and legs, more ghosts...
However, there's also some problems. I'm always a bit weary if an author writes something that is completely out of their culture. It actually wet quite well ...more
Let's see if I can capture how odd this book is. The book is about Vimbai, who is first-generation American of Zimbabwean parents (I think). She moves into a house on the shore. One of her roommates has a pocket universe for hair. They're soon ...more
In 'House of Discarded Dreams,' teenager Vimbai is seeking her independence (and, especially, some distance from her overbearing mother's socio-political opinions). She moves into her own place for the first time, becoming roommates with another young woman and her strange roommate - a guy whose 'hair' is actually a bizarre ...more
What cruelty was this, when even our dreams and wish fulfillments offered not comfort but relived heartbreak?I might as well get the bad news out of the way first: The House of Discarded Dreams was the first book I've read by Ekaterina Sedia to leave me cold.
The good news is that it wasn't the writing; Sedia's prose remains as quirky and evocative as it's ever been (though she did use "circumvent" instead of "circumnavigate"—and "avoid" would have been better than either—on p.128).
Nor is t ...more
Highly imaginative modern adult fairytale. This fantasy of discarded dreams is reminiscent to me to the fairytales of Catherine Valente.
This is my second Ekaterina Sedia novel, Alchemy of Stone was the first, a novel that I really enjoyed. This one is very different and may not be very accessible to the main stream crowd.
This book is a wild, far out, and often extremely strange that will challenge most readers as to wether they can accept this or not. The story itself is really a simpl ...more
When Vimbai, a college student and the daughter of Zimbabwean immigrants, moves out of her parents house and into the house on the dunes, she finds herself seduced both by the dreamy quality of life in the house and by the inexplicable happenings that take place inside; the h ...more
The House of Discarded Dreams is fantastic, lulling, dreamy, and fantastically written. I loved it for all of these same elements. I didn't feel so much as if I were re ...more
After reading that y ...more
I really just wish Sedia could have written this in a more intimate style. If I'd been able to reac ...more
There is a lot to love here, and it's definitely a 3-and-a-half stars deal, but on top of everything the editor appears to have thrown in the towel about 2/3 of the way through. Typos ...more
Before you pick this one up, I would recommend The Secret History of Moscow or another of her books--very different thematically, but much more rewarding!
After a realistic opening the story becomes surreal, and stays surreal. I lost interest about 2/3 of the way through. The book has a magical quality some readers would love, but I lost my way the same way the main character did, floating in the ocean in her house, with her friends and mystical spirits.
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And when it happened, when all the sounds and smells and words in the world, when all the thoughts had aligned so that it could become - then it found itself pulled into the wires, surrounded by taut copper and green and red and yellow insulation; twined and quartered among the cables, rent open by millions of voices that shouted and whispered and pleaded and threatened, interspersed with the rasping of breaths and tearing laughter. It traveled through the criss-crossing of the wires so fast that it felt itself being pulled into a needle, head spearing into the future while its feet infinitely receded into the past, until it came into a dark quiet pool of the black rotary phone, where it could reassemble itself and take stock.”