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4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Jensen's furthest-reaching book yet, Dreams challenges the "destructive nihilism" of writers like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris who believe that there is no reality outside what can be measured using the tools of science. He introduces the mythologies of ancient cultures and modern indigenous peoples as evidence of alternative ways of understanding reality, informed by th ...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Seven Stories Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Andrea McDowell
Jul 29, 2011 Andrea McDowell rated it liked it
Shelves: green
I keep trying to read and like Derrick Jensen, and I keep failing. My last serious attempt was with Endgame many, many years ago; and here I tried again.

Again, I found I agreed with much of it, but the parts I disagreed with were as close to batshit insane as one can get within the printed confines of a book. As Dreams progressed it gradually became more and more repetitive, grandiose, bizarre and incoherent. By the end I was grimly hanging on with my fingernails just to be able to say I finish
Nov 12, 2011 Dylan rated it it was amazing
This is Jensen's best book since A Language Older Than Words. While it is long-winded compared to his first book, as his later books tend to be, it could be read as a sequel to it.

Contrary to what one unimaginative reviewer wrote, Jensen does not try to tell the reader what he or she ought to dream about, or that his own dreams as recounted in this book are the right kind.

To the contrary, this book is about being open to epistemologies other than the one narrow as the eye of a needle that we a
May 22, 2016 Krista rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I couldn't finish this book, after over 100 pages it was still unclear what the point of it all was and I'm not one to finish a book just for the sake of finishing it. Incoherent and rambling and at times just too far off the deep end. The best chapter was one where he paraphrases a conversation with a mycologist author, which made me think I should just read that person's book instead. While I think it's fair to argue for dreams to have meaning, such as revealing subconscious beliefs and emotio ...more
Rory Litwin
Oct 04, 2015 Rory Litwin rated it liked it
Some good thoughts, but he rambles and rambles, and the book is twice as long as it should be. He seriously needs an editor.
Oct 30, 2014 Jared rated it did not like it
Long winded with straw-men lurking around every corner.
Aug 17, 2011 Laurin rated it really liked it
Shelves: anti-civ
The next logical step in his series of long thought-provoking, anti-civ line of books. This one focuses on dreams (as the title may suggest) with a strong stress on how religion and science have played a role in keeping us from accessing those "other sides". He relates many of his dreams throughout, analyzing them with an anti-civ bent. His discussions on religion, science, and traditional cultures are very interesting, and sprinkled throughout are criticisms/musings on contemporary issues and c ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Jan 18, 2012 Linda Branham Greenwell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Derrick Jensen is one of my favorite writers, In Dreams he is letting everyone who will listen know that our system is destroying everything in our world. He radiates outrage, kicking in all directions in his fury. I only wish that he was wrong about these things. He's not wrong. He's right: there is no reason to believe that the system of which we are a part, and which is destroying the Earth, is going to voluntarily dismantle itself for the good of all. It isn't going to happen.
Derrick Jensen
Nov 05, 2012 Dylan rated it really liked it
Typical spirited Jensen. He many times makes acute observations on society that cause reader to self-reflect while also providing facts to back up his anti-civ message. I did feel he attacked Dawkins a little too much and could have definitely gone after the Christians a far bit more but I suppose many writers have already done that and Jensen likes to be a voice all his own. My other hang up is Jensen's tendency to repeat himself, which is prevalent in a all his books e.g. His love for salmon i ...more
May 18, 2016 blakeR rated it it was ok
Shelves: anth-sosh, memoir, dnf
I read 30 pages, saw that Jensen apparently hasn't progressed in either theory or writing style since at least Endgame, and decided I didn't need to continue. I mostly agree with his position, but I already got my fill of it over half a decade ago. Move on already.

It also rankles that he doesn't even attempt to convince the reader of his bizarre starting point; he just presupposes acceptance of his "other side" premise. "Lazy" is really the only way to describe it: his bloated stream of consciou
Jan 05, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
I enjoyed the first three quarters and then it got a bit hard to follow and too much about Jensen's personal issues. I agree with much of what he says and I can see that the present methods of trying to influence the powers that be is not enough, but...I still think that if everyone started pulling back, eating locally, conserving energy it would help more than he suggests.
Aug 31, 2012 Wendy rated it it was amazing
This was my first experience with Jensen and I was blown away. Even if you don't agree with all of his ideas, he is an excellent writer. Everyone should read Jensen, even if everyone can't handle Jensen.
Aug 14, 2012 Margi rated it liked it
I love Derrick Jensen's writing but it always depresses the hell out of me so I have to pull myself away before I sink into depression!
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Mick Longley rated it it was amazing
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Ryan Hartman rated it liked it
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Jenni Bradley
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Jul 15, 2012
Casey rated it it was amazing
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Derrick Jensen is an American author and environmental activist living in Crescent City, California. He has published several books questioning and critiquing contemporary society and its values, including A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, and Endgame. He holds a B.S. in Mineral Engineering Physics from the Colorado School of Mines and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Eas ...more
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“The fundamental difference between civilized and indigenous ways of being is that for even the most open-minded of the civilized, listening to the natural world is a metaphor. For traditional indigenous peoples it is not a metaphor; it is how you relate to the real world.” 5 likes
“I’m saying that mushrooms are very clever at surveying a landscape and taking a long-term view of the health of the population of the descendent organisms that give rise to the forest, that create the debris fields, that feed the fungi, that help the fungi’s own progeny live downstream. They take a very advanced view of ecosystem health and management, trying to increase soil depth, and, by increasing soil depth and the richness of the soil, to increase the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. Higher carrying capacity leads to more biodiversity, more sustainability, more resiliency.” 1 likes
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