Ecapris's Reviews > The Final Dream

The Final Dream by Daniel Pearlman
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's review
Apr 15, 2011

it was amazing
Read in April, 2011

This review originally appeared on my eCapris review site.

In the future, the world is an even more stressful place, exposing its inhabitants to a faster-paced, more complex day than many of us presently experience (I guess it's possible). Side effects of this stressful life are nightmares and insomnia.

In this complex future world, it's virtually impossible to rest at night and expect yourself to have pleasant dreams. Much more frequently, you will be subjected to nightmares that disrupt your sleep cycle, thus affecting your work performance the next day (linchpins don't seem to exist in this future world).

But don't worry! There is a solution to the problem, one that, should it be launched to us in this year, we would anticipate and promote and go giddy over.

Dream subscriptions.

There are numerous professional dreamists that provide subscription services to those that suffer from nightmares. The true artists emerge even in the dreamist market, and the most popular dreamist, Yosif Iones, serves over 60 percent of the world's dream subscribers.

"It was hard to believe that...Iones...had the power to relieve countless millions of people of their night-terrors, insomnia, and reliance on all those sophisticated pills that made you sicker in the long run because, in taking away your nightmares, they robbed you of your dreamlife, lacking which no one could stay sane for very long.

Iones...could be counted on more than any of his competitors - cut their prices how they might - to banish the terrors of the night and substitute sheer entertainment: exciting, refreshing, reassuring, original, inexhaustible night-after-night of dreamaturgical dazzle."

Brian Drury, the protagonist of "The Final Dream," is an Iones subscriber. He's so fond of the dreamist he actually has original stills of Iones work valued at multiples of his original investment.

So when the dreams start getting wonky, when Iones subscribers start suffering from nightmares and their sleep cycles are disrupted, Drury doesn't want to accept that it's the fault of Iones.

"The dreams you paid for you could not wake up from. Not without powerful external disturbances. And that was one reason you subscribed - for the security of unbroken sleep....

Was it again a question of technical difficulties, systemic malfunctions? He wondered. The alternative sent a shudder through him so powerful that it shook the bed beneath him. Iones was doing this intentionally. One of the greatest artistic imaginations of all time - warped, deranged, and for no clear reason acting out methodically a sadistic drama in against the minds of a trusting, captive audience of fifteen hundred million sleepers."

Since he doesn't buy the media's explanation (technical difficulties) and refuses to lose faith in his favorite dreamist, Drury takes a leap and interprets his nightmares. Since all of the Iones subscribers have similar plots, themes, and symbols in their dreams/nightmares, Drury is able to compare and contrast these universal qualities. Based on his interpretation, he decides that Iones must be leading his dream subscribers along an incredible mental journey.

The Iones nightmares become life-altering. His subscribers refuse to show up for work (this is unheard of in the future) and some quit their jobs. Many question the validity of their marriages. But Drury holds on to hope and decides to get to the bottom of it.

And there is definitely a bottom to it.

Pearlman's concept for "The Final Dream" is innovative, surreal, and disturbing. Not only does it seem completely plausible that our present world could move towards this future world, it's unnerving to consider that we might allow subscriptions to infiltrate the more personal moments of our lives (and 'Liking' it).

Although I'm still relatively new to the world of scifi, I've never read anything quite like this. The quality is there, the plot twists made me gasp, and the ending made me clear my throat and slowly blink the words into comprehension.

"The Final Dream" is longer than the ebooks I've previously reviewed; I read it in about an hour, start to finish. This is definitely a good choice while on a short flight, or in the terminal should your flight be delayed, or if you're road-tripping and it's your turn in the passenger seat. It's also easy to read in short bursts, as it's split up into relatively short chapters. Thus, it doesn't exclude itself from the waiting room, long queue, or short commute.

Now consider: if dream subscriptions became available, would you participate?
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