Lucy Mason's Reviews > How the Dead Dream

How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet
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Sep 12, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read from August 26 to September 12, 2011

I'm not entirely sure why I wasn't that impressed with this book. The writing was lovely - very sophisticated and descriptive - and I liked the idea. It almost reminded me of The Life of Pi: a character based personal narrative that also makes serious environmental, political and social points. However, there was something about this novel that jarred - although the main character T. was very well written, I found the supporting characters quite two-dimensional, especially the love interest Beth, who we hear almost nothing about at all despite allegedly being so important to the protagonist. This may have been an intention of the author to emphasise humanity's isolation and solitude (a major theme of this novel is the endangered animal and being the 'last' of one's kind), but I would have liked a slightly larger insight into their relationship. The narrative also was a bit lurching - the scenes are changed quite jerkily and it would have been nicer if they were a bit more seamless.

Other than that, I think the fact I was slightly underwhelmed by this book may have been partly a personal thing: I found the whole story quite depressing (as I'm sure was intended in a book essentially about death and loneliness) and I may not have been in the mood for that kind of novel. However, I did like Millet's writing style and will give another one of her books a go.
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Quotes Lucy Liked

Lydia Millet
“There was the honour and austerity of money as he walked through art galleries, as he saw around him the collections of oil paintings by dead men, lit so carefully that warmth seemed to emanate from within - and not because their art was loved or understood but because it could be sold and bought for handsome sums.”
Lydia Millet, How the Dead Dream
tags: art, money


Reading Progress

08/26/2011 page 35
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