Alex Pritchard's Reviews > The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

liked it

It's a good book. I don't usually like such long novels and Glass Books could possibly do with a hundred less pages but even when at its most convoluted I was never in danger of putting it down - it is compulsive reading. Dahlquist's vague northern European setting is as well-drawn as his characters, the details given being select and sharp enough to create strong sensations or place or character, but leaving enough behind to inspire your own imagination. I found all three central characters very worthy - the bitterness and dark humour of Chang, the humility and good of Svenson, and the spirit, sexuality and self-doubt of Temple were fantastic.

The villains are perhaps less successful, they are introduced too randomly and due to the novel's great length details that become important are lost several sections back. The backstabbing and counter-plotting all comes together a little contritely, and only the most attentive of readers will be able to retain enough of all this is going on to scrutinse. It all comes together, but is a little unsatisfactory.

Characters like the rasping Comte and smiling Contessa are always good fun though, and though it is over-long I was always in admiration of Dahlquist's devotion to his created world of the city and of Harschmort, which I suspect is a much prided as the Comte D'Orcancz and his glass creations...

A decent premise and a fulsome execution, to be recommended to those in need of a long narrative.

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