Laura Martinez's Reviews > Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.
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's review
May 11, 2008

it was amazing
Read in June, 2003

I read a review about the movie that said that the movie, Requiem, burrows under your skin and stays there for a while. This is true of the book, too. Each character speaks differently and you have to get used to their way of speaking as the author doesn't use punctuation marks and end sentences with 'Harry replied' or 'Marian said.' It is a fresh style of reading. This book IS very disturbing; so disturbing that a friend of mine threw it across the room when he finished it and asked me why anyone should ever subject themselves to reading it. I happen to like disturbing, but if you do not, or are highly sensitive, don't read this book. I balanced it with something really light and fluffy. That being said, there is painstaking beauty within the story, too. Or rather, within the characters, that you really hope will change their ways. I liked that even though I saw the movie first, I wasn't picturing Jared and Marlon, Ellen and Jennifer. The characters took on their own unique characteristics, different from those portrayed in the film. I also like that for as timeless as the film was (could be modern day, could be the 1970's), the book was very much a time-piece for Brooklyn.
This book takes its reader on the roller coaster ride of the rise and fall of the characters dreams, whether it's losing a little weight to fit into a special dress, or stashing away money to open a coffee shop, and falling prey to vicious addictions. I felt like I was sitting in Sara's apartment with her, feeling the loneliness and destitude that accompanies being widowed when your only son is grown up and out of the house. I wondered how far these characters would go to reach their dreams only to realize that those dreams were no longer within their grasp. But delusions are powerful and addiction is even more so.
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Rachel Well said!

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