June Sparks's Reviews > What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson
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Feb 21, 12

Read in July, 2011

This book was recommended to me by my daughter who studied it in high school...alongside Dante's Inferno... At first I was captivated by Richard Matheson's descriptive writing and poetic cadence. I was impressed by the entensive bibliography at the back of the book supporting Matheson's claim that the book was "based on research." However, once I got beyond the opening chapters in which the main character Chris (who dies in a car accident) describes the feeling of being dead and the horrific realizations of what "dead" means, the intensity of the writing slowed way down. Most importantly, there seemed to be no reason or power behind the afterlife. A deceased person continued on in "a state of mind rather than a physical location" --for what purpose? There's much talk of wishes and desires, and endless summer, along with description of a lower realm that is cold, dark and barren... yet, never any question of WHY? Unless there is a power over this miraculous transformation or a purpose for everlasting leisure activities, it was pure fantasy of a Disney spirit. I grew weary of Chris's exploration of self and preoccupation with his depressed wife and gave up about a third of the way through. My daughter does not agree and says that I would feel differently if I finished the book. Maybe so.
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