Lavinia's Reviews > Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.
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's review
Jan 07, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, fiction
Read in January, 2009

I'm quite surprised that many readers regard it as a book about drug addiction and junkies of different types. I (as the title clearly states) mainly see it as an attempt of pursuing the American Dream, the one that grants all American citizens total and pure freedom. And so, since nobody really knows if the Dream is dead or not, anybody is free to try it out.

What makes it better than the film (if this was ever debatable), is the story-line and the stories behind the characters. Due to my bad memory, I can hardly remember the story in the film, I got stuck on some recurring images and that's pretty much it.

The book was written 30 years ago, but you wouldn't notice that. Well, probably if it had been recently written, it would have involved some computers or iPods :). I only regret I didn't read the English version, I'm sure I would have enjoyed the way Selby's messing with grammar and punctuation.

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Reading Progress

01/04 page 177
07/11 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by L.S. (new)

L.S. I've seen the movie :)

Lavinia Who didn't? :D

message 3: by L.S. (new)

L.S. I hardly would imagine a film being better than a book. But on the other hand I have difficulties to read the book after seeing the movie: I feel the movie would spoil the discovery.

Lavinia I've seen films as good as the books. And unfortunately there are many books I haven't read because I saw the films first

Reid I have to disagree with the assumption that the book is better than the movie. The book itself is in my opinion one of Selby's weakest, but not as bad as Waiting Period. It is not as timeless as the movie and some of the desripctions of the characters don't hold up today in 2010. It seems that without the movie this book would not be half as popular, and many of the qualities people are talking about in reviews are seen in the movie and not so much in the book. for good Selby, read Last Exit or Silent snow. Leave Requiem for completists

Lavinia I am obviously subjective when comparing the book and the movie but I haven't read other novels by Selby so I trust you, maybe I'll even try some.

Brooks Reid, in my personal opinion, I disagree with you on the movie quality. I actually watched it first, and read the book later. I was highly disappointed that certain aspects, or entire scenes that were left out of the movie. Specifically, scenes brought up early on in the book, that I felt were important for the presentation of character schemes. However, I have heard, by many people, that "Last Exit" is a far stronger title. I've been needing to read it for ages.

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