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The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness

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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Alternate Cover Image: ASIN: B005JU92GO
AWARDS
Craig Stone's second novel Life Knocks was shortlisted for the world respected Dundee International Book Prize, and he has appeared live on the BBC.
BOOK DESCRIPTION
"The British author, Craig Stone, is as interesting a person as the characters he creates. Miserable at his day job, he decided to take a leap of faith. His path to s
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Kindle Edition, 296 pages
Published August 28th 2011 by Self Published
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Matt
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?


This books is going to answer this question – at least partially. I already know the hero and narrator, Colossus Sosloss, from Craig Stone's other autobiographical novel Life Knocks. In The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness Colossus quits the job he can't stand, flees from his flat, and is going to pursue the dreams he stands for. With two bags, and a sleeping bag tugged in a third bag, he sets fort
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Sharon Buchbinder
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If Jonathan Winters, Robin Williams AND Tibor Fischer married and had a child, this author would be their son. A manic walk in the park brings the reader closer to jealous trees, giant caterpillars, angry park attendants and the role of the marginalized person sitting next to you on that broken down park bench. Yes, that one, the person you just slid away from because he had a distinct eau de je ne sais quoi about him. In this book, laugh out loud moments alternate with poignant insights into hu ...more
eNovel Reviews
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The British author, Craig Stone, is as interesting a person as the characters he creates. Miserable at his day job, he decided to take a leap of faith. His path to success was all or nothing, victory or death. (Some spoilers if you continue reading...)

He quit his job and dropped out of the white-collar world with all its trappings and amenities. Unemployed, he had to give up his residence. With a sleeping bag and a sackful of clothes he headed to Northwest London's Gladstone Park, settling in am
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T.W. Dittmer
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie-authors
A tale of a man who quits his day job to go live in the park, “The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness” is a wildly entertaining reading experience.

Though the story line may seem straightforward, the author manages to keep the reader off balance with kinky plot twists, a bombardment of incongruous imagery, and a cast of characters reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland.

The style of the writing yanks the reader around like a well-engineered carnival ride, with short ducks down the rabbit hole and backsto
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Rebecca
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Never in a million years did I expect to like this book. A story based on a man living homeless in a park? I thought how mundane, right? Boy,was I ever wrong!! Absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. He is not only hilarious in his story telling, but he describes things in a most creative way you would never imagine (or could for that matter). Craig is a deep thinker and that comes across in the metaphors he uses in his descriptions of people and events in the book. This book made me ...more
Sarah Williams
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is actually the funniest thing I have ever read in my life. I enjoy a humorous book but up until now had never found one that actually made me laugh out loud. This book made me laugh out loud. I laughed so much I cried. I laughed so much that other members of my family stopped what they were doing to stare at me and ask me what on earth was so funny. Suicidal budgies are funny - and I know that sounds wrong - but in context, suicidal budgies are hysterical. The author has a great talen ...more
Nazareth Bergeron
soooo freakin' good that I refuse to finish it. I will not let it end and drift out of my life.
C.p. Bialois
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I started reading the Squirrel That Dreamt Of Madness by Craig Stone I was at first intrigued by the idea of the story of a homeless man living in a park. The way the story unfolded reminded me of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye in that the main character took it upon himself to demonstrate that one’s life didn’t have to be as constricting and lifeless as it seems.

The character, named Colossus Sosloss, walks away from his job, home, and friends to prove that one doesn’t need society
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Mary
Feb 10, 2012 rated it liked it
There are two ways to view this book, one is as a crazy, fun, entertaining read. The other is as a serious, thought provoking, wake up call to the age old morals: Things aren’t always what they seem; don’t judge a book by its cover. Craig Stone skillfully intertwines both views with his readers in mind.

Against the advice of family and friends, Craig leaves his regular 9-5 day job and after work social life to become an unemployed, homeless man, living in a park in London.

Craig writes, “It can
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Carey Parrish
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This rather delightful book is the debut novel for British writer Craig Stone. Aptly titled "The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness," the book tells the story of a man's departure from the world he knows and into that of one who lives in a park, unemployed, homeless, and amuses himself by creating stories around those who inhabit the park with him.

Inspired by true events from the author's life, the reader gets a look inside the mind of one who just chucked it all because the "little voice" in his
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Cinta
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It is funny. It is clever. It is witty. It is deep. It is sad sometimes. It is a lot of things that make you fall head first into this story, making you read and read and read, not knowing when you are going to put the book down. The story of Colossus Sosloss, who got tired of living an empty life and tried to escape from the solitude he was feeling, despite being surrounded by lots of people. Colossus leaves everything and becomes part of the anonymous crowd of homeless people who live in parks ...more
Jean-paul Audouy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
ReGi Mcclain
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
First of all, this is not the type of book I would normally read. In fact, the only reason I got it was because I sort of stumbled upon the author on Twitter and found him to be very good at turning a phrase to be both amusing and insightful (when he isn't being odd). The moral of this otherwise pointless paragraph being that a good Twitter persona might just win an author a reader that otherwise would have fallen into the cliche of judging a book by its cover.

And now, my actual review. I love t
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Cloey.k
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing


This book is laugh out loud funny. I had to check my laugh volume while reading in public places so that people wouldn't think that I was "that crazy lady". Craig Stone showed me that he has awesome storytelling skills with a story of a guy living in a park while living in the park - really? He pulled it off! I bet Mr. Stone could take any idea and turn it into an entertaining story. I have to admit that there were a few parts in the story where I felt embarrassed for Colossus. Then I would bri
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Lisa Shambrook
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I smile whenever I think about this book!
I was caught up immediately with the characters...if only in desperation to actually find out the lead's name! I giggled, shivered, snorted, bit my lip, chuckled and laughed out loud much to chagrin of my family...though my reactions did encourage my daughter to read it too!
Incredibly unique in its vision and setting, this book is literally a lexicon of madness. The use of metaphor and description was original and kept me glued to Stone's vivid writing. S
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Marsha Cornelius
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book. Halfway down the first page, I realized I stumbled into the peculiar world of Craig Stone. His disjointed, stream-of-consciousness writing reminded me of Hunter S. Thompson on a drug-induced rant. His metaphors take the most unlikely combinations and make them fit.

"A rumble in the distance belches across the sky like God may be discovering that he is intolerant to wheat."

Kudos to Stone for persevering when traditional publishing hous
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Kristi Lazzari
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. It was humorous, thought provoking and original. The writing was excellent. Brilliant!!
Helen
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bonkers ! Loved it - funny, sick, inventive and poignant. Will definitely be reading more Craig Stone 😊📚💜
Jason Beech
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Amazon lists Craig Stone’s The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness under humour, a genre that makes me think of Last of the Summer Wine, or Friends – something that you put on in the background as white noise to define your thoughts against. Or just to make a cup of tea to. In other words, it is something I would never buy.

The story is about Colossus Sosloss – named so by his father because he believes that names define character, and so a Jerome will always be a Jerome, whereas a Colossus will… – a
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Rachel
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read an earlier version of this book, and have just reread the revised version. It's going to be hard for me to review it without referring to the previous version, with apologies to potential readers who might find that annoying.

This book is quite funny, with imaginative, wacky descriptions. In the earlier version, the descriptions seemed a bit forced at times; this time around they feel more natural, less likely to pull the reader out of the story.

The prose is entertaining; the narrator tell
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Bodicia
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came away from chapter five questioning my own sanity and rushed downstairs to resume the routine of normality and throw open the windows on this sunny day in the hope I might start to feel right again. A cup of tea and two slices of toast later and the feelings of living in the mind of the slightly unusual are starting to fade but not half as quickly as I would like. This search for myself is all very well but I keep reading about people who left it all to live in a park and escape from their ...more
Maree Kimberley
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I can't remember if I found & followed Craig Stone on twitter, or if he followed me first. Either way it doesn't matter, the important thing is that I found him and so read his piece of indie fiction insanity titled The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness.

If you read Craig's tweets you'll soon realise he lets his brain wander down paths most of us are too afraid to explore. And Squirrel is an accurate reflection of the weird and wonderful gifts hidden within his neurons that made me laugh out l
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Graeme Reynolds
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the strangest, yet most compelling books that I've read in a long time.

Collossus Sossloss decides one day that he'd had enough of his boring life and decides to become homeless, to be free of responsibility. He moves out of his flat and into the local park.

What follows is a strange blend of humour, musings on society and a few genuinely tense parts. Sort of like Odd Thomas had a nervous breakdown, and was being written by Robert Rankin after someone had given him a cup of tea laced with m
...more
Sam
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read Life Knocks, I was rather looking forward to this and I was not disappointed. Here we find Colossus living in Gladstone Park after packing in his job and leaving his flat in search of inspiration and something to write about. During his time in the park animals begin to go missing and turn up dead and half eaten (by human teeth), he clashes with the park warden (who is convinced it is all him) and he manages to compromise himself in more ways than one. Stone is as witty as ever (and ...more
Linda
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although the ratio of paragraph size in The Squirrel The Dreamt of Madness was rather small, Craig Stone's almost lyrical style of metaphor causes the reader to occasionally pause, visualize, and laugh a second time at each one. Thus creating a much longer experience, and basically two laughs for the "prith" of one. This is not only one of the reasons I loved this book but also, as a traditional reader, also made me not full blown irritated, but enough to think Mr. Stone should be offered just a ...more
Jeanie
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
At the end of the book, (No spoiler here) an interviewer talks with the author, Craig Stone, calling him a master of metaphor. He is indeed. The story of a man living homeless in a London park by choice is delightful, colorful and dotted sometimes with poignancy. At one point, Colossis Sosloss, the main character describes his plight as trying to pin a carrot on the tale of donkey when the carrot is as big as the donkey. There are wise original adages interspersed with insightful descriptions an ...more
Vicki
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I love the way this book is written, it's very refreshing. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that the second half was a little gruesome for my taste.
Campbell
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Very novel story line with a great start and a weak ending. Try not to read the epilogue which makes no sense at all
John
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good fun.
David Vincent
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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1,722 followers
I left school at sixteen with a head full of rocks, a general dislike towards anyone telling me what to do and a belief none of it mattered: because one day I would write the greatest book in the world.
I moved to Spain, I worked for a little man with a missing finger called Juan, who owned the town.
I almost got killed by a freight train when I was lost in a field trying to find the Spanish airport
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“I want to avoid people, because there’s only one thing worse than being homeless, and that’s people who are not, knowing that you are.” 7 likes
“Without the sleeping bag I'm just somebody up early in the morning, sitting under a tree. With the sleeping bag I'm nobody up early, sitting under a tree: a slight, but important difference in how I’ll be perceived.” 2 likes
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