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Hunts in Dreams

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
In this mesmerizing novel, Tom Drury once again journeys to the quiet Midwest to spend an action-packed October weekend in the lives of a precarious family whose members all want something without knowing how to get it: for Charles, an heirloom shotgun; for his wife, Joan, the imaginative life she once knew; for their young son, Micah, a knowledge of the scope and reliabil ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 2000)
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Leah
A moving, sad portrait of an American provincial town.

The book is set around the boredom, the monotony in American provincial towns in the Midwest and centers around a torn family. The book tells about four days in October and tells the story of four members of the family, Charles, his wife Joan, their son Micah and Lyris which was only recently brought back by an organisation to her mother after being released to adoption after her birth.

The language is easy, the words often set in parataxis, n
...more
Emily
Nov 12, 2013 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this almost immediately after End of Vandalism. I rarely read 2 books in a row by the same author or even of the same type, so I was clearly taken by Drury's writing and characters. Hunts in Dreams didn't charm me quite as much. Odd little book, for sure. I'll take a break before moving on to Pacific, the third in the trilogy, but I will definitely come back.
Peyton Van amburgh
even better than The End of Vandalism, this book is much shorter, darker, less funny but way more hypnotic and sad, but ultimately incredibly moving. successfully reassures the reader that even the smallest moments in the most seemingly meaningless and mundane lives have the greatest meaning. LOVED this.
Bert
Feb 29, 2016 Bert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gah, Tom Drury is so great...
Jillwilson
Nov 20, 2016 Jillwilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Like a dog, he hunts in dreams, and thou art staring at the wall,
Where the dying night-lamp flickers, and the shadows rise and fall.”
The title of this book comes from a poem by Tennyson – I think of my cats as they sleep- at times their features flicker of twitch or a leg moves and they appear to be dreaming. My cat Rafi would be dreaming of hunting; he takes occasional pleasure in catching some poor creature and toying with it. It is not his finest feature. Hunting in dreams may be the cat/dog
...more
Jeff
May 19, 2014 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A few months back I read Drury's The End of Vandalism and found myself completely charmed by this writer. Some writers write to a large base of fans, some to a smaller group and some find that their greatest witnesses to their talent are other writers themselves. One would be hard pressed to find another fiction writer today whose fellow authors speak of so glowingly.

In the End of Vandalism we meet the inhabitants of the fictional Midwest Grouse County. While many characters were featured in
...more
Kathy
Sep 22, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it
I liked it. I like Drury. The book was a slice in the life of a family and since families evolve, there was no wrap up. It was good, well written.
Wolfie
Oct 16, 2013 Wolfie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Personally I'm a little... stunned, I think.
This book was nothing like I expected. That being said, I'm not exactly sure what I expected.
It took me forever to read this book because I've been so busy. Every time I did read it, I felt like I was stuck in some kind of dreamlike trance. Weird? Yeah, I think so. Probably more me than the book though. Although the book had a lot of dreamlike qualities in my opinion. Which suits the title and theme very well.
I feel really bad looking at its two stars,
...more
KarmA1966
The setting of Hunts in Dreams is a small Midwestern town. Drury chooses to follow the lives of one nuclear family, an ordinary family, over the course of a single weekend. And...

Nothing happens. Or almost nothing happens. The father, a mother and two children get themselves into tiny dustups but nothing to write home about. They go about their business. At least two of them get involved in bad behavior but not the kind of activity that makes the nightly news. Just little things that slowly eat
...more
Jay
Nov 02, 2013 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I've found another interesting author. Hunts in Dreams, though short in pages, contains very dense writing that maintains a lightness and humor throughout the book. It felt a little like Tom Robbins with zany replaced with pithy. It also focused on small town midwest which I come from and enjoy reading about. The characters seemed very real. At one point he says "Charles would fix something in such a way that it would need fixing again soon." I feel like I've known Charles all my life based on t ...more
Jason
Oct 23, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Won this in a Good Reads / First Reads giveaway. What a glorious, peculiar slip of a novel. Drury cannot be classified -- his fiction feels almost reverie-like, or like ethereal folk art, however oxymoronic that sounds. The moments (e.g. Charles considering the lives of the people aboard a plane twinkling along in the night sky above him, Micah's foray into the night at his grandmother's house) are perhaps more stirring and memorable than the work as a whole, but it's a luminous little novel to ...more
Chris
Oct 17, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've read my other reviews of Drury, you know I'm biased. There's something about his writing that just WORKS for me, and I know that won't be the case for everyone. Even more, as I've mentioned in the past, Drury writes with such a distances that I'm sure many readers will find aggravating. I love it, though. Even more, I envy it.

I really can't say too much about this one, outside of the norm for Drury. It's funny--bothy silly and dark humored. It's heartbreaking and lovely. And it deals w
...more
Robert C Mayho
This was something of a disappointment after Drury's "The End of Vandalism", which I greatly enjoyed. This was a difficult book to get into, despite its short length. Very little happens, but then again I had got used to that when reading "...Vandalism". The difference here is that the characters, some of whom are familiar from the earlier book, seem quite different and often the dialogue is inconsequential and sometimes downright bizarre. There are still moments of great charm and Drury's skill ...more
Mathew
Dec 29, 2007 Mathew rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Janet
Shelves: favorites
Everyday events, that is Mr. Drury's specialty. He writes entire books out of nothing. A Seinfeld for the Great Plains. I don't know how many people would apprecite Drury's work, as the reception of a book by the reader is contingent upon a reader's past and present, but growing-up in a state neighboring Iowa, I can say that he hits his characters and their reaction to life spot-on.

I end up skimming through the end of many books, because the story is lacking, but I never find myself doing that w
...more
Emma
May 13, 2014 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this better than the first Grouse County book, The End of Vandalism, though I of course liked that book a lot. But this book felt like it had a more cohesive narrative, which I always like. It felt like the events taking place mattered more. It was still funny, because Tom Drury is funny, and yet beneath the surface, there was this deep heartbreaking sadness, and I really loved that. Looking forward to reading the next book.
Simon
Mar 23, 2016 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Drury's genius is to frame dystopian futures as plausible presents. This second volume in the Grouse County sequence moves from Dan Norman to the faintly menacing Tiny Darling and his dysfunctional relationship with the born-again Joan Gower. Critical reading for those dystopian commentators 'what we believe we disbelieve, and what we condemn we cannot rid ourselves of' lies uncomfortably with 'unless you fall down, you never know whether you deserve to get up. A handbook of modern life.
Spiros
May 19, 2009 Spiros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of sneaky humor
Shelves: comicgenius, new
I suspect the World can be conveniently divided into two sets of people: those who see the wonder of the sentence "Charles Darling lived with his wife Joan, their son Micah, and Joan's daughter Lyris on two acres south of the town of Boris.", and those who can't. HUNTS IN DREAMS tells the story of the Darlings over the course of a weekend, as they experience their quotidian crises. Like all Drury, it's brilliantly understated, full of sly humor and unostentatiously effective descriptions.
Edan
Sep 11, 2007 Edan rated it really liked it
I got this book from my friend/student Robert, who gave it to me for the book exchange on the last day of my previous fiction class. Drury's prose is concise and beautiful, and his tone is both somber and silly at once--if that's possible. I read this in just two days, and can't wait to read others by Drury. Thanks, Robert!
Tom Conwell
Aug 11, 2015 Tom Conwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Character driven with a lot of blanks to fill in, like all Tom Drury's writing that I've read, this book is fun to read because all the characters are relatable, and the country-ness is recognizable, but still a little other- worldly. Excellent.
Kate
May 23, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you, Goodreads, for facilitating my discovery of another brilliant writer. Can't wait to plow through Tom Drury's other work. The story follows some interconnected characters through their searches for happiness, meaning, understanding, acceptance . . . loved the pace and theme.
Jesse
Nov 27, 2015 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Very good, though The End of Vandalism was a hard act to follow and the close focus here on some of that book's characters without the same expansive depth of field makes me miss that book somewhat. Still, most enjoyable.
Vivienne Strauss
Apr 29, 2014 Vivienne Strauss rated it really liked it
Not quite as compelling as The End of Vandalism but still very enjoyable. More than once I had a feeling of terrible dread that something truly awful would happen and then it didn't much to my relief.
Nicole Fabian
Oct 07, 2008 Nicole Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
another good one by tom drury.. if a philosopher were to write novels, this would be the end-product. perceptive and humorous..
Stephanie
Jan 02, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serious
Like a punk-rock Faulkner with touches of Bret Easton Ellis.
marie
Jul 22, 2015 marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't give Tom Drury less than a 5. His characters, observations and writing are so wonderful, it all stays with you long after you've finished. Impressive stuff.
Bronwen
Dry, yet precious; drily precious. No thank you.
Lisa
May 19, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love his writing style. I wanted to read this before reading his latest novel, Pacific. I didn't know it was a trilogy.
12vman
Aug 07, 2009 12vman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I would have liked this better had it been more fleshed out. I enjoyed it while I was reading, but forgot all about it after putting it down.
Amy
Jul 21, 2013 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as The End of Vandalism, partly because I'm not as interested in Tiny and Joan, who make up the bulk of this book. Still, I look forward to reading the third installment.
Thomas Graham Cotten
It's okay to be direct about sharing wisdom, with the right voices. These characters are probably too wise, but what they think is precious.
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Tom Drury was born in 1956. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Drury has published short fiction and essays in The New Yorker, A Public Space, Ploughshares, Granta, The Mississippi Review, The New York Times Magazine, and Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. His novels have been translated into German, Spanish, and French. "Path Lights," a story Drury published in The New Yorker, was made into a ...more
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