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Dreamsongs. Volume II

(Dreamsongs #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,204 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Even before the enormous success of A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin had secured his reputation as one of the most exciting storytellers of our time. The second of two thrilling collections, Dreamsongs: Volume II continues the story of his amazing journey from a young writer to a #1 New York Times bestselling force of nature.
Whether writing about werewolves, wizards,
Paperback, 768 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Bantam (first published December 2003)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,204 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
"The American Tolkien?" No. I think not.

George R. R Martin writes excellent fantasy novels. I can’t dispute that. I wouldn’t want to, A Song of Ice and Fire is what got me into reading in the first place. However, to be called the American Tolkien implies that he writes like Tolkien, which, of course, he does not.

The world building, writing styles and plot tropes couldn’t be further apart. Not a bad thing for sure. It’s a rather absurd comparison because there is absolutely nothing to compare. It’
Paula Savioli
I decided to write a small text about each of the short stories as I read them. I'm not going to hide the review, but beware of spoilers.

A Beast for Norn - Funny and entertaining! A little bit like a fable, or a tale too. For the first story of the Tuf series, it left me with a good impression.

Guardians - I was so hooked that I read it really fast, to know what was gonna happen, how he was going to solve the problem. I love the cat names (Foolishness, Ingratitude and Doubt) and how Tuf tal/>/>A
Jay Dee
I picked up Volume Two of Martin's Dreamsongs with high hopes, still in the literary equivalent to post-orgasmic throes after concluding Volume One. The book began with stories of Tuf, which further heightened my expectations for the rest of the book. Tuf is a wonderful character, and the stories were great.

But from there... Hollywood happened.

Martin obviously tried too hard to appease Hollywood bigwigs... I suppose anyone would do the same to get ahead in their career, a
3.5 stars. Part Two of this great collection of George R. R. Martin's short story work. Includes two Haviland Tuf stories, the Skin Trade, the excellent "The Hedge Knight" and more.
Emma Gerts
I'm often not a fan of short stories, but George R. R. Martin is a brilliant writer and this was an enjoyable collection. It also elucidates why the last book in the Song of Ice and Fire is taking so long . .
Nov 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very very mixed-bag.
First Haviland Tuf story is great, the second is really boring. Glass Flower is just a clusterfuck, there I said it!
Under Sieg reads almost like an Outer Limits episode, and then the actual Twilight Zone episode he wrote for real puts me to sleep
The Skin Trade involved modern city and werewolves and is great! .. but some of the "cuts" between scenes were pure television. Perfect ending too - fades out to black in just the right moment
Unsound Variations - another not-quite TimeTravel, but is. Again, reads lik/>Unsound/>The/>Under
Dalon Koubek
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever just walked outside in the middle of the night looked at the stars and our endless universe and simply wondered? You feel a certain high, a high of imagination and serialism. But there is a darker lining, have you ever sat down on your couch and watched the news? Seen all the war, the shootings, the mundane monotony of our selfmade situations and the devastation, the complete and utter sadness of it all? That whole range of emotion is experienced when you read the Dreamsong books. ...more
Pinkesh Patel
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An anthology of various works by Martin over the years. This includes things like horror, science fiction and even screenplays for episodes of the Twilight Zone that he wrote. It showcases his versatility and his mastery over the human condition.
Along the way he writes about writing and his story. In one instance he talks about how he got rejected from a science fiction journal because his stories were not 'hard' enough. Then he goes on to lament about how the substrate does not matter (ho
Joel Wong
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some gems in there
Sudaraka Pethiyagoda
A good introduction to GRRM’s work. I’ve only read The Song of Ice and Fire books, but now I’m on the lookout for Haviland Tuf books, Fevre Dream and the like. GRRM is a very versatile writer.
Well, it took forever to finish but I've done it. As always, GRRM's stories are simultaneously out of this world and totally realistic. I'm looking forward to read more if his works.
Favio Zúñiga soto
I wanted to find out the rest of his tales, the many creations in his different periods as a writer, and here I am with the heart full of stories and mostly satisfied for the ride. George is a helluva writer, getting to capture several aspects of very different types of stories, which you can see now as a reflection of his growth as a writer in the different moments of his life.

I said this because of the Hollywood era, which I found so different than the rest of his tales that I aske
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to this collection having never actually read any George R. R. Martin before. I've heard of A Song of Ice and Fire but have never read it, but I had read good reviews of this retrospective (or Rretrospective as the book itself puts it) and wasn't disappointed. This volume contained fewer but longer stories than its predecessor but held the same format of grouping stories by theme, each with an introduction by the author. The first and third sections are single universes where Martin wrote several s ...more
Feb 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: well fans of George R R martin
Pretty good, not as interesting as the first book. In this one his style has seemed to firm up, not nearly as much variance as in the earlier volume. Also, the personal interstitials, the best part, for me, of the first book, become more of a "this is where I was in my, life this is what I was working on" kind of rote listing, as opposed to the earlier's, "this is where I got my inspiration from" or, "after failing in this I decided to try things this way" kind of narrative. And then his last en ...more
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, adventure
Quite close to a 5 star.

There are plenty of good storytelling here. Many of them I will remember for a very, very long time (which it is unusual in my case). And this is a clear indication that the book itself is a remarkable one.

The thing that makes that even so it is that it is a collection of short stories, following Martin's work from the early ones into the well developed professional writer and screenplayer he is today. You cannot say that there is any bad one here. All of the
Dec 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Martin may be the greatest storyteller I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I know I'm prone to hyperbole, but this time I mean it. As evidenced by these collections, I'll read anything by him: fantasy, sci-fi, horror, crazy amalgams of these, anything. It's the characters who matter, and Martin creates the best characters I've ever been around. He is also a master of the show-not-tell school of storytelling: a must with me.

My favorite story in this volume was definitely "The Hedge Kn
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a credit to Martin's brilliance that I can't figure out what type of story he writes best (commercial success notwithstanding). My three favorite pieces in this collection ("The Skin Trade," "The Hedge Knight," and "Portraits of his Children") differ in genre and scope, but not in quality.

The rating takes a hit for not quite being on the same level as Dreamsongs, Vol. I, but there's still plenty to like.
Jan 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just that : Liked It, because I
Didn't Like
All of it. I've read all of George R R Martin, and the latest and greatest, most recent heavy stuff (past few years) makes me want to revisit the really old stuff.
Sam Julian
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
You know what? I'm gonna count Dreamsongs as two books. It's long enough, I think. 2 volumes, 2 books worth for my reading challenge!
Shauna Thompson
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic compilation, my personal favorites were A Beast for Norn, Guardians, From the Journal of Xavier Desmond, The Skin Trade, and The Hedge Knight (though I liked The Skin Trade best).
Samuel Rooke
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is, as the title suggests, just the second volume in the “Dreamsongs” collection, that splits interesting and notable excerpts from Martin’s long career into thematic and genre sections. Preceding each section is an introduction by Martin where he describes the context in which he wrote the following stories, and shares some anecdotes from his life at those times. Those introductions are great insights into his mind, and are full of witty and insightful commentary.

Moreso than th
Craig Childs
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second half of a retrospective spanning the entirety of George R.R. Martin's career. (Both volumes 1 & 2 were originally published in a single limited edition hardcover). It samples his Tuf and Wild Cards series, his Hollywood screenplays, and his stories that blur genre boundaries. The stories are extremely imaginative and well-crafted, although on the whole not quite as satisfying as the first volume.

The individual stories are reviewed below:

"A Beast for
Brian Mikołajczyk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no expectations going into Dreamsongs II - I should really go read Dreamsongs I - and I was pleased to find that I enjoyed the company of Martin as he told the story of this collection, finding him both frank and personable in voice. Below I describe the personal highlights and disappointments from my experience with this collection.

A Taste of Tuf *****
Easily my favourite section of the collection, A Taste of Tuf left me hungry for more. Both stories feature deliciously clever "gotch/>A
Andrew McAuley
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent collection of short stories. I thoroughly enjoyed most of these tales. Each story has either a supernatural or sci-fi element to it with the exception of Hedge Knight, which I skipped as I'd read it just recently.

I found the initial two science fiction tales to be very engaging, the main character is somewhat two-dimensional but each of the stories are very well told and thoroughly engaging. The Wild Card stories I did not enjoy at all- I found the setting somewhat confusing, by the en
Nathan Sinclair
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this quite a few years ago now, specifically to read the first Dunk & Egg short story, but never really bothered with the rest of it. Decided to change that this year, and read it cover to cover. Despite still really enjoying the Dunk & Egg story, I was surprised to find it was probably one of the least interesting stories in the book. The five stand alone stories in the second half of the book were all fascinating, in one way or another, and the two extracts from the Wild Card ...more
Writing as I go along...

A beast for Norm - 3/5 - I saw it coming... Quick read but nothing special or memorable...
Guardians - 3.5/5 - A sea world almost destroyed and Tuf saves it. Better than the other Tuf story, and it makes me wonder if it is worth it to read Tuf voyaging...

The road less traveled - 3/5 - A script... so not really meant for being read. It may have been a good enough TZ episode, but it's not really my thing...
Doorways - 2/5 - This one made me feel like I was watching some SyFy tv mo/>/>The/>/>A
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book of short stories by Martin and it was different. It was enjoyable to read some background on him and the story as well, something you rarely ever see. Overall they were good but one troubled me a little and I didn't consider it as good as the others, definitely a bit different. I was surprised and did very much enjoy the werewolf tale. And because previously I had only read the Song of Fire and Ice series they showed a different perspective.
I struggled a bit with this one. Some of the stories I already knew from other compilations. Some I just pushed through without really engaging. A couple I really liked, but mostly I had to force myself to keep going. I'm glad I did as I actually liked the very last story. Definitely not one of my GRRM favourites, but sometimes it's nice to know where one of your favourite writers came from so you can appreciate their career and later success even more.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This was great! I'd read a few of the stories before (the Wild Cards ones, and the Hedge Knight I have in a couple of other forms), but I enjoyed these stories more than the first volume. It's interesting to see how his writing changed and evolved over time. My favorites from this collection were the horror stories. TW: rape for the final story in the collection, it was pretty rough, but well-written. Overall I would recommend this collection!
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Favorite story from the two volumes? 3 11 Nov 11, 2014 10:18PM  

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George R.R. Martin was born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was Raymond Collins Martin, a longshoreman, and his mother was Margaret Brady Martin. He has two sisters, Darleen Martin Lapinski and Janet Martin Patten.

Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies,

Other books in the series

Dreamsongs (2 books)
  • Dreamsongs, Volume I
“What can you say about pain?
Words can trace only the shadow of the thing itself. The reality of hard, sharp physical pain is like nothing else, and it is beyond language. The world is too much with us, day and night, but when we hurt, when we really hurt, the world melts and fades and becomes a ghost, a dim memory, a silly unimportant thing. Whatever ideals, dreams, loves, fears, and thoughts we might have had become ultimately unimportant. We are alone with our pain, it is the only force in the cosmos, the only thing of substance, the only thing that matters, and if the pain is bad enough and lasts long enough, if it is the sort of agony that goes on and on, then all the things that are our humanity melt before it and the proud sophisticated computer that is the human brain becomes capable of but a single thought:
Make it stop, make it STOP! (from The Glass Flower)”
“When the end comes, I will meet it raging.” 8 likes
More quotes…