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The Dreamers

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  32,479 ratings  ·  5,556 reviews
By the New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Miracles comes a mesmerizing novel about a town transformed by a mysterious contagion that locks victims in perpetual sleep and triggers extraordinary, life-altering dreams.
One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and do
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Random House
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Lala BooksandLala
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This was magic. Highly recommend, but for a very specific audience. If you enjoy having tons of characters (that you don't necessarily get time to connect with or "like") and appreciate a vague, mysterious tone through to the end...get to it. 4.5 stars. ...more
Emily May
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, arc, 2019
These days, science doesn’t take much interest in dreams.

2½ stars. I'm rating this purely based on my personal enjoyment and connection with the narrative. Some people are going to love this book.

I read Walker's The Age of Miracles more than six years ago, didn't love it, but wanted to give her another try. I know my tastes have changed. Maybe even the author had changed, too. As it turns out, my review of her debut is fairly similar to how I feel about The Dreamers, comma splices aside.

Angela M
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This narrative style! From the first paragraph I knew I was going to be so pulled into this story, whatever it was going to be, by the writing. There is something about it, the way Karen Thompson Walker tells this story. It’s third person narrative and I felt removed as if I was watching this on film or on the stage but at the same time there’s an intimacy that affords the reader a connection to these characters, their fears, their loneliness, their pasts, and their dreams from this deep sleep.
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
It is much harder for me to write a review of a book that I did not like rather than one I loved. I do not usually read science fiction/fantasy or whatever genre this would be assigned to but the reviews were so good for this novel I decided to give it a try.

(Possible spoilers)

The premise is not a new one. There have been many books written and movies made of a virus or some alien illness infecting humans and making them behave in one way or another. In this case whatever this is, makes humans f
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
College. A time when teens begin the transformation into adulthood... Truly, just teenagers experiencing life away from home for the first time. Wide-eyed excitement, anticipation and seemingly endless opportunities the world has to offer them.

But at an un-assuming, small college in Santa Lora California, that idyllic life is about to change forever.

When Kara comes home unusually early from a night of drinking, she slips quietly into her dorm, and climbs into her bunkbed. The next morning, h
Holly  B
An epidemic of perpetual sleep strikes a small town.

Many are "trapped" not by a captor, but by their own slumber.

I was captivated immediately from page one. A frightful opening made me ever so curious to read on...

This author's writing style was mesmerizing and magical . I was absorbed in her words and the fictional town in California. Literary fiction at its best without needless side stories or wasted dialogue. The story flows effortlessly and I adored it.

It begins with some college
Charlotte May
3.5 ⭐️

“We sleep in order to forget.”

Sadly I didn’t love this as much as everyone else seems to. It looked like it would be right up my street – a strange illness overcomes a small town in California and people are falling asleep, not waking up for anything. But unfortunately I was still left disappointed.

The Dreamers follows a collection of characters – constantly flicking between them. From the college students where the virus first appears, to two young girls living alone in a house after thei
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Debbie by: Esil

Me? Liking a sci-fi book? It’s true!

And no, I did not undergo electric shock therapy. This book is almost pogo-stick worthy, it’s so damn good. I don’t even know what category this book fits into. To me, it’s not pure sci-fi, really. Is there such a thing as disaster books, like there are disaster movies? Because that’s what it is. It’s not about aliens or weird gadgets; it’s about a virus, a sleeping sickness, that takes over a college town. Maybe it should be called sci-fi light. Well, whatev
Larry H
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Confession time: I'm a total hypochondriac. I don't watch medical shows, because I've convinced myself I'm dying of things it's medically impossible for me to contract. I caught a bad cold two days after finishing The Stand , and I was convinced the end was near. I'm a mess.

Needless to say, it might not have been the best idea to finish Karen Thompson Walker's The Dreamers just before bed, but luckily I'm here to tell you about it.

"The only way to tell some stories is with the oldest, mos
A rather quiet (well, they are sleeping & dreaming aren't they :-)) apocalyptic read and I liked it. The way it is written, quiet, not much of big dramatic action which is often seen in dystopian novels, it is a quiet although also an emotional report of a drama unfolding in California on a student campus. All of the sudden students go to sleep and don't wake up. It's like a spreading virus. The campus and small city is isolated & quarantined and we follow those awake and asleep, sort of persona ...more
Susanne  Strong
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, buddy-read
4.25 Stars.

In Santa Lora, California, a College Student, named Kara, falls into a deep dream filled sleep. No one can wake her. She is the first of many.

Mei was Kara’s roommate, she and several other survivors on Kara’s floor, including a teenager named Matthew, have been quarantined. Two sisters, Sara and Libby are left to fend for themselves after their father succumbs to sleep. Around town, there are armed guards, keeping the uninfected together in one place. Supermarkets are out of food and
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 genre spanning stars! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Dreamers is a different sort of read for me, and I’m grateful I read it. The premise? A disease is affecting a college town causing unstoppable sleep and vividly strange dreams.

It all starts at a university in Southern California when a student, Kara, falls asleep and no one can rouse her, not her roommate, Mei, and not even the doctors at the hospital. That event is then followed by another student, and then another, and then the town is sieged with pani
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up “The Dreamers” because the premise sounded very similar to one of my favorite books, “The Leftovers” by Tom Perrotta. “The Leftovers” follows the lives of characters that find themselves questioning their existence after millions of people vanish from Earth without any explanation. Karen Thompson Walker manages to write about the same kinds of themes as Perrotta, but she makes it her own by using a much more surreal writing style. The writing style matches the title perfectly. I’m a ...more
Diane S ☔
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor-2019
3.5 Memories, dreams and a mysterious illness. It starts at the local college where a young girl cannot be woken. After that it spreads daily, until the entire town is quarantined. Not enough doctors, nurses, patients are taken to different places after the hospital fills up. Patients, parents, those who are trying to help, all fearful they will be next. What is causing this? No medical professional has any idea, no cure. All they know is that the sleepers are dreaming.

Right book at the right ti
4.5 Stars

”We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
“In the middle of the night”

-- The River of Dreams, Billy Joel, Songwriters: Billy Joel

“Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream.”

A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe

It begins at the college.

A girl named Kara. A party. She leaves, not feeling well, thinking she is coming down with something, she is so very, very tired. She makes it back to her dorm room, and falls aslee
4.5 stars

A fantastic buddy read with my friend Marialyce, this beautifully written book hit all the right notes with everything I love in a novel. The premise is not a new one but the story Thompson writes is unique and compelling. What makes this book different is the thoughtful nature of the writing, the dreamy quality, and the brilliant turns of phrases. This is not a horror/sci-fi/thriller, but a quiet character study.
A sleeping sickness strikes a quiet, fictional college town in Californi
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars! A beautifully written, spellbinding story!

Santa Lora is a small college-town community. A quiet town where not much happens, until a sleeping epidemic starts. Beginning within the college dormitory, students begin to fall into a deep sleep, leaving them in a semi-conscious state, unable to be woken. Doctors have never encountered this disease. Panic spreads, as does this disease - areas are isolated, quarantines set up, make-shift hospital areas created, emergency help is sent. How do
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Now there's a guarantee I am giving to you: If you liked Station Eleven you will love this book.

I have never heard of Karen Thompson Walker before, but felt intrigued by the book description on NetGalley. I am so glad I have read this book. It is one of the fabulous finds, a book you pick by instinct and left you amazed.

I can summarise this as a borderline science fiction character drama- just like Station Eleven it swirls around lives of a bunch of people after a catastrophe- although in this
Another winner for Karen Thompson Walker! Thought I was reading Stephen King there for a bit.

The scariest things sometimes are NOT visible to the naked eye, but appear in our dreams.

Something has happened in the small, isolated town of Santa Lora, population 12,106. "At first they blame it on the air." Some say it may have been here before, a curse perhaps....decades ago. This time it begins at a college with a young girl who doesn't feel well, thinks she might have the flu, and is so tired sh

Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I stepped right out of my comfort zone with The Dreamers. I usually stay miles away from anything that has a sci-fi or surreal feel. But I read so many positive reviews of The Dreamers that I became curious. And I must confess that I had requested an advance copy without realizing what it was about. So I dipped my toe in the first few pages and got hooked. In fact, I loved it. The premise is simple. A small isolated university town in California is hit with a sleeping disease. It starts with a f ...more
Elyse  Walters
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enter la-la land.....
This was a fascinating-eerie story. Mysterious right from the beginning.
Head-scratching puzzle of a novel....

We keep hearing how important sleep is- that lack of sleep is the cause for many health issues.
Perhaps this college town with hundreds sleeping are revitalizing their minds and body. Too many college exams and late night parties are a health hazard.
I had a little fun with this novel - my own cuckoo mind was captured by the dreamy-atmosphere. As the character
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sophomore effort from Walker and is broader in scope than her first novel, The Age of Miracles. A sleeping sickness sweeps across a college dorm and spreads beyond the confines of the campus. Many people, at different stages of life, fall asleep and dream. This is an unnatural sleep and brain activity indicates that these are unnatural dreams. This reads very much like a Young Adult novel and presents questions about the dream state vs. reality that were considered by Plato, Socrates ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fully expected not to love this book as it's not my choice of genre. But I found myself really looking forward to reading each night as it was very well written and riveting. Highly recommend, even if it's not a genre that you normally read. ...more
Felice Laverne
The eyelids flutter. The breathing is irregular. The muscle tone is visibly slack. With each new patient…these signs that the sleepers might be dreaming.

Karen Thompson Walker’s sophomore novel, The Dreamers, took me by storm. Excuse the cliché, but it swept me up inside of an imaginative world that was close enough to reality as to not be science fiction but close enough to an altered reality as to border dystopia. The sickness sweeping the town took on a life of its own—the true antagonist in t
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
4.5 stars
“To sleep, perchance to dream” and dream and dream and dream.....

Sometimes a book can force you into places you only take a moment to think about. At other times, a book can bring you to places where your brain engages thinking in many diverse directions long after the last word was read. The book, The Dreamers, was such a book that made you not only think but wonder about the very things that govern our being....the brain, the fear of illnesses, and the power of sleep and dreams.

Andrew Smith
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Something strange is happening in the college town of Santa Lora, tucked away in the hills some 70 miles from Los Angeles. A student from the college has failed to wake up, it’s isn’t that she’s died in her sleep it’s just that she’s slept on…and on. She’s been taken to the local hospital where doctors have established that there are signs only that she’s in a deep, dream filled, sleep. Then another student fails to awaken and then more. The medical team are at a loss to explain this phenomenon. ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
In the small town of Santa Lora, CA, on a college campus just like any other in America, a girl comes home from a party claiming not to feel well. The next day she never awakens. As the days and weeks progress others begin to fall asleep unable to be roused. Now it extends beyond the college campus. All the residents of Santa Lora could fall victim.

"At first, they blamed the air. It's an old idea, a poison by the ether, a danger carried by the wind."

It appears that while the victims sleep t
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Dreamers begins with an epigraph from Jose Saramago’s Blindness:
That night, the blind man dreamt that he was blind.

It’s an apt choice for more reasons than one. While Blindness is a much more stylistically experimental, political & violent book, The Dreamers shares with it a tone – a sort of other-worldiness, a sense of life thrown off-kilter that isn’t quite sci-fi but isn’t quite 'real' life either.

The Dreamers involves a small-scale disaster – an outbreak of a mysterious sleeping
Umut Rados
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sci-fi book that mainly focuses on the social effects of a disease that is impacting a college town causing long, unpreventable sleep and vivid dreams.
It starts with Kara, one of the girls in the dorm, coming back to her room, falling asleep and not waking up. Mei, her roommate cannot wake her up. So, they take her to the hospital. Then, another and another… As the cases grow, they apply a quarantine for the town to prevent it spreading through the nation. So, no-one can enter, no-one
The things that could have happened but did not are just as crucial to a life as all the things that do.

A college freshman falls asleep and doesn't wake up. As the days pass, more students fall into a deep slumber—their hearts continue to beat, but they can't be roused. Authorities are mystified by the mysterious affliction that spreads like wildfire through the community. Only one thing is certain: the brain activity of "the dreamers" exceeds all previous recordings of both sleeping and awa
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Leander Readers: Final Thoughts - September 6 21 Oct 31, 2020 12:08PM  
Leander Readers: First Impressions - September 8 16 Sep 16, 2019 07:36PM  

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“This is how the sickness travels best: through all the same channels as do fondness and friendship and love.” 25 likes
“The things that could have happened but did not are just as crucial to a life as all the things that do.” 18 likes
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