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The Book of Dreams

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,068 ratings  ·  807 reviews
Henri Skinner is a hardened ex-war reporter on the run from his past. On his way to see his son, Sam, for the first time in years, Henri steps into the road without looking and collides with oncoming traffic. He is rushed to a nearby hospital where he floats, comatose, between dreams, reliving the fairytales of his childhood and the secrets that made him run away in the fi ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published March 17th 2016)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  4,068 ratings  ·  807 reviews

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Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst The Book of Dreams by Nina George is not perfect, there is nevertheless much to love about this profoundly moving novel about what it is to be human and just how much momentous decisions define the life path for a person. In this complex and complicated book of family drama, relationships and human emotions, ex-war reporter, Henry Skinner, is on his way to meet his estranged teenage son, Sam, when he finds himself saving the life of a young girl in the River Thames. Unfortunately the most ...more
Larry H
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful, moving, and poetic, Nina George's newest novel, The Book of Dreams , is absolutely exquisite. It's so different from other books I've read recently, and it is one I won't soon forget.

"Maybe we're all stories that someone is reading, and maybe that will save us before we ultimately expire?"

Henri Skinner was once a renowned war reporter whose eyes have seen first-hand the horrors of our world. Shaped by tragedy at an early age, he is a passionate person, one prone to acting before he
Kylie D
A beautifully written book, richly metaphorical, about hovering in the space between life and death. It follows Henri, in a coma after an accident, and how he tries to interact with his loved ones and they in turn with him. Poignant and profound, we explore the feelings of loss, hope and grief, all at once.

Yet, even though I can appreciate the beauty of this book, it really wasn't for me.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Katie B
I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book, and I mean that in the best possible way. This is the type of book I will be thinking about for awhile. I think the author really took a chance with this one and maybe it won't be for everyone, but I'm pretty darn glad I read it.

The story in some ways is a bit tricky to explain without getting into spoiler territory so I'm gonna keep it brief and simple. The less you know is probably best in this case. Henri Skinner is set
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Book of Dreams surprised me in the best of ways. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I’m a fan of Nina George’s Little Paris Bookshop, and I noticed right away that her trademark warmth imbued on every page of The Book of Dreams.

Henri Skinner, one of our main characters, is a former war reporter. He’s rough around the edges, and the war has shaped him. He’s going to visit his son, Sam, who he doesn’t really know.

While literally on his way to see his son, he is injured and rushed to the hospital. While there, he i
Elyse  Walters
The ripples of tragedies were too sensory overloaded for me.
So, while I was engaged in the story from the start, I was grappling with the believability chain-
-of events as well.
With several mishaps - right away - they didn’t feel authentically believable to me....but...
ok, I went with it.

I appreciated the concept of this book - ( especially the authors personal connection to this novel - with her own father’s death ), but I honestly wasn’t drawn to reading it until recently when my friend, ver
4.5 Stars

”Maybe our lives are nothing but stories that are being read by other people.”

Henri Skinner, a man who was once-upon-a-time a war reporter, has just jumped off the Hammersmith Bridge as this story begins, desperate to save the life of a young girl who had fallen overboard.

”The river is dragging her along. It wants to own her.”

But Henri wins this time. It is only after he is on land, carrying this girl to safety that he begins to worry about being late to get to the school where
Betsy Robinson
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and I have no idea how to convey why. It deals in the spaces between so-called reality that we all share, but not all of us know it. And it deals with places that are possibly just as real that we only traverse alone.

If you can accept the profundity of the simple lyrics “Row, row, your boat, gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream” and are comfortable with this notion, you will understand and appreciate this book of dreams. It takes the
Karen R
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heart-tugging story of devotion and hope. Nina George has created beautiful characters and compelling relational dynamics. I especially loved Sam, an extraordinary boy who is astute beyond his years. I wanted to give him a giant bear hug and make his dreams come true.

George excelled at putting her thoughts to paper, especially as they relate to Sam’s journey to find peace and love and Henri’s alternating states of awareness as he remained trapped between two worlds. A profound and thought-prov
Susan Kennedy
This was not a bad book. For me there were just parts of it that took a bit of pushing myself through it, which made reading it difficult to get through at times. The premise of the story was interesting and different than I've read, so it wasn't terrible. The characters where likable and unique. They were a bit strange at times or maybe it was the story that was strange at times or maybe it was the relationships that were strange, I'm just not sure.

I knew what would happen in the end, but it wa
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Have you ever watched a comedy where so many jokes are made that some of them are bound to make you laugh? The sheer volume of gags ensures that you're constantly tickled, even if most of the jokes fail. Turn that comedy into a book, trade out the humor for attempts at poetic beauty, and you've got Nina George's The Book of Dreams. Part metaphysical romance, part coming-of-age tale, The Book of Dreams is cluttered with imagery. Whatever ease and elegance it otherwise possesses, George's meanderi ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Nina George's books. They are perfection. I bought them all in hardcover (after already having the paperback). Perfection.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
I will not be summarizing this story. Instead, I will be reviewing my likes and dislikes. I feel the summary for the story that is provided by the publishers is accurate.

The premise for this book is a challenging but rewarding experience.
It is difficult to predict the story, characters decisions, and the ending due to the natural unknown elements in life that the author attempts to tackle. The topics of dreams, life, death, after-life, and those in between are poetically posed and philosophicall
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
What is born when dying begins? Unforgettable, remarkable and so impressive. This story is alit with the beauty of the prose.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
The story eventually captured my attention, but if I’m being honest... I was hoping for a different conclusion.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
interesting novel about coma patients and people around them and what they dream about whilst in a coma. enjoyed on the whole the book with its covering several layers and times .
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy Nina George's writing. I loved The Little Paris Bookshop and the The Litte French Bistro, and hoped to recapture another heartwarming reading experience.
I was excited to see that she had a new book out and really didn't read the synopsis before diving in. Big mistake
Having recently lost my brother 10 months ago to cancer, my mother two months ago to stroke and cancer, and now facing a hospitalization with my father, this book is just too intense and painful for me at this phase of my l
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Started out great, slogged through the middle, and the ending was so very disappointing. After sticking with the characters for that long the choices made by Henri in the end made no sense. What a let down.

There is a great tone to the start of the book and I think the author had a good concept but ultimately this book just let me down.

My copy was provided by NetGalley for review.
Nina George admits that she has always been afraid of death - her own and that of those close to her that she loves.

"... existential questions about death have colored my last three novels, The Little Paris Bookshop, The Little Breton Bistro, and The Book of Dreams . To produce these books, which address issues of being and no-longer-being, have no happy endings, and are therefore not very “market friendly,” I needed book people who were willing to tread this kind of literary path with me."

Karen R
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A heart-tugging story of devotion and hope. Nina George has created beautiful characters and compelling relational dynamics. I especially loved Sam, an extraordinary boy who is astute beyond his years. I wanted to give him a giant bear hug and make his dreams come true.

George excelled at putting her thoughts to paper, especially as they relate to Sam’s journey to find peace and love and Henri’s alternating states of awareness as he remained trapped between two worlds. A profound and thought-prov
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
The Book of Dreams is a fascinating read that grabs the reader tightly and demands attention. The unique narrative is written in the first person from each of the main characters' point of view, thus the reader is able experience the story from multiple angles. Nina George effectively explores the depths of human relationships, and looks intently at both the good side and the bad. Ultimately this is a story of redemption, and each characters journey to find it is heartbreaking, yet inspiring. Th ...more
Theresa Smith
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Book of Dreams was published in Germany four years ago, but is only now being released as an English translation. In the April edition of Good Reading magazine, Nina George talks about her own experiences with the rare neurological condition of synaesthesia. After writing nearly 30 books under five different pen names, The Book of Dreams is the first time she’s written about the condition. I have to say, reading that Nina herself is a synesthete really added a layer of credibility to this no ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very emotional read; 4.5, and perhaps a very personal reaction to a book.

According to the author's postscript, this is the final book in a cycle of novels (starting with The Little Paris Bookshop) dealing with the theme of mortality.

Henri, an ex-war reporter/native of Brittany coast, is on his way to see his son, Sam, for the first time when he rescues a little girl from the Thames & is then ricocheted into the path of an oncoming car and he is seriously brain injured.

The book covers his 45
Jane Woods
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robin Bonne
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
3.5 Stars. Beautifully written.
It's been several week since I read this book and I find my mind returning to it often. Because of this, I've changed my rating of it from a 4 to a 5 star. When a book engages your imagination and your thinking, it is a marvel.

Henri is on his way to meet his teenage son whom he has not seen since he was born. While on the way to the school he notices a young girl fall off a boat and jumps off the bridge to rescue her. He successfully brings her a shore and while engaging the bystanders, wonderin
Jess Clayton
The Book of Dreams is a tough read, y'all. The subject matter within it challenged me to the highest degree. I wasn't prepared. This type of book, full of speculation, is not what I enjoy reading; it's too much work. I still don't know if I fully "got it" but I feel like I got the gist. It deals with consciousness and whether we can communicate with each other in each other's dreams, in a kind of an alternate connection. By that I mean, communicating with someone while in a coma. I wasn't exactl ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written story with unforgettable characters navigating through the many questions that connect us to our world and each other. Having lived through most of the experiences in this story I felt that Ms. George does indeed understand the struggle we all face in being human. A Must Read.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this incredible story!
Em Eichner Niculcea
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
It didn’t feel very believable to me.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
Whoa, this book! I read The Book of Dreams by Nina George for my local book club. I'm looking forward to discussion, because there's a ton to talk about.

For centering on a guy in a coma, it kept me interested and invested in the story. Very character-driven.

I had some problems with some details and some character behaviors, but overall found the story so moving. It made me cry, which...I do not cry.

This is a book in translation, and while I couldn't compare it to the original German, I thought i
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ENG (for German Bio please scroll down).

Born 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany, Nina George is a prize-winning and bestselling author (“Das Lavendelzimmer” – “The Little Paris Bookshop”) and freelance journalist since 1992, who has published 26 books (novels, mysteries and non-fiction) as well as over hundred short stories and more than 600 columns. George has worked as a cop reporter, columnist and mana

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