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The Dream Master

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,142 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
His name is Charles Render, and he is a psychoanalyst, and a mechanic of dreams. A Shaper. In a warm womb of metal, his patients dream their neuroses, while Render, intricately connected to their brains, dreams with them, makes delicate adjustments, and ultimately explains and heals. Her name is Eileen Shallot, a resident in psychiatry. She wants desperately to become a Sh ...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published February 27th 2001 by ibooks Inc. (first published October 1966)
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Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
If you ever saw the movie Inception, I really do not need to describe the book to you; all of the major ideas of the movie came straight out of this book. Anyhow, Charles Render is a Shaper, in other words he is a psychiatrist who treats people by entering their dreams and changing them for the benefit of the patients. When a woman asks him to help her become a Shaper he is sure it is completely impossible in her case as she is blind from birth. He is still interested enough to try. In fact he i ...more
Ana Tijanić
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O pripovedačkoj genijalnosti Rodžera Zelaznija zaista je izlišno govoriti.Jednom rečju,savršenstvo.
Univerzum nije izmislio pravdu, nego čovek. Na žalost, čovek je prinuđen da stanuje u univerzumu.

On koji oblikuje (The Dream Master u originalu) je novela koja me privukla svojom temom - psihoanaliza u snovima! Zelazny ovdje lijepo spaja Frojda i Junga s mitologijom, psima koji govore i promišljanjima o tome da li je ljudski mozak evoluirao od industrijske revolucije.

Ovaj dio mi je zanimljiv (malo sam editirao):

„Moć da povredite nekoga evoluirala je u direktnoj sprezi sa tehnološkim napretkom.
I don’t know why this one is largely under the radar. Imaginative, nicely written, vision of the future which isn’t so wrong -love the dog.

But is there anybody who has read this and understands the ongoing part of the man walking along the road who ends up killing himself? Is this Render? Is this how he escapes being trapped in another person’s dream? Is everything that happens in the book a dream except for this part of it?

rest here: https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpre...
Feb 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Did anyone else think of this classic 60s SF novel when they watched Inception? I certainly did.
Erik Graff
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in psychodynamics or Zelazny
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I encountered the novella in a Nebula Awards Collection while in college, then acquired the expanded version years later. Both were impressive, the novella moreso.

The question of inner states, of private thoughts has long intrigued me. As B.F. Skinner was apt to point out, the only aspect of human being which is scientifically scrutinizable currently is objective human behavior. I will go futher and assert that subjectivity does not exist in any strong sense. There are no truly private thoughts.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story leaves me very confused. It's not that I totally disliked it, but I'm also not sure that I could follow till the end what was going on. It probably would help to discuss it with other readers.
Dan Schwent
Jan 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: zelazny
Charles Render is a Shaper, a type of psychiatrist who adminsters therapy via sort of a psychic virtual reality. Enter Eileen Shallot, a woman blind from birth who wants to be a Shaper and wants Render to teach her to see.

I actually don't have a lot to say about this one. While I liked it, it was a little on the meh side of the Zelazny spectrum. I really liked the Shaper concept and the talking dogs but didn't really care about the characters.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compared to modern SF novels the length of this book might almost be closer to being a short story than a novel but Zelazny does mange to pack more ideas into a short space than many other manage in much longer works.

The main character, Render, is a dream therapist who works by manipulating the dreams of his patients to turn them into immersive experiences where Render shapes the dreams to help his clients gain new perspectives on their issues. This is a perilous occupation since if the therapi
Huh. I just finished reading The Dream Master, and I’m not quite sure what to say. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t quite understand everything.

I know that this was originally based on a Nebula-winning novella called He Who Shapes, and I definitely wonder if the novella is the superior version of this story. It seemed like there were a lot of scenes and sections that weren’t really necessary.

But, once again—maybe I just didn’t get it.

Sometimes when I read Zelazny, I’ll come across
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Ab auf die Couch!
Ich habe nichts gegen Verwirrspiele in Büchern. Ich habe aber deutlich was gegen diesen künstlichen Kryptizismus, mit dem manche Autoren versuchen, Pseudotiefe in ihre Werke einzubringen - ich nenne das den Morrison-Effekt, der nur darauf abzielt, den Leser mit offenem Mund vor der Erudiertheit des Geistesgewitters zurückzulassen, anstatt ihm die gleiche Komplexität in einer lesbaren, nachvollziehbaren Form auszuarbeiten. Es ist einfach Faulheit, wenn ein Autor die Interpretatio
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Es por esto que amo la ciencia ficción. La necesad de Zelazny de meter mitología para todo a veces resulta muy molesta, pero logré que no me molestara mucho asumiendo que era parte del ejercicio de Render. Quizás los diálogos eran algo forzados (leí una traducción bastante mal editada, quizás eso no ayudó) y se pecaba un poco de "veamos cuantas referencias puedo meter por parrafo" pero aún así funcionaban o por lo menos funcionó para mí. La trama me fascinó. El mundo que nos presenta, un mundo d ...more
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nebula-winner
"The universe did not invent justice. Man did. Unfortunately, man must reside in the universe."

A little hard to review this one. It's one of those books that I like even though it makes me feel very intellectually diminished. It makes me feel like a ape trying to figure out sarcasm, to put it simply.

You see, even though I clearly missed a lot of references to a lot of things, I feel I did understood more than less of what was going on, but some parts I just didn't understand. Some simply seemed
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I feel I should give this rating a disclaimer. If this book were not a re-read, if I had come into it completely new, it would have been a 3 to 3.5 for me. But the memories I have of this book are so pervasive and so revolutionary back when I read it that I can't give anything that formative less than five.

Honestly, these recollections were not all The Dream Master. I just started cutting my teeth on "adult" sci-fi at the time, and threw myself recklessly at anything that purported to be a class
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this story. The fact that it can be construed as circular (and there are some good arguments to this effect) really adds to my enjoyment of the story, and it's something that can really only be appreciated under certain conditions (which is one of the reasons I rated it shy of perfection):
* you have to read it more than once to catch it
* you have to be familiar with some of the symbolic imagery, such as kabalism
* familiarity with a couple different versions of Tristan & Isolde, sin
Tyler Kazokas
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Terribly anti-climactic and contrived plot. Paper thin characters. Cringeworthy romance. Typos and errors galore. The only salvageable aspect is the writing itself, which pushed me to get through this book as fast as I possibly could. Not quite sure how this won a Nebula Award....
Seton Catholic Central High
This book talks about the some of neuron-technology in the future, which is the kind of the technology to solve the some of the hidden psychological problem in the people's mind by modifying people's dream. The people being modified would be lying in a simulator and, the people who solve them would be able to go into the dream, and do something in the patient's dream in order to inflect the direction that the dream goes. Just like the movie Inception, the people's dream is connected with people' ...more
Denzil Pugh
The Dream Master is the second full length novel written by Zelazny in 1966. The title page informs the reader that it had been a serialized short story in a magazine. Unfortunately, it reads like a fleshed out, stretched short story. It becomes disjointed, a series of scenes seemingly unconnected and written at different times, so much so you can tell which parts are original, and which parts are added.

The main story deals with Render, a psychologist who has become known as a pioneer in the ne
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first half or so of the book was pretty rough; it was a little preachy and awkward, trying a little hard, and moreover tediously brought in a lot of usual Zelazny elements: writes himself into the book as someone attractive to women and generally superior to his colleagues (but unwilling to engage in direct competition), there is some form of magic, and there is obsession with death.

But the details and setting were nice and interesting, and even in the rough parts there were interesting elem
Lee Krieger
I originally read this book back in the early 80's and remembered it fondly.
I just reread it and was sadly disappointed.

Maybe they just floated over my head when I read them as a young adult, but the endless obscure literary references got increasingly annoying, and I kept wondering what they had to do with the story. It was as if Zelazny was trying to impress his readers with his vast knowledge and understanding of science, music and literature... like it was a job interview.

Dude... what happe
Stuart Dean
This book won the Nebula Award so it must be great, but I just don't see it. It's like Zelazny had just read a book on psychotherapy and wanted to impress his readers with his vast knowledge of the subject. And it reads like a short story stretched into a novel.

It's about a a future psychiatrist who can enter people's dreams and give them therapy. He meets a blind girl who wants him to use his technique to show her what it's like to see. He is warned repeatedly that this is a bad idea, where he
May 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is a story of a Shaper, Charles Render, who is part artist, part psychologist, as he shapes people's dreams to try and cure psychological problems. His latest case is unique: Eileen Shallot, a blind psychologist who wants to become a Shaper herself but must be cured of her sight-neurosis before she can begin.

Being a book about dreams, this book had plenty of dream imagery, whole sections that didn't seem to fit into the main storyline, but which made sense in their own dream-logic. The end
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
An interesting premise with a weak execution in a needlessly fragmented narrative. It wasn't a long novel but I felt that it would have either worked better as a short story or fleshed out in more depth as a longer novel.

Surprisingly, this book one a nebula award (or so the blurb on the cover claims) which just goes to show that winning an award is not always a good indicator of quality. Despite its award this is not one of Zelazny's well-remembered novels and, as far as I am concerned, for good
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Myth and psychology intertwine in Zelazny's The Dream Master. In the future, Charles Render, a neuroparticipant therapist- a Shaper- renders mental landscapes for his patients to explore their psyche. Which, of course, is the most dangerous terrain there is. By mixing the trauma of his characters with their realities and the underlying mythic themes which drive the human experience, Zelazny crafts a unique novella. A story about how easy it is to get lost in our trauma.
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it

So I've just finished this, and I'm still mulling it over really. As always with Zelazny it was a very interesting read, which I did enjoy. It, however, was very spasmodic. It felt like so many vignettes, which might have been the idea, but I'm not quite sure why he chose to do it that way. They were interesting, but I'm not sure how that contributed to the story. Perhaps could have had a stronger ending, but I'm not really complaining.
Jurica Ranj
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-library
Jako dobro. Vidi se odakle je Nolan uzeo ideju za Inception, samo veoma pojednostavljenu. Ovo djelo je višeslojna tragedija ispunjena referencama na mitove i psihoanalizu, lagani pad u ludilo...
Andrea Turner
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was an interesting read, however the ending didn't feel complete to me. I also noticed several typos in this edition.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The weakest of Zelazny's work I've read. Although his narrative voice and style are present, and so still enjoyable, the story seemed to fall just short of what he was trying to achieve with it. There are too many characters, too lightly sketched, and too many threads for its brief length. While flipping back through after finishing, I was able to piece together more of what was happening, the jump-cuts were too numerous and too frequent to be effective in my opinion. I guess dreams aren't cohes ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

Zelazny klättrar stadigt vidare. Det finns väl egentligen inget jag kan säga som jag inte har sagt, flera gånger, tidigare. Det finns ingen nu och ingen då som skrev som han gjorde, och i dagsläget finns det nog ingen som kan matcha honom. Gibson skriver fortfarande men hans bibliografi post-Bridge trilogin faller mig inte lika mycket i smaken som den innan. Nåväl. "The Dream Master" var från början en novell med det oändligt mer lockande namnet "He Who Shapes" som plockade hem en Nebula åt Zela
Jang, Min-gyu
One of the more experimental, classics-oriented works by Zelazny

This was the first of Zelazny's works that I couldn't identify with on any significant level, nor get caught up in the plot. The protagonist is an uncharismatic snob and the descriptions require a much better knowledge of the classics than I have. This is less plot-based, at the more experimental spectrum of Zelazny's works. Even with a talking dog the story left me with a feeling of vague apprehension and little more.
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Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is A Rose for Ecclesiastes in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. Zelazny continued to write excellent short stories throughout his career. Most of his novels dea ...more
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