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Smith's Dream

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  14 reviews
When Smith is left by his wife and goes to hide away in the bush in the Coromandel he never imagines he will become the most wanted man in the country. In a right-wing coup one man, Volkner, has seized power in New Zealand and is using army and special police to maintain his government. Smith's Dream forces us to imagine such a situation and to ask ourselves: Where would y ...more
Paperback, 142 pages
Published 1985 by Longman Paul (first published 1971)
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3.50  · 
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 ·  122 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Arielle Walker
The gallery where I work has a particularly fantastic show on (Dream Dialects), based on the 70's film (Sleeping Dogs) based on this book, so I'll admit I read this more for research purposes than pleasure. I think this is ok, actually - it's not really a pleasurable kind of read.

I hadn't actually read anything by C.K. Stead before this (don't judge me too harshly, I'm very aware of my previous failings to beat the Cultural Cringe* and I promise I'm making an effort), so didn't know what to exp
Kathleen Dixon
Smith's Dream is a novel about a possible New Zealand in which public apathy had allowed a politician to be elected who then kept order with military rule. Smith, of the title, got caught up in the resistance movement which he favoured ideologically but whose guerilla methods he disagreed with.

This novel has a beautiful setting and Stead describes it so well that the reader can feel himself or herself there. Anybody who follows world current events can find the scenario quite believable, and eve
Hayden Teo
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth reading, particularly in NZ's current political climate.
Patrick St-Amand
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
A mildly interesting political dystopia set in New Zealand. The main character was annoying as he refused to take a firm stand for either side and spent most of his time running away from his problems.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stead's first novel and the basis of the Roger Donaldson film Sleeping Dogs, this look at a fascist government taking over New Zealand isn't exactly plausible, but there are moments in this book written more than forty years ago that foreshadow the rise of Trump-like figures and the disaffection of the voting public.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Parallels will be drawn to Trump's America, and there are definitely some passages that could easily be an op-ed in the Washington Post. But what I found more captivating was the extension of the relationship between the US and NZ, and what that might come to mean for both sides of the conflict.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking in the current world political climate.
Anney Ross
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. I'm wondering why I'd not read it years ago. Lots of questions for book group now. Was it all a dream? Who knows?
Debby Kean
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read it many, many years ago...
The novel on which the film Smith's dream is based. It is an interesting premise,that the people of New Zealand could be manipulated to vote in a dictatorship.
Dec 26, 2007 rated it liked it
I can't remember much, just that it was very political, with action and suspense. I think I enjoyed it.
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, got you thinking about how easy it might be for society in NZ to be turned upside down.
Ian Laird
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David Troughton
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Nov 24, 2018
Mark Esther
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Jan 09, 2013
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Cristina Tudose
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Apr 20, 2015
Michael R
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Christian Karlson Stead is a New Zealand writer whose works include novels, poetry, short stories, and literary criticism.

One of Karl Stead's novels, Smith's Dream, provided the basis for the film Sleeping Dogs, starring Sam Neill; this became the first New Zealand film released in the United States.

Mansfield: A Novel was a finalist for the 2005 Tasmania Pacific Fiction Prize and received commend
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