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The Architect of Sleep by Steven R. Boyett
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The Architect of Sleep

by Steven R. Boyett

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An interesting time travel/alternate world book. Guy accidentally time trips to an alternate world where raccoons evolved into the dominant world species instead of man. A decent story. ( )
  usma83 | Feb 18, 2016 |
I enjoyed the journey of this science fantasy. There are two narrators in the story who are different in every way. They become friends and allies in the conflict for the new world.

Like other reviewers, I wish the sequel were available. I found the world and struggle in the alternate world to be compelling and interesting.

The most interesting feature of story to me was the beginning of learning the signing language of the raccoon people. The author was very clear and realistic in explaining the difficulty in learning communication between the human and raccoon.

This book is very erudite, educated and sophisticated. I had to look up a few words in this story, which is very unusual for me. This book is probably best for very educated readers. Readers who are looking for a simple action story would likely be disappointed. The most detail in the story is the psychological relations between the different characters. There is some fighting, armed and hand-to-hand raccoon fighting, but this is just incidental to the plot.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone looking for a deep look at alternate raccoon society. ( )
  SAGibson | Nov 28, 2014 |
I enjoyed the journey of this science fantasy. There are two narrators in the story who are different in every way. They become friends and allies in the conflict for the new world.

Like other reviewers, I wish the sequel were available. I found the world and struggle in the alternate world to be compelling and interesting.

The most interesting feature of story to me was the beginning of learning the signing language of the raccoon people. The author was very clear and realistic in explaining the difficulty in learning communication between the human and raccoon.

This book is very erudite, educated and sophisticated. I had to look up a few words in this story, which is very unusual for me. This book is probably best for very educated readers. Readers who are looking for a simple action story would likely be disappointed. The most detail in the story is the psychological relations between the different characters. There is some fighting, armed and hand-to-hand raccoon fighting, but this is just incidental to the plot.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone looking for a deep look at alternate raccoon society. ( )
  superant | Oct 4, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book a lot. It's essentially a fantasy story — because of the seemingly magic portal that brings Bentley to the sentient-raccoon-inhabited version of Earth, and the prophetic nature of True dreams. But Bentley approaches the situation with an educated man's awareness of evolution, sociology and language, so I'm mentally classifying the story as science fantasy. While Bentley struggles to understand this new world he finds himself in, he makes some asides about the development of an intelligent being that I found really interesting. He sometimes describes objects in painstaking detail, but it's to understand their function for the physically different raccoons, not out of some fantasy genre compulsion to spend pages describing objects and outfits just to show off pretty prose.

The raccoons are treated with the level of respect I like to see in SF/F. They're wholly real beings with a fleshed-out society, presented in a warts-and-all style where we hear about it every time a character needs to urinate (because a culture's method of disposing of body waste says a lot about their level of development, you see). This book is the beginning of Truck the raccoon's mystery/political coup storyline, introduced slowly through Bentley's culture shock and his crash course in learning the raccoons' sign language. He's not a schlocky Saviour From Another World, though, because Truck and the other raccoons have skill sets and mental aptitudes that sometimes make humans look like useless idiots.

Unfortunately, this book was meant to be the first volume of a multi-book story. According to my research, Boyett's publishers pushed him to make the story more action-oriented and marketable, even rejecting this book's sequel unless he rewrote it, and Boyett refused to budge. This was in the 80's, when publishing was a much less accessible venue, so I enormously respect Boyett's decision to stand up for himself and his work's integrity. But it seems that Boyett has washed his hands of the project and we'll never see the story's completion. The Architect of Sleep ends on a clear To Be Continued note and it'll (probably) forever stay that way.

I think that's important to know going in — that there will never be closure to Bentley and Truck's story. But despite that, I think the book is very much worth reading. I'm still thinking about this raccoon-run world and its details. If I had found this book when I was younger — when I was wandering the library aisles in frustration, looking for non-human characters who weren't Redwall-style children's characters — I would have considered this book a treasure. ( )
1 vote Heidicvlach | Sep 18, 2014 |
Boyett started the sequel but never finished it. i've read different stories over the years as to why; his most current statement is that he was not happy with the work in progress and stopped working on after about 10 years. He says roughly that he has bigger fish to fry, that he needs to find a way to make the story interesting to him again and to make some money on it ( )
1 vote jakch | Dec 3, 2009 |
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