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The Hollow People by Brian Keaney
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The Hollow People

by Brian Keaney

Other authors: Nicoletta Ceccoli (Illustrator)

Series: The Promises of Dr. Sigmundus (1)

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Teen son loved this book. ( )
  joelle.casteel | Jun 14, 2012 |
The book is creepy, and very dark. It is about mentally disturbed people.
4Q, 4P
This book is best suited for middle and highschoolers.
It was selected due to the subject and how it's presented, the cover made it look interesting.
Grade: 10th
CS-AHS-NC
  edspicer | May 18, 2011 |
When I first picked up this book I thought it was from the paranormal genre. Then I took a closer look and it was an interesting blend of dystopia with some paranormal characteristics. I really did enjoy the dystopia aspect of the book. Dreams are taboo and you’re sent to the asylum if you have one and talk about it. It was an interesting idea and concept. However the pace was a little slow for me and it took me longer than usual to finish this book (despite its short length).

The theme and setting certainly had a good dark tone to it. It’s set in an asylum for the most part and when an extremely ‘dangerous’ inmate arrives that’s all the excitement that happens in the asylum. The mystery surrounding Dante and his past was good and connections were slowly being revealed. I really did like Dante as a character and the story does surround on his development as a character. Bea is more like a female sidekick to the story and although she has her own story arc as well it’s not as interesting as Dante’s.

Towards the ending of the book it got more interesting, except for a certain sequence where after re-reading the passage for about 3 times I’m still wondering what in the world happened. The cliffhanger though was very good and it does entice the reader to go search for the second one. I’m not sure if I’m going to pursue this series further. Although interesting and different when it comes to dystopian novels out there, the pace was just too slow for me and it just got a little too strange at the end. Plus, the cover is very very deceiving. You would expect to get a gothic horror novel but end with a dystopian world where dreams are illegal. Not a bad trade off, but with a slow start and slow moving pace this might deter readers (or not).

So, I’m not sure if I would recommend this book to others as I did not enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I would say pick this up if you want to read something that’s a little different from the rest of the dystopian novels out there. Otherwise, take it or leave it. ( )
  sensitivemuse | Mar 19, 2011 |
Dante, a bottom-tier kitchen boy at a psychiatric prison on the island of Tarnegar, meets Bea, a physician’s daughter, and reveals a secret. Despite receiving the drug Ichor, he still dreams. Although the promises of Dr. Sigmundus say that dreams are the sign of an unfit mind, Bea begins to question the teachings as she ponders her place in society. In this dystopian novel, several central themes emerge including dreams, social equity, and simulated realities. Glimpses into Bea and Dante’s daily activities and thoughts allow the reader to fully understand the implications of social immobility in Tarnegar. Text in the first half of the book flows smoothly with several thought provoking moments, but the second portion seem rushed and slightly contrived. At times, the sinister tone and philosophical dialog evoke memories of The Matrix, but the work offers a unique setting that will keep the audience hungry for more. Teens interested in dystopian fiction will be eager to check out the other two books in the Promises of Dr. Sigmundus trilogy. Grades 9+ ( )
  rebkamp | Mar 5, 2011 |
Reason for Reading: I love dystopian fiction and books that are set in asylums; this fitting both descriptions was a must read.

Tarnegar, is an island community that houses the insane from the rest of the population in this country where dreaming is forbidden, adults (14 and over) take a drug to make them stop dreaming and comply quietly to any authoritative figures. Questioning the wisdom of any part of this society could have you banded a lunatic and thrown into the asylum. Dante is an orphan whose mother was a lunatic and killed herself by jumping off the roof of the asylum. He now works as a kitchen boy, but the drug has never taken away his dreams. Bea Argenti is a middle-class girl, daughter of two junior doctors, who will be turning 14 soon but questions the use of the drug and does not want her dreams to go away as she has been dreaming for a long time about a strange ruined city. The two meet and start to figure out that their society is based on lies and perhaps the time has come for someone to stand up for the truth.

I loved this dystopian novel! The idea of controlling society with drugs has been done many times before, perhaps starting with Brave New world, but it is a realistic thought-provoking idea that is not beyond the realms of possibility. Dante is a wonderful character and I liked him from the beginning; his background and character are fleshed out as the story progresses. This is definitely his story. Bea on the other hand has not been as fully developed, and she felt more like a sidekick, a female element to satisfy the 'need' for one. Personally,l I don't think there is a need for a male/female partnership/relationship for a good story but perhaps she will have more of a point to the plot in the next book. I loved the asylum half of the story, very creepy! Then the story progresses far beyond that level, more character's are introduced and the plot takes on many more levels while remaining a very dark and atmospheric tale of a future controlled by a madman. There is a science fiction element to the story that at first seems more magical than scientific and I wondered where it was going. I like fantasy so that's not necessarily a bad thing, but the book did remain in the scientific world while having this quasi-science/magic element that had me stumped of whether the series was going to turn into fantasy. But at the end, the Author's Note qualifies that there really was, historically, a scientist who did many experiments in the field of the subject matter used in the story. This made me appreciate the story more when I had finished. I look forward to continuing the series but do hope that we see a return to the asylum at some point. ( )
  ElizaJane | Mar 1, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brian Keaneyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ceccoli, NicolettaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375843329, Hardcover)

ON THE SINISTER ISLAND where strict obedience to the laws of the mysterious Dr. Sigmundus holds sway, dreaming will get you locked up and branded a lunatic, a danger to society and to all who know you. In this doomed and repressive place, two teens that were never meant to meet or share their dreams, cross paths and set in motion that which rips them from the lives they were meant to lead. Together they join forces with a ragtag group of rebel forces bent on breaking the grip of lies and illusions their countrymen have accepted without question.

For fans of thoughtful science fiction and fantasy, The Hollow People opens a window on the unseen worlds that surround us. It is the first installment in The Promises of Dr. Sigmundus. Book II will continue the tale in fall 2008.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

On an island that houses the asylum where law-breakers are imprisoned, two teenagers rebel against a rigidly controlled society where dreams are considered antisocial and all citizens over the age of fourteen take a drug to control their behavior.

» see all 2 descriptions

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