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The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by…

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

by Gordon Dahlquist

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1,276596,177 (3.42)55
  1. 10
    The Little Book by Selden Edwards (freddlerabbit)
    freddlerabbit: These two books have, in my opinion, quite similar writing styles and concepts - the plots are not at all similar, however (Glass Books has no time travel)

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Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Like many, I found this book engaging to start with, but struggled as it went on and our two heroes and heroine continued to battle through anterooms, secret passages, and occasional train compartments, becoming more and more bloodstained, scarred, injured, and (especially in the case of the heroine) scantily dressed. There are only so many encounters with daggers, revolvers, sabres, and the like that one can manage, and the plot was over-complicated by multiple locations. The shifting viewpoint between the main characters worked well to begin with, but in the later part of the book the dislocation in the chronology (and the failure to keep the shifts confined withint chapter divisions) became disruptive. The plot grew repetitive (as some reviewers note, it probably worked better in instalments) and the sheer number of evil characters with overlapping and conflicting motives became bewildering. The constant gratuitous erotic (often practically pornographic) component became cloying: by the time I reached the end of the book it felt as though my hands might be sticky from some disgusting combination of lipstick, perfume, over-sweet liqueurs, and bodily fluids. Some scenes did indeed read like film scenarios rather than plot sections for a novel.

Reading the reviews, I was intrigued by the number that assume the setting to be an alternate London or England. This is not London, not even in a dream. The setting is Ruritanian and has very little English resonance apart from the names of a couple of characters (Temple and Bascombe). The whole paraphernalia of city hotels, dragoons, and minor aristocracy with unpronounceable names, together with the geographical hints of canals and salt marshes, point to somewhere in northern continental Europe.

MB 7-viii-2013 ( )
2 vote MyopicBookworm | Aug 7, 2013 |
Great characters, great settings, good story.

This is a old fashioned Victorian adventure with light SF elements. "Steampunk" fans may be interested.

It's a little long, but it's non stop action, possibly too much emphasis on action, and I would have liked a little more of the background to be explained. There are a lot of characters and locations, too many for me to follow completely, but I have trouble remembering who's who when I'm watching a movie. I could have used some charts, but the author seems to realize this and there are various places where he recaps parts of the story to help you catch up. The author creates a fascinating world that I was totally caught up in.

I can't say it was a masterpiece, but then again I couldn't put it down and I can't wait to start the sequel.

I had a good time. ( )
  bongo_x | Apr 6, 2013 |
I loved this book! It's different and new and strange and totally utterly addictive.
I started reading it not knowing anything about it, so at first I was a bit wary of the victorian age* placing and the type of language, because that's not normally what I go for, but soon I was caught and just couldn't stop. The 750 pages flew past, and most times I had to make myself stop reading, or I knew it would be really hard to wake up in the morning... I don't know how this ended up on my wishlist/to read (newspaper or magazine mention? goodreads rec? friend mention?), but whatever it was, thanks! I got this from the library, but I'll rush off to buy it, and the next volume, for keeps!

* similar, rather, because the setting is in a different world and different timing to our own reality :) ( )
  ScarletBea | Apr 4, 2013 |
I got this book in the members' giveaway, and was thrilled with it. While it's a book that I probably wouldn't grab in a bookshop for its cover or title, its description was appealing.
But... When I started reading it I got confused regarding my feelings towards it. No longer I took a lot longer than I usually do reading this kind of fiction, but I spent most of the book wondering if I liked it or not, then finding out that I actually liked the story behind the plot, and the plot itself was OK but I really don't like the way it is written. Then, getting comfortable with that idea, I kept wondering during the rest of the book if I would buy the sequel or not. Let me explain: I'm a sucker for sequels. Really. So, if the store was good enough to make me buy the next one just to know "what happens next", this book would get a 3/5 stars review, if not it would only get 2/5. Guess what, it got 2/5.

What I would read, or see, or something like that, would be an adaptation of the story to another format: another prose book is out of the question, but maybe on comics or video... ( )
  Mind_Booster_Noori | Nov 24, 2011 |
Having had this book recommended to me and then read the very mixed reviews about it here, I'm not sure what to expect...but will give it the benefit of the doubt. ( )
  peterjawilson | Oct 26, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
The Glass Books... is a piece of steampunk, a strand of Industrial Revolution sci-fi with a hardcore following in genre fiction and anime - as well as, it should be said, more than a whiff of Games Workshop about it. The classic texts are probably William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's The Difference Engine and, more recently, Alan Moore's immensely jolly League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics, and this novel is nakedly indebted to both titles. Fans of Moore, particularly, will find themselves subconsciously ticking boxes as Dahlquist's narrative progresses: mysterious character who wears "smoked-glass spectacles" all the time - yes; sinister operations undertaken by chaps in diving-bell helmets and leather gauntlets - yes; airships - yes; lots of airships - yes. The plot goes something like this: a cabal of sinister aristos has discovered a substance that allows them to download human personalities and experiences into blue glass, a process that has the side-effect of making the subject entirely biddable to their demands. Ranged against them is a trio of accidental adventurers: a capable ingenue, a lovelorn mercenary and a strait-laced doctor, each of whom has his or her own reasons for wanting to topple the conspiracy.
Reading this book - and it is a page-turner - you become immersed, befogged, almost as if you had indeed been looking at one of the glass books. More than sex, what you're drugged by is fighting and pursuits: I've never seen violent physical action sustained over such a span in a novel. This intoxication is of a piece with the erotic thralldom the book projects, and it can become similarly cartoon-like: "The blow caught Starck squarely on the ear with a sickening, pumpkin-thwacking thud, dropping him like a stone."
added by simon_carr | editThe Guardian, Giles Foden (Jan 20, 2007)
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From her arrival at the docks to the appearance of Roger's letter, written on crisp Ministry paper and signed with his full name, on her maid's silver tray at breakfast, three months had passed.
Miss Temple was twenty-five, old to be unmarried, but as she had spent some time disappointing available suitors on her island before being sent across the sea to sophisticated society, this was not necessarily held against her.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385340354, Hardcover)

Gordon Dahlquist's debut novel is a big, juicy, epic that will appeal to Diana Gabaldon fans (see her quote below) and lovers of literary fantasy, like Keith Donohue's The Stolen Child. The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters begins with a "Dear Jane" letter in which Celeste Temple learns of the end of her engagement. Curiosity leads her to follow her fiancé to London where she uncovers a secret. Find out more about the origins of this suspenseful literary romance, in Dahlquist's note to readers, below.
A Note from the Author

In the winter of 2004 I was selected for jury duty (at the very same time Martha Stewart went to trial in the next building over--we all had to walk past the fifteen media vans to get to our courthouse). Since the courts in Manhattan are near Chinatown, I like jury duty, as it means a few days of excellent lunches. Instead, New York was hit with a ferocious, sub-zero ice storm that went on for days, where it was impossible to wander in the way I had hoped, and so, with the grind of the trial itself, we jurors were marooned for close to 4 hours each day in the jury room. The second night of the trial, however, I had a strange dream where a friend of mine appeared in the exact garb of one of The Glass Books' three main characters, Doctor Svenson, and together we faced a mystery in a strange, dark, Victorian building involving prisoners in a creepy upstairs room without a door. While I very rarely remember my dreams, the next morning I found this one percolating in my head quite vividly. But then, for no reason I can recall, I took out a notebook, and began--instead of the Doctor, who I would get to almost off-handedly in another 100 pages or so--writing about a willful young woman from the West Indies whose fiancée has abandoned her without explanation, making it up as I went along. By the end of the trial I had the first chapter. I am by trade a playwright, and had not written prose fiction of any kind for nearly 20 years, but I found myself hooked on the story and the characters--perhaps out of my own desire to know what happened next--and so persisted, putting aside most everything else, writing for the most part in coffee shops and on the subway, until I finished the book almost exactly one year later. --Gordon Dahlquist

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

It begins with a simple note: Roger Bascombe wishes to inform Celeste Temple that their engagement is forthwith terminated. But Celeste, for all her lack of worldly experience, is determined to find out why her fiance should have thrown her over so cruelly. Adopting a disguise, she follows her erstwhile lover to the forbidding Harschmort manor, where she discovers a world--by turns seductive and shocking--she could never have imagined, and a conspiracy so terrifying as to be almost beyond belief.--From publisher description.… (more)

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