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The Anatomy of Dreams: A Novel by Chloe…
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The Anatomy of Dreams: A Novel (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Chloe Benjamin (Author)

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1416151,385 (3.29)None
Winner of the Edna Ferber Prize Long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize "A sly, promising and ambitious debut." --Publishers Weekly "Chloe Benjamin is a great new talent." --Lorrie Moore, author of Bark: Stories It's 1998, and Sylvie Patterson, a bookish student at a Northern California boarding school, falls in love with a spirited, elusive classmate named Gabe. Their headmaster, Dr. Adrian Keller, is a charismatic medical researcher who has staked his career on the therapeutic potential of lucid dreaming: By teaching his patients to become conscious during sleep, he helps them to relieve stress and heal from trauma. Over the next six years, Sylvie and Gabe become consumed by Keller's work, following him from the redwood forests of Eureka, California, to the enchanting New England coast. But when an opportunity brings the trio to the Midwest, Sylvie and Gabe stumble into a tangled relationship with their mysterious neighbors--and Sylvie begins to doubt the ethics of Keller's research, recognizing the harm that can be wrought under the guise of progress. As she navigates the hazy, permeable boundaries between what is real and what isn't, who can be trusted and who cannot, Sylvie also faces surprising developments in herself: an unexpected infatuation, growing paranoia, and a new sense of rebellion. In stirring, elegant prose, Benjamin's tale exposes the slippery nature of trust--and the immense power of our dreams.… (more)
Member:HobbyHorse33
Title:The Anatomy of Dreams: A Novel
Authors:Chloe Benjamin (Author)
Info:Atria Books (2014), 320 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin (2014)

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The author is a beautiful writer. From page one, I was hooked by her style and descriptions. The story, like many, is centered on a mysterious revelation. We don't know what it is, and approach it chronologically from the past, and retrospectively from the future.

Unfortunately, the science around the revelation wasn't explained in an engaging way. Or perhaps it was just an anti-climactic reveal.

From there, the book seemed to coast gently downward and, while beautiful to read, wasn't very charged. ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
This is more of a 2.5, almost a 3. It was captivating, I finished it very quickly and found it difficult to put down, but I'm not sure I enjoyed it. The character felt uptight the whole time which made me uptight, it wasn't a relaxing read. The twist at the end wasn't super surprising, but I expected the book to end happier. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
Sylve meets Gabe when they are both students at an elite boarding school. Gabe leaves and Sylve moves onto college. However just as she enters her final year she reconnects with Gabe, she drops out and they go to work for their former headteacher who is an eminent psychologist conducting research into lucid dreaming. Sylve finds trouble sleeping properly and her research and real life start to collide as she has vivid dreams about her neighbour. Are her dreams reality or is she part of something a lot deeper?
Having read and enjoyed Benjamin's previous novel 'The Immortalists' I was keen to read this which is apparently an earlier book. Benjamin has a wonderful way of writing which in this case mirrored the dreamlike quality of the story. Unfortunately I did not find any of the characters sympathetic and that made me enjoy this book less than I wish I had done as I feel Benjamin is a rare talent. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Nov 17, 2018 |
I got about 60% in and I'm curious about what happens, but the story is honestly just too weird for me and not all that interesting. The bouncing back and forth among the years and locations has given an unsettling feel to the story and is probably intentional. The sense of what is really happening here also adds to that. I just feel a little too jerked around by it all. On to something more to my liking. I should have quit at around 25%.
  ajlewis2 | Jul 11, 2018 |
I love Benjamin’s writing. Her prose flows so smoothly. Such an interesting concept. I rooted for Sylvia the whole book. What Gabe and Adrian did is so messed up. I can’t wait to read more books by Benjamin. I really loved The Immortalists, which is how I found out about this book. ( )
  DKnight0918 | Jul 8, 2018 |
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Winner of the Edna Ferber Prize Long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize "A sly, promising and ambitious debut." --Publishers Weekly "Chloe Benjamin is a great new talent." --Lorrie Moore, author of Bark: Stories It's 1998, and Sylvie Patterson, a bookish student at a Northern California boarding school, falls in love with a spirited, elusive classmate named Gabe. Their headmaster, Dr. Adrian Keller, is a charismatic medical researcher who has staked his career on the therapeutic potential of lucid dreaming: By teaching his patients to become conscious during sleep, he helps them to relieve stress and heal from trauma. Over the next six years, Sylvie and Gabe become consumed by Keller's work, following him from the redwood forests of Eureka, California, to the enchanting New England coast. But when an opportunity brings the trio to the Midwest, Sylvie and Gabe stumble into a tangled relationship with their mysterious neighbors--and Sylvie begins to doubt the ethics of Keller's research, recognizing the harm that can be wrought under the guise of progress. As she navigates the hazy, permeable boundaries between what is real and what isn't, who can be trusted and who cannot, Sylvie also faces surprising developments in herself: an unexpected infatuation, growing paranoia, and a new sense of rebellion. In stirring, elegant prose, Benjamin's tale exposes the slippery nature of trust--and the immense power of our dreams.

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