Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Dreamers (Karen Thompson Walker)

I was really excited about the premise of Karen Thompson Walker's The Dreamers, especially because the book got major buzz in the publishing world. Unfortunately, at least for me, the premise was far more exciting than the execution.

A "sleeping disease" is going around a California college town. One day, a college girl falls asleep in her dorm room and never wakes up. It doesn't take long before the disease travels around the dorm floor. Some of the other people in the town become infected, and the National Guard is called in to enforce a quarantine. How did the disease start and what is the cause? Will the "dreamers" ever wake up, and if they do, will they ever be the same?

The ultimate problem of The Dreamers is that many of the questions the reader will definitely expect to be answered are not. The book also bounces from character to character so much that we never really get to know them (and therefore, care about them). I did enjoy the "dream-like" quality of the prose, but because there are so many plot points left open-ended, I ultimately wondered what the point of it all was.