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The Dreamers Reviews

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

The Dreamers

Karen Thompson Walker

2.63 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Scribner UK
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publication date: 1 Feb 2019
ISBN: 9781471173561

From the acclaimed author of The Age of Miracles comes an ambitious novel of family, secrets and sleep.

3 stars out of 5
Hannah Beckerman
17 Feb 2019

"A sleeping sickness sweeps through a university town in this hypnotic dystopian tale of a community in peril"

Lyrical and beguiling, The Dreamers is a deeply immersive novel about a community in peril, collective hysteria, and the moral, emotional, individual and group choices we make when our lives, and those of our loved ones, are in danger.


3 stars out of 5
Patricia Nicol
17 Feb 2019

"often atmospheric and occasionally uncanny"

There are scenes in The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Scribner £14.99), the author of the bestselling The Age of Miracles, that unfold like a surrealist film sequence. One morning in a college town in California, a student falls into bed, then fails to wake up fully. Soon, others fall prey to this sleeping sickness, which seems to suspend victims in a dream state. The town is quarantined; anarchy threatens. Told through a panoply of characters, Walker’s speculative fiction is often atmospheric and occasionally uncanny, but is too episodic and insufficiently rousing.

2 stars out of 5
Dwight Garner
7 Jan 2019

"a true sense of menace is never allowed to bloom."

Walker needs to keep the plots of her novels spinning, like plates on sticks. When the action slows, you realize what a limited and sentimental novelist she too often is.

“The Dreamers” introduces us to many characters, nearly all of them exceedingly nice... Walker knows what to do when she’s sinking her initial hooks into her readers. But she’s such a mild writer here that a true sense of menace is never allowed to bloom.