12,172 book reviews and counting...

The Living Sea of Waking Dreams Reviews

The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan

The Living Sea of Waking Dreams

Richard Flanagan

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Chatto & Windus
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 14 Jan 2021
ISBN: 9781784744182

An ember storm of a novel, this is Booker Prize-winning novelist Richard Flanagan at his most moving-and astonishing-best.

4 stars out of 5
16 Oct 2020

"The Living Sea of Waking Dreams at its best when it balances its vehemence with its beauty, when it leaves space for the reader to wander and wonder"

The Living Sea of Waking Dreams at its best when it balances its vehemence with its beauty, when it leaves space for the reader to wander and wonder – eucalypt leaves swinging down like “lazing scimitars”; a moth thrumming its “Persian rug” wings.

Flanagan’s novel may be brutal, but unlike Terzo and Anna – so ferociously determined “to save their mother from her own wishes” – it is not wilfully cruel. Francie’s decline is rendered as a slow motion horror, but she is never the monster. Dying can be an undignified business, but it is apathy that the Booker prize-winning author finds grotesque. Mollified by social media (“blessed Novocaine of the soul”) and peak TV (“bedtime fairy-tales for adults”), his disappearing populace resign themselves to fading away. For confronting the lost noses, fingers, breasts and eyes would mean finding a way to speak to each other about everything else that is missing.

Reviews