Dream Science – Thomas Palmer

Obscure-ish, out of print novel of the supernatural (publishers designation not mine).. got it on the flimsiest of recommendations.. a contributor to this list liked a lot of my favourites and raved about palmer so figured it might be my cup of tea.. and so it was.

Rockland Poole, the protagonist, is trapped in fragmentary parallel worlds – almost like dreams he can’t wake up from but perhaps it’s a criss-crossed series of afterlifes that move further away from reality.. every so often he crosses back to the ‘real world’

a good idea well executed and which allows the author to develop and explore ideas of introspection, perception & solipsism at much greater length than other fantasy style books where far more effort is expended on the imagineering of alternate realities.. for the most part the other worlds here are very mundane but it is the characters knowledge that they are not ‘real’ that creates the atmosphere. for the most part the book is about what is going on in Poole’s head and the psychology is detailed and nuanced.

alas the last third of the book doesn’t quite live up to the initial idea and edifice that has been created.. it was almost as if the author had painted himself into a corner and could not come to a neat resolution.. he resists a deus ex machina escape but the footprints of his retreat spoil the otherwise consistently created “reality”..
which draws your attention to another failng of the book, the main character is a little to introspective and accepting of the unreal fates he experiences.. there is noticably no reflection on the theology of the situation or any attempt by him to make sense of his new existence.

still the same could be said of most people in this world :rolleyes:

on the whole a good find.

About caspar

Caspar is just one monkey among billions. Battering his keyboard without expectations even of peanuts, let alone of aping the Immortal Bard. By day he is an infantologist at Birkbeck Babylab, by night he runs BabyLaughter.net
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