Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Review: How The Dead Dream by Lydia Millet
The room was a holding pen, a split moment. Outside the room was the rest of his existence. For years he had been detached and now in a stroke of time he was not. He would move, he would touch - no one would think to impede him, they would see him go and be glad - he could be anything. Do not embarrass yourself, he told himself strictly, but he could not help smiling. There she was at the bar: their faces met before he got there.
This was how he lost his autonomy - he had moved along at a steady pace and then he was flung. (p6 58, ISBN 978-0-15-603546-0)
My Rating: 3/5
As a child, T. had developed a fascination for money. He would hoard it, hide it under his pillow, feel it, smell it. Everything in his life revolved around money: in school he acted as a middle-man to pay off bullies and he was kicked out of Boy Scouts for selling merit badges on the black market. He grew up to become a real estate developer & life was all business. He didn't need, nor have, friends...possessions were all that mattered. But life as T. knew it all changed dramatically when he hit a coyote along the highway.
For the first time in his life, T. recognizes and feels loneliness. He begins to question the path he's taking in life. His parents have just separated and he is taking care of his mom. It is only when he meets Beth, an investor assistant, that T. opens himself up and let's love into his life. After a few tragic events in his life, he feels a connection of loss with extinct animals. Just to be with the animals, T. begins breaking into zoos at night.
On a business trip to view progress of a new development, T. is caught in a hurricane that blows through and destroys nearly everything. He asks a guide to take him up to the preserve where the jaguars live, a journey that turns into more then he bargained for. It is here that T. discovers what life is all about.
This was a slow starter but the last 50 pages had me hooked. The transformation of T.'s life was amazing to watch. Through his search he discovers how, simply put, life is all about closeness. It leaves the reader questioning our impact on the world & ultimately the need for environmental protection. This is book one of a trilogy and I look forward to reading the rest.