How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet
A Novel

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Synopsis

T. is a young Los Angeles real estate developer consumed by power and political ambitions. His orderly, upwardly mobile life is thrown into chaos by the sudden appearance of his nutty mother, who’s been deserted by T.’s now out-of-the-closet father. After his mother’s suicide attempt and two other deaths, T. finds himself increasingly estranged from his latest project: a retirement community in the middle of the California desert. As he juggles family, business, and social responsibilities, T. begins to nurture a curious obsession with vanishing species. Soon he’s living a double life, building sprawling subdivisions by day and breaking into zoos at night to be near the animals. A series of calamities forces T. to a tropical island, where he takes a Conrad-esque journey up a river into the remote jungle. Millet’s devastating wit, psychological acuity, and remarkable empathy for flawed humankind contend with her vision of a world slowly murdering itself.
 

About Lydia Millet

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Lydia Millet is the author of the New York Times Notable Book Ghost Lights and eight other works of fiction. Her short story collection Love in Infant Monkeys was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She lives with her children outside Tucson, Arizona.
 
Published January 25, 2008 by Counterpoint. 256 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for How the Dead Dream

Kirkus Reviews

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She does, however, offer an interesting disputation on the meaning of life, one that posits love as the only useful response to isolation, even as it acknowledges that loss is the inevitable result of communion.

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The New York Times

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— as the developer, Thomas, is usually called — runs a black market, selling things like “purloined bottles of liquor, a dog-eared copy of ‘The Joy of Sex’ ...

Mar 09 2008 | Read Full Review of How the Dead Dream: A Novel

The Guardian

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Lydia Millet's odd and compelling new novel begins with the love of money.

Oct 11 2008 | Read Full Review of How the Dead Dream: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Millet proves no less lyrical, haunting or deliciously absurd in her brilliant sixth novel than in her fifth, the acclaimed Oh Pure & Radiant Heart .

Oct 08 2007 | Read Full Review of How the Dead Dream: A Novel

BC Books

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If we are dead to anything but money and what it can give us, what kind of dreams are we going to have?

Jan 03 2008 | Read Full Review of How the Dead Dream: A Novel

BC Books

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Nothing his parents tell him offers any reassurance that his money will be safe out in the open, and only the guarantee that banks are insured against robbery, along with coerced seed money from his parents, convinces him to open a bank account.

Jan 03 2008 | Read Full Review of How the Dead Dream: A Novel

Review (Barnes & Noble)

(Millet's other two novels featuring difficult American men include George Bush, Dark Prince of Love, an ode to President Bush Senior written in the voice of a trailer-park stalker and Everyone's Pretty, about an alcoholic pornographer, inspired in part by Millet's stint as a copy editor for Larr...

Feb 12 2008 | Read Full Review of How the Dead Dream: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Smith San Francisco Chronicle 3 of 5 Stars "The brevity and opacity of [the character of T.’s girlfriend] don’t support the histrionic period of mourning that follows, which, along with T.’s strained relationship with his out-of-the-closet father and his mother’s descent into dementia, slow ...

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of How the Dead Dream: A Novel

Reader Rating for How the Dead Dream
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