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The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters: A Novelby Gordon Dahlquist
Synopses & Reviews
It begins with a simple note. Roger Bascombe wishes to inform Celeste Temple that their engagement is forthwith terminated. But, Celeste, for all her lack of worldly experience, is determined to find out why her fiancé should have thrown her over so cruelly. Adopting a disguise, she follows her erstwhile lover to the forbidding Harschmort manor, where she discovers a world — by turns dizzyingly seductive and utterly shocking — she could never have imagined, and a conspiracy so terrifying as to be almost beyond belief.
Seething with danger, terror and romance, The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters is a mammoth work of the imagination, a deliriously readable, heartstoppingly suspenseful, and darkly erotic masterpiece of storytelling.
"Debut novelist Dahlquist aims for a blockbuster with a mishmash of Sherlock Holmes, Jane Eyre and Eyes Wide Shut that never quite comes together. Three months after 25-year-old Celeste Temple travels from 'her island' (a Bermuda-like place) plantation home to Victorian London, fianc Roger Bascombe breaks their engagement. Driven more by curiosity than desire, she follows him from his job at the foreign ministry to Harschmort House, where, with little prodding, she quickly finds herself in silk undergarments at a ritual involving masked guests and two-way mirrors. Making her escape, Miss Temple (as she's called throughout) kills a henchman. Ceremony organizers pursue her as she pursues their secrets. Poetry-quoting assassin Cardinal Chang and diplomat Dr. Abelard Svenson come to her aid. Chang tries to save a half-Chinese prostitute; Abelard tries to save a governess named Elise; Miss Temple discovers she is not the woman she thought she was, nor Roger the man she hoped for. Meanwhile, through science and alchemy, evildoers capture erotic memories and personal will in blue crystals. Dahlquist introduces so many characters, props and plot twists, near-death experiences and narrow escapes that the novel has the feel of a frantic R-rated classic comic book — if comics were arch." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Oh, this guy is goooood! This is the most original thing I've read in years: deftly executed, relentlessly inventive, and with a trio of the most unusual and engaging heroes who ever took on a sinister cabal out to rule the world by means of sex and dreams." Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of Outlander
"[A] plump English tea cake of a book: messy, studded with treats, too big and too rich to finish in just one sitting....
"Dahlquist...has written a tale that combines swashbuckling adventure, a big dose of science fiction and burgeoning romance. But beware of carpal tunnel syndrome because of the demands of so much page turning." USA Today
"A bloated, wildly fanciful Edgar Allan Poe-esque tale....The plot travels perilously tortuous paths....Way, way over the top." Kirkus Reviews
"About 500 of its 760 pages should certainly have been thrown out....
"Dahlquist is having a good time here, and that feeling is transposed to the reader....
"[O]ne marvelous confection of a book....Dahlquist takes the reader beyond entertaining to intriguing, intelligent, and downright page-turning." Philadelphia Inquirer
"A wordy brick that's epic in length if not in scale. Ponderously ornate...it's a kinky, atmospheric look at Victorian England that all too often moves like a sullen coach through one of the author's many, many London fogs." Kevin Allman, The Washington Post Book World
"[A] throwback that should have been thrown back....
"Ultimately, The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters has a clever conceit with a foundation of literature as fantasy, though it has its excesses and derivations." Kansas City Star
With translation rights sold in twenty-five countries, Gordon Dahlquists spectacular and extraordinary debut novel was one of the most-talked-about acquisitions of 2005. Now this monumental Victorian thriller is destined to be the publishing sensation of 2006.
It began with a simple note: a letter of rejection from Miss Temples fiancé, written on crisp Ministry paper and delivered on her maids silver tray. But for Miss Temple, Roger Bascombes cruel rejection will ignite a harrowing quest for answers, plunging her into a mystery as dizzying as a hall of mirrorsand a remote estate where danger abounds and all inhibitions are stripped bare.…Thus begins Gordon Dahlquists debut novel of Victorian suspenseat once a dazzling feast for the senses and a beguiling, erotic literary adventure.
Nothing could have prepared Miss Temple for where her pursuit of Roger Bascombe would take heror for the shocking things she would find behind the closed doors of forbidding Harschmort Manor: men and women in provocative disguise, acts of licentiousness and violence, heroism and awakening. But she will also find two allies: Cardinal Chang, a brutal assassin with the heart of a poet, and a royal doctor named Svenson, at once fumbling and heroicboth of whom, like her, lost someone at Harschmort Manor. As the unlikely trio search for answershurtling them from elegant brothels to gaslit alleyways to shocking moments of self-discovery-- they are confronted by puzzles within puzzles. And the closer they get to the truth, the more their lives are in danger. For the conspiracy they facean astonishing alchemy of science, perverted religion, and lust for poweris so terrifying as to be beyond belief.
In a novel that shatters conventions and seethes with danger and eroticism, Gordon Dahlquist has made a spectacular literary debut. And in Miss Temple he has created an unforgettable guide through a disturbing, seductive, and all-too-real world. By turns brutal and tender, shocking and deliciously romantic, The Glass Books of The Dream Eaters is a novel for the ages, a bold and brilliant work of the imagination
About the Author
Gordon Dahlquist is a native of the Pacific Northwest, where he worked for several years writing and directing plays. Since 1988 he has lived in New York. He has been a member of New Dramatists, is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect, and a founding member of the CiNE. His works include Messalina (Evidence Room, Los Angeles: SPF, New York), text for Babylon Is Everywhere: A Court Masque (CiNE, Schaeberle Theatre; Theatre Magazine), Delirium Palace (Evidence Room, Los Angeles; published in Breaking Ground), The Secret Machine (Twilight Theatre Company at Solo Rep), Vortex du Plaisir (Ice Factory '99 Festival at the Ohio Theatre, WKCR'S Manhattan Theatre of the Air), Island of Dogs (4th Street Theatre), Severity's Mistress (Soho Rep Theatre, New York University; winner of Primary stages' Bug & Bub award), Mission Byzantium! (American Globe Theatre, NYTW's Just Add Water Festival), and Reticence (Horace Mann Theatre).
He has written and directed several experimental films that have been selected for the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Northwest Film and Video Film Festival. He is a graduate of Reed College and Columbia University's School of the Arts. He has received two Garland Playwriting Awards, for Messalina and Delirium Palace.
The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters is his first novel.
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