A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill - part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs - that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoods
There is another world than our own - one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares - where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away. But once you see that world, you will never be the same.
Dreams and Shadows takes us beyond this veil. Once bold explorers and youthful denizens of this magical realm, Ewan is now an Austin musician who just met his dream girl, and Colby, meanwhile, cannot escape the consequences of an innocent wish. But while Ewan and Colby left the Limestone Kingdom as children, it has never forgotten them. And in a world where angels relax on rooftops, whiskey-swilling genies argue metaphysics with foul-mouthed wizards, and monsters in the shadows feed on fear, you can never outrun your fate.
Dreams and Shadows is a stunning and evocative debut about the magic and monsters in our world and in our self.
©2013 C. Robert Cargill (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
This was a very enjoyable escape; I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. Not only is the story itself wonderfully engaging, gripping, comic and tragic, but the narration itself, by Vikas Adam, has to be one of the best readings I've ever heard -- and I've heard many. Vikas' command of the characters, and their voices -- amazingly in childhood and adulthood -- is superb. I can only hope he reads other books that I have an interest in.
As for the story itself: it's a fairy tale, a modern-age fairy tell in an urban environment that grabs on tightly to its roots in the netherworld. I have a hard time describing it, and the only thing that comes close is to think if the Brothers Grimm time-traveled into our present age, to write a fairy tale that intermixes the beauty and harshness of the fairy world with the beauty and harshness of present-day urban America.
My only hope now is that if AMC were to ever make this into a series, please consider Steve Buscemi as the Fallen Angel Bertrand. :)
I really enjoyed this novel because the storyline is creative and engaging. The author merges two realms as his settings or this story and it is done with clarity and plausibility. The story follows 2 boys in 2 vastly different worlds and evolves as their unexpected meeting leads them both along an unexpected path together. The characters have depth and are well developed with relatable qualities. These fantastic beings within the story are based in traditional folklore, giving the reader some familiarity and enhancing their believability; but they also have original characteristics that make this story unique. The writing is well structured and witty with a surprising humor and just the right touch of mystery. Unlike many fantasy novels, Dreams and Shadows is concluded well but leaves you wanting to see where else they can go. I look forward to reading/listening to this book again. Dreams and Shadows is a great debut novel for this innovative new author. I hope to see more from him, and would LOVE to see a sequel to this story.
This story ties in the traditional fantasy genre into modern times. It is refreshingly different from many of the popular fiction novels that have been recently available.
The reader does an excellent job of portraying the characters consistently and with the appropriate dramatic flair.
If Cargill wrote novels for adults, I would try them. As far as Adams's shrill, cringe-inducing reading, I'd just as soon go without.
That's not relevant to this review.
Most of Adams's reading was acceptable, but some of his voices, particularly of children, were nails-on-chalkboard grating, coming out as a cross of a movie gremlin and Karl from Sling Blade.
Disappointment. The comparison to Neil Gaiman was particularly unhelpful. Though both authors do draw on the dark side of fairy lore, that's where the similarities end.
This book was a young adult level horror story. The characters in this story are largely passive, at the whim of the storm of random awful events that befall them, and to no useful storytelling purpose.
*slight spoiler*: In particular, a group of oversexed teens get high on hallucinogenic mushrooms and proceed to get themselves graphically dismembered by evil forest creatures. This is a good example of the quality of the book as a whole.
I listen to books while I do the repetitive part of my job and while I do yard work. I can't use audiobooks that require strict attention.
I was hoping for an engaging urban fantasy. I got something written for 12 year olds with no discernment.
No, just from this author.
No that I could find.
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