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In the Dream House

A Memoir
Narrated by: Carmen Maria Machado
Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. 

And it's that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope - the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman - through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships.  

Machado's dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.

©2019 Carmen Maria Machado (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

painfully gorgeous

I love how lyrical this book is, and I love when authors themselves read a work, especially a memoir or bio.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Important Honest & Poetic Memoir

Machado has proven again that she is one of the best new voices we have. This memoir is radically honest and poetic. But also, expansive, as the author wrestles to both come to terms with her own espero en e of abuse and place it within some social//historical context. Machado is also one of the rare writers who reads her work better than any actor could. A must read (listen!).

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Not an Easy Read

I was assigned this book for an Intro to Fiction class, the premise is interesting, a recounting of a relationship from its lustful beginning to its disastrous end. However the execution is not as straight forward. It is written as a series of memories and emotions being recalled and described by the author. Frankly I found it confusing. It's not necessarily a bad book, more so you have to be in the right kind of mind set to be able to adequately enjoy it. That and for me, personally, books that I'm made to read I usually find reasons not to enjoy.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Narration distracts from an interesting story

Interesting story but unfortunately the narrator's over-dramatic and self-important cadence gave it the feel of being in the audience of a poetry slam.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well written, well narrated.

Fans of Her Body and Other Parties will love this (I did). Similar writing style and similar themes. It's well written, but I have to qualify that by saying that I don't think it's written for everyone, or to be enjoyed by everyone. It has a definite literary quality to it that I think will be polarizing among some readers. Otherwise, it was well narrated too. I don't always like books narrated by the author, but CMM was the right choice for this beautiful and sad and personal book.

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delicious and soul crushing

i took me one day to finish it.
it was so personal... i dont know how to describe it