Thursday, January 13, 2011

Justine's Thoughts: Todd the Dreamer by Bonnie Rozanski

Todd the Dreamer
By Bonnie Rozanski

Source: The author, Bonnie Rozanski
Book Description:

Lucid dreaming (def): The rare state in which a dreamer knows it’s a dream.

In lucid dreams, you can change the storyline to whatever you want.

- Like to fly over the rooftops? Go right ahead.
- Kill off your demanding boss? Do so with impunity.
- Enjoy awe-inspiring sex with a gorgeous someone who in real life doesn’t even know you exist? Do I even need to ask?

Todd Goldman is an ordinary young man. He has tried his hand at various low-level jobs and succeeded at nothing. All his life, he has let life lead him, not the other way around…until the day he answers an advertisement for a sleep lab, and enrolls in a study of lucid dreams.

Todd finds he is a quick study at lucidity, and increasingly learns to control the content of his dreams. In contrast, unfortunately, his life is an uncontrollable mess. He fights with his girl friend and struggles to gain some independence from his parents. He loses his day job. The beautiful technician at the sleep lab thinks he’s a jerk.

However, in his lucid dreams, and in the out-of-body experiences that follow, Todd is able to create the life he wants, a situation so seductive that his dreams begin to take over his life.

But then, of course, what is the reader to believe? Is Todd indeed out-of-body despite the doctors’ insistence it is just an unusual dream? Is the chief researcher truly willing to forfeit Todd’s life if it means getting good pictures of his brain? And do the sleep doctors in fact plan to lock him away in a psychiatric ward?

Both a fast-paced psychological thriller with a solid grounding in science and a darkly comic novel with a cast of exuberant, funny characters, TODD THE DREAMER is, above all, a story of where reality ends and dreams begin.

Any thoughts:

The thing about dreams is that they can play tricks on the mind. How can you tell the difference between fantasy and reality, what’s true and what’s not? Dreams begin to take over Todd and his world becomes one of confusion.

I really enjoyed Todd the Dreamer. We have Todd, our protagonist, who lives with his girlfriend, Joanne, in an apartment but only has a not-so-steady job at the library while Joanne works at a deli. He’s just the type of guy who goes along with the flow and has a little bit of an annoyance with Joanne. When he signs up to become a volunteer for a “lucid dreaming experiment”, he believes it’s the perfect opportunity for a second job and most of all, more time away from Joanne and more time with the pretty technician, Mary Beth. It is later when Todd delves into further experiments that he realizes how much the doctors are eager to go into more detail with his dreams. Maybe much too eager that they would risk Todd’s safety.

The amount of knowledge about dreams and the brain in Todd the Dreamer fascinated me. Normally, these kinds of things would bore me, but Rozanski’s writing style and the facts about which part of the brain is being used and when had me continue at a fast pace. The suspense and the romance helped as well, making it interesting and funny. The ending is perfect and just flew right at me.

Todd the Dreamer is an excellent read. I have always been interested in dreams and how they work. I was happy I had the chance to explore a side of it. Although there may be some mature content definitely not suitable for the young teens, older readers will be captivated in Todd the Dreamer.

Thank you to the author, Bonnie Rozanski, for providing me an e-book copy!

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