Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Experiment of Dreams by Brandon Zenner

Ben has been doing sleep studies for as long as he can remember.    He can enter REM sleep faster than other people and he has more lucid dreams.  Now, however, his doctor is retiring.  Just as he's trying to figure out how he'll continue on without the continuity of the sleep studies, another doctor emerges, offering him the opportunity of a lifetime.  LUCY is a new computer being tested out that can record dreams.  Given Ben's track record of dreaming, they want him to test it out.  Not only that, they're willing to pay a hefty price.

This sounds all well and good until several mysteries begin to crop up.  Who is this man who's hired him and how come he never gets to meet him?  Why won't they let him watch videos of his dreams?  And most of all, Ben wonders if he's still sane.

Let me get the negative stuff out of the way first.  In some areas, there was a little too much detail for me.  Don't get me wrong, it's beautifully written and worth the read for the pictures it paints in your mind.  The detail alone is artfully done.  My problem with it is that I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn't want to take my time to sit back and enjoy the artwork.  I wanted to delve headlong into the story.  I was so wrapped up in it that I didn't want to take the patience necessary to savor all of the detail.

This is an excellent character study.  So many times I found myself lost in each character and figuring out how their mind worked.  There are a lot of curve balls thrown here and every time it caused me to sit back and re-evaluate each person.  That being said, I didn't really care about all of the characters.  Thankfully, the characters that I didn't really care about weren't deeply explored so that worked out  nicely.  I'm not sure if Brandon crafted the book this way or if it was a happy accident.  If it was on purpose, Bravo Brandon!

Any time you mess with the brain, you are going to be left with the unexpected and this is no exception.  Even when you think you can predict what's going to happen, you're way off base.  I challenge every one of you to read this book and figure out the ending when you've reached halfway.  Then test yourself to see if you were accurate.  I read.  A lot.  I found myself dropping my Kindle in shock at a few points.  Over thirty years of being an avid reader and I can still be surprised.  It's wonderful :)

If you're interested in a slightly paranormal, deep thinking, involved read, then I definitely suggest this one.  It has all of the key elements to take you away to another world and keep you there.  However, once it releases you and you return to reality, you'll find that a piece of it has wedged itself into you.  Definitely a two thumbs up read for me and I'm anxious to read Brandon's next book!


  1. Okay, count me in! This sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

    So... To Amazon I go!

  2. Actually, I was thinking of you while I was reading this one! It's right up your alley, Dave! :)


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