The Somnambulist's Dreams by Lars Boye Jerlach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A lighthouse keeper finds the deranged writings of his predecessor, of dreams spanning time and space...
I never would have picked this up if my wife hadn't commandeered the kindle to read Anne of Green Gables. On that fateful day, Lars Boye Jerlach happened to email me, asking if I was interested in reading print copies of his books. Needless to say, I took the plunge.
The Somnabulist's Dreams is a tough animal to pin down. It reminded me of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle a bit, even before Toru was mentioned. Enoch Soule's tales feel like fever dreams, strange vignettes featuring talking ravens, Edgar Allan Poe, Sigourney Weaver, David Bowie, and probably a lot of historical figures I didn't recognize.
One minor quibble: David Bowie does not have eyes that are different colors. One has a pupil that is permanently dilated due to an injury he suffered in a brawl.
The Somnambulist's Dreams could be interpreted as the fracturing reality of a man suffering from loss and loneliness. It could also be about the nature of reality and existence. I was pretty sure who the narrator would wind up being when I started but that didn't impede my enjoyment of the tale one iota. I wolfed it down in a quiet afternoon.
The Somnabulist's Dreams is an odd, quirky, enjoyable little book with no clear cut answers, one that can't be shoved into any particular genre. I'm looking forward to cracking Lars' other book, When all the days have gone, once I've had a little more time to digest this one. Four out of five stars.
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