01 April 2013

Book review: Zwischen Zwei Träumen

Zwischen Zwei Träumen by Selim Özdogan

After enjoying Özdogan's collection Ein Glas Blut, I took this out of the library based on Amazon reviews and the fact that it had been nominated for a German SF award for 2010.

The story is about a young man, Nesta, who likes to drop dreams. In this world, there's a machine that collects dreams and turns them into, essentially, eyedrops, which people legally use to see other people's dreams. There are fashions: flying dreams, particular famous dreamers, that sort of thing. Nesta meets a woman, Tedeisha, whom he can meet within dreams--which isn't supposed to happen.

Tedeisha falls into a dream from which she can't wake up, and Nesta goes on a quest into the world of dreams to free her.

Özdogan's prose style is clear and not overly flowery. I like that. I liked the world he built where dreams can be shared, and the story was compelling. The ending was extremely disappointing. Once I found out where the dreamcatching machines came from, I was irritated. When I got to the very ending, where Nesta proves to be a stupid sad sack who hasn't learned a damned thing over the previous 400 pages, I wanted to go into the book and smack him.

Which may be realistic for a person like Nesta, true. And Özdogan has a very cynical style in general.

But god. damn. When your problem can be solved by FUCKING TALKING to someone, and you jump to a conclusion and do a drastic thing, I want to smack you.

The ending felt very true to the character, but it still annoyed me.

Anyway. It's a good book, very trippy and heavy on drug culture, with Lit'ry musings on what it means to be, to belong, etc. The protagonist isn't the most likeable person, but I was with him until the last 2 chapters, for what that's worth.

If you read German and your library or used book store has a copy, give it a shot.

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