“The Original Dream” by Nukila Amal

Did you ever get that feeling, that spaced out, walking in a dream world or maybe you are really only awake now feeling?

Those moments, almost Matrix-like in their complexity, are all this book really deals with. The main character uses her dreams to find her place in real-life. It sounds cool, because don’t we all?

Dream-life and real-life have different feels but they fade in and out on each other, and there is tendency to ramble that I’d sort of like to blame on this being a translation, but the truth is I am not sure about that.


Really lovely cover.

I’d heard that if you liked Haruki Murakami (and I do), then this book was recommended to read via Kindle First (non-prime members can get their copies starting January 1st). That said, this is not Murakami. It’s not on that level. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t take the real-life detailed world that far into the weird to be striking. It gets close. The main character gets several spirit guides into the dream world, including a 2D dragon, who has to be my favorite character. But there are missed opportunities for taking that further. At one point, the main character finds a prison of women in an attic that does not exist over her parents home with the intention of freeing just one of them. That could have been amazing. It just ended up…kind of trite and boring.

The language in some places is so beautiful, though. The main character, Maya, is Indonesian, so you get a cultural feel most of us are unfamiliar with. You’ll feel like you tasted coconut crab and sugared edible flowers on a chocolate cake. You’ll feel like you actually broke every mirror in your house because the dream world told you to. And that will get you through the parts of this book that make you kind of want to throw it away (that and the fact you might have this on an e-reader).

Dreams for me have always been kind of weird, bordering on the prophetic as it forces me to pay attention to things I’m ignoring in daily life. I think I sort of needed to pick up this book. I think I might happier for having finished it, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who can’t get through “stream of consciousness” writing. And it gets just a passable grade from me from both the language and the overall message. But, if you really want something almost experimental, go ahead and get “The Original Dream”.


You can also visit Erika at http://writeathomemothering.blogspot.com/


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