Do The Dead Dream?

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

This is a surprising strange and beautiful book.  I would recommend this book to everyone but  it had a strange quality to the stories that you need to be ready to be scarred.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.  I'd give it 3-1/2 stars.

The title is what drew me in.  What would the dead dream about?  The description indicated it was a Twilight Zone, Stephen King, Dean Koontz mash-up.  So I thought I would take a chance, and I must say I was very impressed.  

While I like some of Stephen King’s books, most of the time I don’t care to read sci-fi.  Seeing it, though, is a different story.  It’s so many years later, yet I vividly remember the chills I got from watching Twilight Zone.  This book has over 40 short stories, so there’s probably something for everyone.  I’ll just give you my impression of a few which will give you an idea of the book as a whole:

My favorites:

The Wreck:  A diver is inexplicably drawn into something, even at the risk of his own death.
Etched in Stone:  This could very well have been a Twilight Zone episode.
Blue Diamond Exit, Mile Marker 15:  A supernatural tale with a twist.
The Red Envelope:  One character, and all the dialog is his narration and his own inner thoughts.  Terrific writing!
The Coming of Light:  Another could have been a Twilight Zone episode.  How can you wake up, feel something is strange, and think that it someone else in your body?  How can you consciously be aware of someone else in your body?  Shouldn’t your consciousness be aware of only the body you are in?  How does your body determine that?  For sure, this could very well have been a Twilight Zone episode.
The World’s Greatest Writer:  Great satire which is just as timely today, unfortunately.  This is the story of a celebrity who does nothing, but is hailed as the perfect writer.  

Predictable:

Blondie’s:  Predictable, but still a good tale.
Rainy Nights and Christmas Lights:  Predictable, but I didn’t see it coming!

Just okay, only because you know from the beginning what is most likely coming:

The Girl Who Chased Gargoyles
What Dreams are Made Of
Dark Was the Hour
Drive-Ins
Clowns

Missed the mark for me:

Walkers:  Sometimes, books make you wait to reveal the storyline.  In this one, I couldn’t find it and didn’t understand what was going on, so I skipped it.

Good story, poor ending:

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tock
The World’s Greatest Writer

There are a few misses, but overall this book should satisfy any supernatural/sci fi fan and the writing is excellent.
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The subtitle of this book is called 'An Anthology of the Weird and the Peculiar' and weird and peculiar the stories certainly were. While reading them I was constantly thinking about the TV shows that I have watched while growing up like 'Are You Afraid of the Dark' and the 'Twilight Zone'. A few of the stories are alright but the good ones are pretty darn terrific!!

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC. I requested the book because the title intrigued me and it didn't disappoint.
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Passable book but really wasn't what I was hoping for.  It had a good structure but wasn't as strong as what I liked.
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Do the Dead Dream is an eclectic collection of short stories by F.P. Dorchak that is diverse in both subject matter and quality.  These horror vignettes run the gamut from cheesy to brilliant, mediocre to genius.  In all, there are 499 pages that span Dorchak’s prolific career thus far.

The first in the anthology is “The Wreck”, written in 2000.  The reader is treated to an underwater piece of suspense that showcases the author’s knowledge of scuba diving and what lies beneath the water.  As the stories progress, in no particular order that I could discern, the writing continues to highlight Dorchak’s vast store of knowledge about a wide variety of subjects, including sky diving (“Freefallin’”, 2004), the Civil War (“Etched in Stone”, 1991), and even fitness via a gym (“Behind Things”, 2017).

It is clear that Dorchak’s style and command of the genre has morphed and grown over the years.  In some of the early work, the writing is at times clunky and awkward, the dialogue stilted and contrived (“Blue Diamond Exit, Mile Marker 15”, 1989). Much is also self indulgent and unwieldy which made it hard to focus.  The later stories, however, see the development of a refined approach that is both smoother and more relaxed (“The Red Envelope”, 2003).  The inner dialogue in “The Red Envelope” is in fact so well done that the reader is easily able to  invest in the character from the very first page, a rare feat only accomplished by only a small cadre of authors.

Another story that particularly stood out was “What Dreams Are Made Of”, written in 1994.  It’s a quirky little Twilight-Zoneesque read that develops an atmosphere that is surreal and dreamlike. The inclusion of familial elements and relationships to contrast the later disturbing events was a balancing act that was extraordinarily well done.  Additionally, the parenthetical inclusions added beautifully to the otherworldly element.  From a literary standpoint, I found it to be the most interesting story of the lot, even if the conclusion was fairly abrupt and predictable.

What struck me overall was Dorchak’s ability to tell a story in as little as ten lines, as is the case in “The Ballad of fReD BeAn” from 1988.  I would have loved to see this fleshed out into a more full blown narrative, but even those ten lines managed to raise a few goosebumps.  Some of his work would, though, have benefited from this more austere approach. These, however, are the benefits of an accomplished editor, something I think was missing.   

With a style that is a little e.e. cummings, a little Hitchcock, a little Stephen King, Dorchak catapults himself to within a breath of  that respected circle of  horror writers as he continues to hone his talent.  All in all, an anthology well worth the read, but with a focus upon  the later work.  Thanks to NetGalley and Wailing Loon for providing me a copy for review.  I will be anxiously awaiting Dorchak’s next installments!
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After wading through several introductory essays in which people claimed that the stories in this book were good, I found that, in fact, they were not. These are unedited, formless, and self-indulgent stories that all too often go on far too long. The author fancies himself a genius, which apparently means that he can mix up multiple genres (badly), be sexist, and run wild with all caps or italicized writing....all for no reason. It's kinda like early Stephen King but with no editor and no rewrites and less imagination. Pretty much unreadable.
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He's a very prolific author who I've never heard of.  I'm usually reading in science fiction circles and while there's some crossover here this is actually billed as paranormal.  Most of it didn't work out for me. I'll give it an average score.
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I enjoyed this collection of horror stories. As is with most anthologies, you have a number of hits as well as duds. This book had more hits than misses. Each story was interesting and well written. I recommend it.
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In this collection of stories by the author, I found the stories to be phantasmagorical.  They are weird, unreal and bizarre.  Most of the stories are strange, unearthly and dreamlike.  I found these stories reminding me of some unusual stories that I read written by Lovecraft, though these are much more dreamlike and bizarre.  I’m not sure what to think of the stories.  I found myself completely mystified at times while reading.  Other times, I found the stories not mystifying.  It’s not an easy book for me to describe.  I do think that either you will enjoy or not enjoy this book.  If you do decide to read it, don’t give up.    Go to the next story.  There is no rule that one must finish a story completely before you read the next one.  I do think it is an interesting read.
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I hate to leave bad reviews on books but every once in a while I have to. While I love anthologies, I had a hard time finishing this book. I had to make myself read  it. The only story I enjoyed was about the girl and the gargoyles and even then, about halfway through it started losing me. I really wanted to like it but I just couldn't.
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