Book of Dreams, By Jon Konrath

A Review By Wayne F. Burke

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168 pages, Paragraph Line Books

A smart non-stop fun house ride shot through with a rich hip stratum referencing the cultural zeitgeist of late 20th century Americana. Celebrities and their look-alike’s flit through dream-scapes funny and ghastly. An irrefutable dream-logic gives verisimilitude to the dreams. Less dream-log than work of imaginatively constructed fiction makes moot a psychoanalytical interpretation. The prose unfailingly true to ethereal states of R.E.M. sleep. Whacky unexpected non sequitur’s, absurd yet plausibly skewed irreality: “A cluster of Eastern island-style big head statues, except all the heads are Richard Nixon.” “I’m getting ten teeth drilled by a fat dentist eating a sausage and pepper sandwich…” “She calls the police…The band ‘The Police’ shows up.” The narrator inhabits an eternal present and the driven superficiality that ensues perfectly captures the zeitgeist of pop/schlock culture. The work oddly impersonal as dream-log–few the mentions of family or friends–a notable absence of sex. Libido is subsumed by blatant and joyfully described gustatory feasts, the dreamer a connoisseur of junk food and constantly salivating for the caloric-inducing, plaque-building, aneurysm-causing offerings of chain-restaurant food…Dark hilarity rivals verbal shtik of Sam Kinneson and Bill Hicks. “An NBA riot in Los Angeles halts the filming of THE GOLDEN GIRLS for the Necrophilia Network.” “The job paid in NYC MTA subway slugs.” “In a restaurant…glass display cases on the walls contain an extensive collection of pieces of food that patrons had choked on and then had heimlich’ed out.”  Dr. Benway meets Ferdinand Destouches on nearly every page.


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