The Dreamers

9 CDs. Books on Tape. Jan. 2019. 10:30 hrs. ISBN 9780525637561. $40. digital download. F
A college freshman falls asleep after drinking at a party—not unusual, except that she doesn't wake up. More cases follow, the number growing exponentially until the college closes and the town of Santa Lora is quarantined, the sickness caused by an airborne virus, according to experts. Walker (The Age of Miracles) focuses on Mei, a shy college student with few friends; a young couple and their newborn baby; a survivalist father with two preteen daughters; a family fleeing oppression in Egypt seeking safe haven in the United States; and a gay professor whose partner experiences a dramatic reversal of his dementia when the sickness strikes him. Perhaps the most intriguing account charts the growth of a fertilized egg in another college freshman who has developed the sickness. Especially curious is that the patients appear to be dreaming yet cannot be awakened. Cassandra Campbell narrates in a clear, objective voice appropriate to the subject.
VERDICT This dreamlike novel with sf overtones blends philosophical musings on dreams and the nature of reality with human interest stories that keep listeners riveted. Recommended for readers seeking an unusual and fanciful story told in elegant prose. ["A satisfying, suspenseful page-turner that leaves readers curious about the possibility of dreams": LJ 9/15/18 review of the Random hc.]
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