How the Dead Dream

Lydia Millet, Author . Counterpoint $24 (244p) ISBN 978-1-59376-184-4

Millet proves no less lyrical, haunting or deliciously absurd in her brilliant sixth novel than in her fifth, the acclaimed Oh Pure & Radiant Heart . As a boy, T. keeps his distance from others, including his loving but vacant parents, preferring to explore his knack for turning a dollar. Before long, he's a wealthy but lonely young real estate developer in L.A. Just after he adopts, on impulse, a dog from the pound, his mother shows up and announces that T.'s father has left her. His mother, increasingly erratic, moves in; meanwhile, T. finally meets and falls in love with Beth, a nice girl who understands him, but a cruel twist of fate soon leaves him alone again. As his mother continues to unravel, T. finds unexpected consolation in endangered animals at the zoo, and he starts breaking into pens after hours to be closer to them. The jungle quest that results, while redolent of Heart of Darkness and Don Quixote , takes readers to a place entirely Millet's own, leavened by very funny asides. At once an involving character study and a stunning meditation on loss—planetary and otherwise—Millet's latest unfolds like a beautiful, disturbing dream. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/08/2007
Release date: 12/01/2007
Open Ebook - 257 pages - 978-1-58243-959-4
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-09-952075-7
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-933368-81-8
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-15-603546-0
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