An Abyss of Dreams

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An Abyss of Dreams by Giacomo Donis is a collection of stories about characters who think about and discuss dreams, politics, reality, consciousness, history, and other miscellaneous themes. A sixty-one-year-old man rambles and ponders why he dreams, particularly the “sad, bad, disturbing” dreams. He goes into multiple philosophical subjects and interpretations of his various dreams as he reflects on his early obsession with consciousness and the dreams he has experienced over the years. A cat discusses what it’s like to be a cat and think like one in another section of the book. Furthermore, Aristotle and his Plato’s Academy classmate, Eudemus, converse on a variety of topics. In Giacomo Donis’ insightful, philosophical meta-memoir, prepare to be immersed in numerous intriguing conversations.

I liked the first half of the book but not the remainder. As a philosophy aficionado, I enjoy books that make me think deeply about life and see it from a different perspective, which this book did for me, particularly while discussing dreams and consciousness. An Abyss of Dreams uses a natural, conversational language to explore relatable topics and views about consciousness and other crucial parts of the mind. I found it intriguing to consider why one can’t stop thinking and whether dreams appear as a result of one’s inability to stop thinking.

The book offers layers of intricacy that will captivate profound thinkers and intellectual readers, from vivid descriptions of a trip to Budapest to elaborate dream details and translations and well-thought-out and remarkably inventive conversations set in a historical era. A dream about fingers is interpreted to signify that “certain strange—radically inexplicable—things do happen in the life of an individual” in the book, among other intriguing revelations. The cat expresses cute and entertaining ideas about napping all day and being fascinated by birds. Aristotle also demonstrates great character with his candid statements, such as expressing that Eudemus frustrates him with his catchy words.

After the book’s first half, it becomes unsettlingly irregular and swiftly shifts across a variety of topics and disputes. If the pace had been slower, I would have definitely liked the themes (particularly the historical ones) more. Additionally, several pages include sentences that are uncomfortable to read since there are too many full stops in each paragraph.

Health issues, war, shadows, insomnia, culture, the mystery of God, art, the nervous system, philosophy, history, and other topics are only a few of the many topics covered in the book. Although there are some weak spots in the book, overall, it is thought-provoking, funny, and educational, with ample references to other significant works and wise authors.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 415 pages
Publisher Shearsman Books
Publish Date 01-Nov-2022
ISBN 9781848618466 Buy this Book
Issue November 2022
Category Uncategorized