Ten Dreams From Heaven

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The protagonist of Ten Dreams from Heaven has one goal for his eighteenth summer: to drop as much acid as possible in order to remake the world around him. He has always felt alone, and he despises his prosaic, clean, well-ordered community. Tad believes there’s more to life than the mundane routines of his parents, so he asks them for a summer off to rest up for the rigors of college life. He then proceeds to take acid whenever he can procure it. Ten Dreams from Heaven is his chronicle of ten acid trips. In the course of the summer, he hitchhikes with a movie director, faces down the cops, and lies in the arms of Jesus—all under the influence of LSD. After each trip, he sits on the bathroom counter, gazes into his infinitely repeated reflection, and muses about the big questions: what does it mean to be good? Is there a god? What is the nature of man? He ends the summer feeling more content and at peace with the truths he has discovered.

Ten Dreams from Heaven is best read as a parable. Like a parable, it features short episodes designed to teach a lesson, focusing heavily on the plot, rather than character development or setting. Sedgwick uses formulaic, repetitive language to describe the setting, and the characters are more caricatures than people. The dialogue is so stilted that I misread the narrator’s statement that he was in his eighteenth year as being in his eightieth year. While advanced age doesn’t fit with the plot, it does fit with the language that suits the author better than the narrator. The strength of the book is in the descriptions of the acid trips and Tad’s revelations. The revelations aren’t unique, but they’re well and succinctly expressed, providing a neat conclusion.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 147 pages
Publisher CreateSpace
Publish Date 01-Nov-2011
ISBN 9781439280577
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2014
Category Modern Literature


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