Review: The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin

I’m not going to spend a lot of time writing a long review on The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin. It’s not that it was a bad book; it just wasn’t a good book.

Plot summary: young woman becomes an assistant in a dream study, only to find out that things are (as they say) “not as they seem.” There is intrigue and romance. The inside-baseballish talk about dreams is interesting and well done. The prose aims to be smart, and it mostly succeeds.

But it’s also an ambitious story, and here it falls short. I have no doubt that Benjamin is going to be a very talented novelist. But in Anatomy, her reach exceeds her grasp. The third act in particular feels too long, and works too hard to tie up every single loose end. A tighter ending and some ambiguity wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

If you are really interested in dreams, it’s probably worth a look. Otherwise, pass. Though it might be worth keeping an eye out for her next book.


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