REVIEW: “A Dream of This Life” by Andrea Blythe

Review of Andrea Blythe, “A Dream of This Life”, Luna Station Quarterly 35 (2018): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Content note: Drug use.

This was a grey, dismal story, of insomnia, of drug-use, of the wretched dullness of life. The narrator (never named) used to be a dreamer of dreams — and, more importantly, a seller of them too. Now she dreams no longer, at least, not any dream that anyone would want to have, because

No one wants to buy a dream that leaves them with the same unsettling boredom they experience every day of their lives.

Blythe describes the experiences of the narrator in painfully evocative language: Very well written, but what’s being written is not necessarily something you want to read. What I found most interesting, reading this story, was how much reading the story felt like experiencing one of those dreams. No one wants a dream that resembles the dullness of their life; but few would want to read a story that is full of the boredom of life, either. In sum: The story was well-written, but I am unsure that it is a story that people would want to read.