Award-winning British author Dame Muriel Spark is internationally renowned for her witty and engaging tales of life. Short and sophisticated, Reality and Dreams follows the career of self-centered, middle-aged film director Tom Richards. As he turns colorful incidents from his life into glittery, cinematic fiction, his foreboding dreams become all too real. Tom is passionately directing his latest film when he falls from a crane on the set. Awaking in a semi-conscious fog in a hospital room, he suddenly must deal with a comic, surreal procession of doctors, nurses, and out-of-work relatives. In a drugged daze, he dreams of ways to change his life. But some of his hazy visions come true as he recovers, causing Tom's real world to unravel into a distorted soap opera. Muriel Spark is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and winner of the prestigious David Cohen British Literature Prize. Her tantalizing story, Reality and Dreams, won the Arts Council Spring Book Award. With narrator Jenny Sterlin's expert pacing, all of the delicious surprises and the unsettling wisdom in this dark, contemporary comedy burst from the pages.
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by Muriel Spark
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"Sterlin gives a tart, sophisticated reading that mirrors the witty writing that has entertained Sparks's fans for decades. While this latest novel may not be as involving as some of Spark's earlier works, it does reprise one of her favorite themes, the parallels between life and art. In this case, those connections arise from Tom Richards, a self-centered British director confounded by the correspondence between his film projects and his messy personal life. Tom's fall from a crane on the set of his most recent movie and his lengthy incapacitation lead to all sorts of complications, including the disappearance of his mean-spirited daughter, Marigold. Meanwhile, Tom is overmatched in his efforts to soothe the egos of various lovers, actresses, friends and relatives. The novel's disappointment lies in characters who are not fully realized or engaging, a lapse that even Sterlin's arch narration can't surmount. M.O. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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