An ordinary town is transformed by a mysterious illness that triggers perpetual sleep in this mesmerizing novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Miracles.
“This book is stunning.”—Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.
Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?
Written in luminous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking and beautiful novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life—in our waking days and, perhaps even more, in our dreams.
Advance praise for The Dreamers
“Frighteningly powerful, beautiful, and uncanny, The Dreamers is a love story and also a horror story—a symphonic achievement, alternating intimate moments with a panoramic capture of a crisis in progress.”—Karen Russell, author of Vampires in the Lemon Grove: And Other Stories
“A modern Midsummer Night’s Dream . . . In this wonderful novel, Walker paints a haunting canvas exploring time, memory, consciousness, and youth.”—Marisha Pessl, author of Night Film
“What a book! I read The Dreamers in a dream of sorts myself, entirely transported into Karen Thompson Walker’s world of mysterious tragedy and infinite, if unexpected, compassion. This is a profound novel, and a deeply moving one. How she takes a terrifying situation and reveals it as a thing of beauty, a lesson in the human spirit, is a mystery to me, but she does exactly that, and fortunate readers will celebrate this extraordinary book.”—Robin Black, author of Life Drawing