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Summary

Who are you when you dream?

Rick isn't sure anymore....

Is he Rick, living in the here and now? Working a boring job, married to Cath.

Or is he Dan, living 600 years and half a galaxy away? Exploring an alien planet with Vanessa by his side.

Two worlds, one man. While he's awake in one place, he's asleep in the other.

Simple enough, until people from Dan's world start turning up in Rick's life.

Confusing? But then it gets worse. Dan is accused of a crime he didn't commit. Ricks wife leaves him and both realities are falling apart.

Which life is real? Will either go back to how it was?

If you had a choice, which would you choose.

©2019 Richard Dockett (P)2020 Richard Dockett

What listeners say about Life and Other Dreams

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Pure entertainment

This sci-fi fantasy is extremely well written, and holds the reader from the first chapter. The characters are well drawn and come alive, especially those that matter most.
Above all, this book is clever and different, and I found this aspect really engaging.
Having been impressed by the quality of writing, the unique and fascinating story, the well rounded characters coming to life - I cannot possibly think of anything missing.
There's a bit of philosophy, but that doesn't hurt and it certainly isn't preaching.
What else can one want?
Personally I would recommend this book as pure entertainment start to finish - gripping and thoroughly enjoyable.
Naturally, I'd recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator completely spois it for me.

I had this book in my wishlist for a while and got around to buying it yesterday. The subject matter sounded right up my street and was looking forward to be taken into new strange worlds.


I got as far as the first 5 minutes and had to stop listening.

The narrator's voice just cut through any possibility of losing myself in the story. It was just the completely wrong voice for this kind of story. It would have been more suited to children's books. There was no real nuance of tonal expression nor gravitas.
It was obvious I was being read to rather than being invited to join the worlds within the book.

I will now just buy the paperback.

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Different take on sc fi multiverse

Few twists and turns, with an interesting take.. Was just a dream? Also cool that set in UK.. Very good overall

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Imaginative Scifi/Dreamscape

I loved this, so imaginative, exciting and relatable. Awesome writing Richard Dee. My hubby has action-packed, crazy, dreams all the time, so this really appealed to me. Though, I don't think my hubby's dreams have taken him off planet as yet, at least, if they have he hasn't told me!

Poor Rick, he truly does get into trouble with his dreams which take him off galavanting to planet Ecias away from his married life, ( with Cath on earth,) into the arms of Vanessa. In Ecias, he has a name change too and becomes Dan.

Cath begins to think that Rick is having a real affair... And her jealousy leads her and Rick to disastrous measures.
Oh, can't say I liked Cath much... But she redeemed herself somewhat... Jealousy can bring out the ugly in people.

Which is real? Life on earth, or life in Ecias?

My recommendation: 5 stars. If you want to read something different - in the Sci Fi/Thriller category give this a go. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio copy.

I loved the ending by the way!

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Echos of Total Recall but disappointing

Oh dear, sorry Mr Dee, this is a bad review. I received this audiobook free in return for an honest review but unfortunately this review is not good. There are a lot of issues I could mention (lazy plot, minimal character development) about this book, but what absolutely kills it for me is the casual sexism pervasive throughout. The female characters are one dimensional and fit tired and worn out character tropes (Shrewish wife, wanton vixen etc) and the only plucky female character is treated as the property of the male main character, including her adduction and (implied) rape. I can forgive the sexism found in some of the sci-fi classics written in the 50s and 60s, but there is no excuse for this in 2020.

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Bacon sandwich?

More than enough information about the content of this story is given in the synopsis so I will not rehearse it further other than to say that the dual time line is intriguing especially when the two lives seem to cross over. A great starter idea and one which I have only experienced twice before in my many decades of S.F. reading and the first as a full length novel. The writing, simple and effective, could have been further improved by a good editor, but the images created are vivid, visual and with a reasonable characterisation of the main protagonist. That of his earth wife, Cath, is however flat and unbelievable and the most intriguing aspect, that of the drug and the company which produces it, and the arrival of Esther in his life, is never developed beyond being a springboard for Cath to take the action pursued. But perhaps more about this will follow in a later episode? POssible, though doubtful.

The reading of this audio book is by Gareth Richards, whose very English accented voice has a slightly sing song story telling twang, clear, well intoned and enunciated but with an upturn in many sentences which becomes irritating over time. It is, nevertheless, a good voice for the main character. He does also attempt to provided different voices for the various protagonists.

This was a very easy book to both read and enjoy even though it has such potential to have been so much more. I was very fortunate in being freely gifted with a complimentary copy of Life and Other Dreams, by the rights holder at my request, via Audiobook Boom. Thank you so much. Would I recommend it to others? Definitely, and to anyone from teenagers upwards, who enjoy the mystery of dual personalities or the potential of alternate dream lives.

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  • Gilbert M. Stack
  • 18-06-20

Is It Just a Dream?

Richard Dee gives you two stories in one in this intriguing novel that mixes an excellent sf tale with a contemporary psychological drama. Rick dreams when he goes to sleep—that sounds pretty ordinary until you realize he’s dreaming another man’s life in extraordinary detail. That man happens to live six hundred years in the future on another planet and beginning to end of the novel, you’ll never be certain if that future is real or not—because the evidence clearly points both ways.

What is clear is that Rick’s jealous wife can’t handle her husband’s dreams and invents a wild fantasy that they are proof that he is being unfaithful to her. She’s a complex and highly manipulative woman who happily takes their marriage off the deep end and as she does, so does Rick’s life on that strange planet six hundred years in the future.

But are the two sets of events connected? And if they are, can Rick save both the women he loves on both planets. I think this one will continue to trouble you after you finish reading it.

I received this book free from Audiobook Boom in exchange for an honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Deedra
  • 20-11-20

Life and other dreams

Wow!This was amazing!It was a bit twisty turney and confusing,but I loved it.A man is put on a trial medicine to help him sleep.He has lucid dreams and can't tell which is life and which isn't. Gareth Richards was an excellent narrator.I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.'

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • I. C. Rivera
  • 08-11-20

Good!

Kept me listening for quite sometime! The concept of dreams and desire are so fascinating.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • BT
  • 18-06-20

Very interesting, a compelling read.

I received a free review copy of this audio book, at my request, and am voluntarily leaving this unbiased review.

I really enjoyed this book and was pleasantly surprised by this. Usually, about the only thing more boring than hearing about someone else's dream is heading about their commute. But this book does a really good job of having a compelling story. The concept of this book seems, on the surface, to be gimmicky. However, the author doesn't really resort to using cliches and tropes. I was worried, going into this, that it would be like bad 80's sci fi, and nothing could be further from the truth.

This book has varied characters, not particularly deep and complex characters, but believable and realistic characters. However the lack of depth does create an hole in the world building, as characters don't seem to have any complex interaction with the wider world. Rick has no friends or family in the story. Work colleagues and his wife are his only social network. I don't recall him even mentioning parents or siblings, though he may have. But while a lot of married guys don't have loads of friends they hand out with, usually a few that they text or talk to occasionally would be the norm. But there is none of that in this book. Similarly, the other characters seem to basically keep entirely to themselves. While this isn't important to the plot, it would be nice to have a more developed character base.

However, the characters themselves are believable and fit well into the story. The settings, particularly the other planet one, is well developed and vividly brought to life. The tech is limited but prevalent through out and it is all done very well.

The narrator, Gareth Richards, was... OK. The sound quality wasn't super, with kind of a white noise in the background, but it was good enough. Gareth's voice is a little high pitched, but once I got used to it, it was fine and flowed well with the story. The only real issue is his lack of other voices, he does some differentiating between characters, but not much. He also missed the mark a few times, shouting things that should have been whispered, etc. Nothing too bad, and done well enough.

All in all a good, compelling listen, with OK narration, set in a very interesting set of worlds, and has characters that are sparsely developed but interesting. There are some plot holes, which I will address below. I may check out this authors other work and see if he has other stories that appeal to me.



***spoilers***

There are little things that make this a 4 star book, rather than 5, like the only OK narration and the limitedly developed characters, but honestly if the ending had been different and the plot holes addressed, I would have likely overlooked those.

So a couple issues arise from the ending of the book. The book ends with Rick in a coma and dreaming of his other life. It is left as just a dream and all in his head. This is disappointing, from a narrative sense as after this whole book unfolded, I was hoping for something more elaborate. The "just a dream" ending, means that half of the book is meaningless and the stakes don't matter. It's fine, good enough, but I was hoping for more.

However, this brings into question several pieces of evidence, namely the twin pinch marks, pieces of metal in his skin, and knowing what Ester looked like undressed. The psychiatrist was quick to point out that Rick probably glanced Ester somewhere, subconsciously and inserted her in his dream, fair enough, very plausible. But the fact he saw her naked, leaves doubt as to that explanation. Similarly, the twin bruises, one being embedded with metal debris.

This is all hinted at, throughout the story to reinforce Rick's belief that something is going on, but in the end, none of it is addressed and we are supposed to move on. The it was disappointing to have all this evidence just dropped and go nowhere. It did ruin some of the enjoyment I got from reading this book.

And I just want to add, that while Cath says she will be by Rick's bedside everyday, for a nice happy ending, I bet she'd give up after a week and tell the doctors to Unplug him, for choosing Vanessa over her.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kayla Krantz
  • 16-06-20

Fantastic

Rick is just a boring run of the mill guy. Until he goes to sleep. Then he’s Dan living in another century and galaxy. For a while, he manages both existences until some overlaps between both lives cause each world to come crashing down around him. Now, he has to figure out who he really is, which world is real, before they’re both destroyed.

The characters were relatable. They were all flawed, and in the case of Cathy, they were unlikeable. They had realistic motives and thoughts though, and that’s what kept me listening. I really felt for Rick, especially when things started to spiral.

The worldbuilding was interesting for both of the places that visited. In one world, we get the typical urban vibe, but the other is a sci-fi world full of action and suspense.

This book was a trip. So many genres all blended into one, it was the perfect read for just about any occasion. The author did a fantastic job of blending both worlds, and toward the end, the explanation of how they were connected was the perfect twist.

Narration was well done.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane Reynolds
  • 14-06-20

Really cool

The whole book is unique. I liked the way the characters developed. (Even if one did go a bit crazy). There was plenty of action. The alternating of worlds was well done. This book is going into my relisten next year pile!

The narrator really suits the character and has great pacing.

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for a review. (But this is the first 5 star review I’ve given in a long time!)

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam Bogovich
  • 10-07-20

unique, but flawed story

this is an interesting story, that tracks one character in two different stories. they are pretty specifically separate except for one person that looks the same and a lot of coincidences (never really explained). the best part was the climax of the book and the future timeline in general, as the earth story just never made sense. why does literally nobody believe the main premise of the character's side of the story (the affair)? to me, that was frustratingly unrealistic.

also, I never really understood the main character's mind set on earth, especially in the final chapters. the wife had been in the wrong the whole time, and yet he still makes concessions to the very end, even when she tricks him. I feel that it would have been more believable if he had questioned getting back together with her AT ALL, rather than being so submissive.

the narration was good overall, but it was hard to tell the difference between characters at times due to the natural higher tone

free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lomeraniel
  • 23-06-20

Felt like something was missing

Rick has a normal life as a copywriter for a marketing agency, and husband to Cath, a nurse often working night shifts. Due to his wife’s working schedule, Richard has had trouble sleeping for a while, and when he does, very vivid dreams fill his nights. Richard always dreams about the same. His name is Dan, and he temporarily lives with his wife Vanessa on the planet Ecias, on a new colony, doing some research about the terrain and minerals. Dan’s dreams are less vivid than Rick’s, and they are usually about a life in the past on Earth, having a job as a copywriter.

I found the premises of this book very appealing, and after reading great reviews, I was looking forward to it. The characters were likable, and the situation is shown quite from the beginning. The important question we have throughout the book is which part of the story is real, and which one is a dream.

Now, there were some things that did not quite work for me. The characters are not very developed, and they blend into each other, especially in Ecias. Somehow I found that there were too many characters in that story and they were not properly presented. I was not able to connect to any of them, not even to Rick/Dan. Somehow their motivations and actions did not make a lot of sense. I also did not understand Rick and Cath’s relationship. The jealousy, the lies, and the general lack of trust did not make sense in a healthy, grown-up relationship. Most of the conflicts and events in Ricks’s story derive from this situation so this is why I was not fully invested. Regarding the events in Ecias, I think I did not care because the story felt far fetched and I was not able to relate to any of the characters. I think it would have helped were the world-building more elaborate and complex. It felt simplistic, naive, it reminded me somehow of some of the nineteenth-century science-fiction. I also found the pacing off in general. It felt right from time to time, and I got mildly hooked to the story; others, it was terribly slow, and I just wanted to jump ahead and see if it would become more interesting.

There were some elements that seemed to be left in the air. I would have expected something more from the lost pills, the twin bruises on Rick’s arms, or the metallic particles found by the police. By the way, I wonder about the techniques used by the police to be able to identify metallic particles from a picture. Some people may be disappointed by the ending. I found it okay, although it is open to interpretations.

Gareth Richards’ narration was okay. I found some odd pauses at the beginning of the audiobook, but soon I got used to his narration style. He delivered good character interpretations, but his female voices need some more work, they sound a bit strident. Generally, it was an enjoyable narration and the audio production was clean.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.