Wednesday, April 11

Review: Requiem for a Dream


Title: Requiem for a Dream

Author: Hubert Selby, Jr.

Pages: EBook - 223

Summary: This story follows the lives of Harry, Marion, Tyrone, and Sara, who are all searching for the key to their dreams, and in the process, they get flung into a devastating life of addiction. Harry and Marion are in love and Tyrone is their friend. Sara is Harry’s lonely, widowed mother. Sara’s dream is to be on television, and when a phone call from a casting company gets her hopes up, she spends the next few months on diet pills to lose weight. She becomes addicted and delirious, ends up in the hospital, and undergoes electroconvulsive therapy. Harry, Marion and Tyrone are heroin addicts who decide to make money by buying some uncut heroin and selling it. Harry and Tyrone end up in jail, where Harry's infected arm is amputated. Marion, left alone, begins a life of prostitution to get drugs.

My Rating: 5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I knew going into the book it would be one that was iffy for me. The reason why I picked it up was because it was on the 1001 books to read before you die list, and I have randomly picked a group of books on that list to expand my reading comfort zones solely on things such as title - hence why I picked this one.

It wasn't a bad book, very well written and the author show cases a group of lost people, trying to achieve a goal, a dream in their lives which is very important to them. They're self destructive in their attempt to reach their goals as all the main characters are affected by multiple addictions and desperate attempts to reach their goals. In this regard, it was a good book as the author showed the reader just how desperate people get, how addiction destroys lives and all it's horrible consequences. 

Yet despite it being a well written book, I still wasn't sold. I really couldn't get into the book so heavy with drug addiction, - it just wasn't my cup of tea, the book is well done, but the topic just didn't catch me which prevented me from enjoying it. But it did get me to experience an author and book I wouldn't normally have tried.

Would I recommend it to read: I'm not sure. The book does, what the author intended to. It tells a good story, it just wasn't the topic I enjoyed. I think a lot of readers may enjoy the story, but it wasn't for me

What to read next: I'm not sure - I wasn't the biggest fan of the book. But I'd be willing to try the author out again.


8 comments:

  1. I've watched the Darren Aronofsky film, which I quite enjoyed, so I've been wondering about reading this for a while. I was put off by the title originally, which strikes me as incredibly pretentious. However, the film is great, so it's interesting to hear more about the book! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'v never seen the movie - not sure I will now after reading the book. But If you enjoyed the film, than the book is well worth reading.

      Delete
  2. Count me on the list of folks who admire the film, though it sounds like you had enough of the characters in the book already. (I feel faintly queasy having violated, unknowingly, my Book First, Film Second rule, but it's been so many years since I watched the film that maybe I can pick up the book again now, like that never happened. How did I not realize it was a book first?!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've violated the film first than book rule a lot - although in some cases unwillingly. Luckily for me in most cases I ended up enjoying the book. Hopefully you're able to read this book soon and enjoy it more than me.

      Delete
  3. I also really liked the film, and wold love to read the book to see how the two compare. It sounds like this was very heavy reading though, so I would have to be in the right mood for it. Great review on this one today. I found your approach balanced yet still honest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Third person to comment and to see the movie, I'm beginning to feel left out. It was heavy reading, but from what I understand, the movie is heavy in content to. You do have to be in the right mood for this book, although, still not my cup of tea - I doubt I'd watch the movie.

      Delete
  4. Definitely recommend the film. It is a work of editing genius and is one of the few 1001 Movies which I think are better than their 1001 Books equivalents.

    I wonder if you're aware of the spreadsheet or iPhone app that help keep track of your progress with the 1001 books list.

    If not, head over to http://www.johnandsheena.co.uk/books for more info

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am aware of the spreadsheet. I have it on the computer. It's amazing!

      Delete