The Dream Master by Roger Zelazny
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Zelazny's 1965 Nebula winner is a classic of 1960s New Wave science fiction. It follows Render the Shaper, a psychologist who attempts to help his patients by going with them into their dream worlds. Render has his own psychological problems, however, and when he meets a blind, attractive, female psychologist who wants to follow in his professional footsteps, trouble ensues. Render is at first hesitant about the impact the colorful dream world will have on someone who has never had sight, but it's his own sanity that he should be watching out for.
I found the idea intriguing, but the writing uneven. There are some brilliant and very trippy passages here and also some clunky one, especially in the dialog, in which many widely different people sound identical. The addition of a sentient dog adds nothing to the story and seems there only to satisfy the scifi buffs.
At its core, this is a brilliant novel, but its execution is lacking. Nevertheless it was highly influential and those interested in New Wave writing will want to read this.
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