Monday Madness: Requiem for a Dream

Posted 23 September, 2013 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Monday Madness: Requiem for a DreamRequiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby
Published by Thunder's Mouth Press on 1978
Genres: Fiction, General, Literary
Pages: 279

In this searing novel, two young hoods, Harry and Tyrone, and a girlfriend fantasize about scoring a pound of uncut heroin and getting rich. But their habit gets the better of them, consumes them and destroys their dreams. "Selby's place is in the front rank of American novelists. His work has the power, the intimacy with suffering and morality, the honesty and moral urgency of Dostoevsky's....To understand Selby's work is to understand the anguish of America." -- The New York Times Book Review

Requiem for a Dream is fabulous. It’s a perfect description of the subtle decline in to addiction and what a slippery slope the ‘I can stop any time.’ and ‘I would never do THAT for [enter addiction here]’.

The writing style is almost Faulkner-esque, so you have to pay attention or it’s really easy to lose who’s talking and what exactly they’re talking about (or doing). 
Highly recommended.
A short aside, I’m almost frightened to see the movie because of the power this book has, there are some horrible images that I think if presented properly in film, I would never be able to rid myself of them.
#291 – 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2010)

April @ The Steadfast Reader



2 Responses to “Monday Madness: Requiem for a Dream”

  1. I’ve often thought the opposite about awful scenes in a movie vs. the book… like, what I imagine while reading is so horrific, I’m afraid that seeing it on the screen will desensitize me (because the cynical side of me is always watching with a “that’s fake” attitude LOL). I’ve never read or seen this one. Heard lots about it, though!

    • It’s like ‘A Clockwork Orange’ I had absolutely no time getting through the book – but the Kubrick movie was so disturbing I couldn’t even finish it. Maybe it says something about my imagination? 🙂