The Dream of Perpetual Motion

The Dream of Perpetual Motion

[a Novel]

Book - 2010
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A debut so magical... so extraordinary... it has to be read to be believed....

Imprisoned for life aboard a zeppelin that floats high above a fantastic metropolis, the greeting-card writer Harold Winslow pens his memoirs. His only companions are the disembodied voice of Miranda Taligent, the only woman he has ever loved, and the cryogenically frozen body of her father Prospero, the genius and industrial magnate who drove her insane.

The tale of Harold's life is also one of an alternate reality, a lucid waking dream in which the well-heeled have mechanical men for servants, where the realms of fairy tales can be built from scratch, where replicas of deserted islands exist within skyscrapers.. As Harold's childhood infatuation with Miranda changes over twenty years to love and then to obsession, the visionary inventions of her father also change Harold's entire world, transforming it from a place of musicand miracles to one of machines and noise. And as Harold heads toward a last desperate confrontation with Prospero to save Miranda's life, he finds himself an unwitting participant in the creation of the greatest invention of them all: the perpetual motion machine.

Beautifully written, stunningly imagined, and wickedly funny, The Dream of Perpetual Motion is a heartfelt meditation on the place of love in a world dominated by technology.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c2010.
ISBN: 9780312558154
Characteristics: 340 p. ;,25 cm.


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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

It's hard to label Dexter Palmer's debut novel The Dream of Perpetual Motion. There are definitely elements of steampunk, but, at the same time, it's not exactly what I think of when I hear the word steampunk. You could just group it in the sci-fi genre--it's an alternative history where robots essentially infest the earth--but that doesn't seem the right place for it either. Inspired by The Tempest, this novel is equally Willy Wonka as it is Shakespeare. Classifying it is hard to do, which leaves the doors of criticism and interpretation wide open.

Fans of quality literature should not be scared however. Yes, there's a little steampunk and a lot of sci-fi. But there also is a wide spread of wonderful writing--vibrant language both formal and witty, moving scenes filled with a poeticism missing in too much literature. The Dream of Perpetual Motion is a thoughtful and gripping work.

Jun 06, 2014

This book is so bizarre that I've spent the last 2 days trying to decide what to rate it and how to write my review.

It is the story of Harold Winslow over a period of approximately 20 years, from a young boy obsessed with riding a roller coaster to a youngish man who writes greeting cards.

I was really drawn into the book and the story. The strangeness of it was really what made it so good, even when I thought I'd lost the plot it was a great read. The confusion was part of it's charm. There really is no way to describe it sufficiently but I loved it.

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