My Father's Dreams
My Father’s Dreams: A Tale of Innocence Abused, is a controversial and shocking novel by Slovenia’s bestselling author Evald Flisar, and is regarded by many critics as his best. The book tells the story of fourteen-year-old Adam, the only son of a village doctor and his rather estranged wife, living in apparent rural harmony. But this is a topsy-turvy world of illusions and hopes, in which the author plays with the function of dreaming and story-telling. The story reveals an insidious deception, in which the unsuspecting son and his mother are the apparent victims; and yet who can tell whether the gruesome ending is reality or just another dream….
‘My Father’s Dreams’ can be read as an off-beat crime story, a psychological horror tale, a dream-like morality fable, or as a dark and ironic account of one man’s belief that his personality and his actions are two different things. It can also be read as a story about a boy who has been robbed of his childhood in the cruelest way. It is a book which has the force of myth: revealing the fundamentals without drawing any particular attention to them. It tells a story about good and evil, and our inclination to be drawn to the latter.
''This masterful and disturbing novel... At the heart of My Father’s Dreams is a brilliant interplay of human deception and the unsettling lies and obsessions of which humans are capable.''
A.M. Bakalar, Words Without Borders
'Evald Flisar, Slovene man of letters extraordinaire, undertakes fearless forays into the bizarre ways in which the mind works. My Father’s Dreams, a deadpan, slow-burning cautionary tale, requires patience yet ultimately delivers. His narrator is the bewildered only surviving son of a village doctor. It is a book about how a child is influenced and undermined and betrayed.'
Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
'The dreams that structure the novel, far from serving as mere escape, become the only reliable clues for deciphering the mysteries of family, sexuality, and identity explored in Flisar’s haunting, uncompromising novel.'
Necessary Fiction - Reviewed by Pedro Ponce
In this dark multi-faceted tale, Slovenian author Evald Flisar sets the stage for a story that is oddly out of time and place—a contemporary novel that evokes, in its backward rural setting and naive tone, a feeling of gothic horror or psychological drama that would be perfectly at home in the literature of the early twentieth century.
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