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Blanche Howard is an acclaimed, award-winning author of four novels, including The Manipulators, Penelope’s Way, and A Celibate Season which she co-wrote with Pulitzer Prize winner Carol Shields. (Blanche wrote the woman’s voice and Carol wrote the man’s voice.) She also documented a remarkable 30-year friendship with the late Carol Shields in A Memoir of Friendship: The Letters Between Blanche Howard and Carol Shields (Penguin Canada 2007).
on Aug. 14, 2017 :
You might call this book Can-lit chick-lit. It's like a long session with a female friend unburdening herself over drinkies. Gen Varley is a whiz at computer programming, but don't look for a lot of tech here. Yes, there are references to computers and the programming thereof, but it's 1980s vintage, and somehow never sounds like it's coming from an insider. No matter, though -- the stuff about relationships (workplace, family, friendships, sex, and love) are explored in detail, with a good deal of witty dialogue and amusing but sometimes rather arch observations by the first-person narrator. There are three timelines -- present, past, and distant past. The present occupies a minuscule fraction of the whole, but the two pasts are closely intertwined, and not always easy to distinguish from one another. As advertised by the title, dreams form a substantial part of the narrative. I admit I found reading this book to be quite an irritating experience until about the halfway mark, when the thread pattern began to make sense and I discerned where things were headed. The ending has a fairy-tale quality to it, which, while somewhat unexpected, wraps things up warmly and fuzzily.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
on April 17, 2011 :
Once I began I couldn't put it down! A fast paced story of romance, computers, deceit and office politics.
Living her dream life of a Computer Programer in the 80's Gen deals with friendship, love, deceit and politics in her dream job, but her dreams seem to be sending her messages. Should she pay attention or write them off like many do? "If dreams are an early warning system then what do they do?" What would happen if she took the advise given through her best friends interpretation?
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been a female working with computers in an office environment during the 80's! I could see glimpses of myself, past bosses and co-workers in this book.
(reviewed 77 days after purchase)
on Nov. 28, 2010 :
Delightful, funny, deep -- Dreaming in a Digital World is filled with unique insights, wisdom, humour, and passion of a surprising sort. How deeply should one become involved with one's computer system? What happens when the "unconscious" decides to take over one's life via the "unsocial networking" site of our dreams? All in all a delicious and fascinating adventure that leaves the reader wiser about many things.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
on Nov. 15, 2010 :
I devoured this book in a day and a half. Romance, drama and mystery are woven together in a story that explores computers, 1980s sexism, and dreaming (in its many forms). 30-somethings, especially women, may find hints of themselves in the characters and their situations. As humourous and disturbing as these moments were for me, by the end, I felt hopeful.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)