A Night at the Dream Theater by Mark Taylor
Publisher: Eleventh Hour Literary Press, 2017
Mark Taylor transports the reader to a whole new world…of our possible future. He builds the scene and culture from top to bottom, shoves the reader in, and then shakes them senseless with a mind-bending experience.
Damien is addicted to what Total Entertainment offers, but his wife doesn’t like it. He doesn’t listen to her concerns and keeps giving in to the desires only Total Entertainment, with its simulated experiences, can fulfill.
Leander is a man who finds himself without employ. In the futuristic society he lives in this means he’s without a home, food, money, or any kind of social status. In less than a day he becomes human trash with a single box of random items from his life. No one will help him, not even his family.
With the few possessions Leander has, he is able to barter a place to sleep for a few nights, while he seeks new employ. During this time, he meets and makes friends with a man named Charles (a.k.a. Chimp).
Chimp tells Leander that Total Entertainment is hiring, if he can’t find employ elsewhere, and heads off to procure a job there.
After Leander exhausts his last option – an ex-girlfriend who lives on the fringes of society – he follows up on the tip from Chimp.
Leander gets a job at Total Entertainment, in the Consternation department. His odd and surreal dreams are harvested for people like Damien to enjoy as entertainment. But with his new job comes complications more powerful than he could have ever imagined.
Together Leander and Chimp try to survive the crazy culture and lifestyle Total Entertainment provides…since their contracts with the company are absolute.
Mark Taylor is one of my favorite Indie authors. He has the ability to write creative works that make you think deeper about yourself and the world around you. So, in a way, I’m crying inside a little as I write this review, since there are some negative things about this title I have to consider and that affect my rating.
I’ll start with the things I like about the book… The world the author creates is clear. It’s set in a future world with new technology and a more controlled culture. The language used to achieve this was clear as far as portraying the environment and the consequences of social nonconformity.
Secondly, the main character, Leander, is being robbed of his dreams and his sleep by his job. At points in the book, I thought there were missing scene breaks to clearly mark when the character was in reality and when the character was in one of his “awakenings.” But, the more I read, the more I realized it was brilliantly designed to blur dream and reality, because the character himself, as his mind broke, didn’t know if he was in a dream or in reality. This odd and interesting format allowed me, as the reader, to take the confusing journey of the character’s broken psyche on a personal level. The confusion and frustration was creatively translated.
Now, for the downfalls of the book… There were many, many missing, extra, and wrong words in the book. The editing was horrible! So horrible, that I will never read anything from the publisher again. And I’m blaming the publisher and their editing because I’ve read many of Mark Taylor’s other works (some self-published) and they all had better editing and quality than what was presented in this book.
Also, the Damien storyline wasn’t completed. It just stops in the late middle of the book with no conclusion. The reader never finds out what happens between Damien and his wife or why she disliked him going to Total Entertainment. It’s hinted that the experiences change him, but there’s never an explanation. This makes me feel the character and his bit of story could have been left out altogether; it brought no value or meaning to the pages.
I give this book: 2 QUILLS.