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Marianne Dreams (Faber Children's Classics) Paperback – 3 Apr 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New Ed edition (3 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571202128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571202126
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr is on its way to becoming a classic of children's and young adult fiction. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Catherine Storr was born in London in 1913. She practised medicine for fifteen years, but never forgot her ambition to be a writer. She wrote her first children's books for her three daughters and many became classics. Marianne Dreams was also made into a film, The Paper House, in 1990. She died in 2001.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
20 years after I first read this book, I *finally* tracked it down again. I remember being sufficiently scared at 11 that I couldn't read it at night. This time I finished it in an afternoon and the last 2 decades have taken nothing away from this superb book, indeed there are more subtleties now than on reading it as a child. It's clear that Marianne's dream world is a reflection - as dreams often are - of her fears and anxieties in real-life. She and Mark, the boy at the window, are both ill, and both almost fearful of leaving their sickbeds after months in them. In Mark's case, he is defeatist and "lazy" about getting well again, and believes there is no point in trying to walk, because he knows he won't be able to. All of this is conveyed to Marianne by a third party, her governess, since Mark and Marianne in real life have never met. Mark initially couldn't walk because of his illness - which corresponds to the lack of stairs in the dream house. When Marianne draws in the stairs (equal to Mark having the ability to walk in real-life, but not the inclination), Mark still refuses to use them. The evil boulders and menacing air, propelling them finally to try to leave the house, represent the medical opinion that if Mark and Marianne never try to get better, they will be sick for the rest of their lives: the boulders get closer and try to stop them leaving, but they must make the effort if they are finally to leave the house (dream) or sickbed (real life). Each dream sequence directly corresponds to what is going on in their real lives, and the escape to the safety of the tower and the sea symbolises their return to health - will they ever make it?
This book is eerie and menacing, and while I intend to watch the movie based on the book, PaperHouse, I'm a bit wary having read other reviews that seem to say the film has missed a large part of what the book is about and what it symbolises, and instead concentrates only on the horror aspect.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read Marianne Dreams (by Catherine Storr) when I was a teenager in the mid-80s. It initially captured my attention because its title included the traditional spelling of my name. I found the book in a used book bin in London while on a trip with my mother, and spent the remainder of the journey home on the ferry to Belgium, terrified and trapped in the world of Marianne's dreams.
Written in 1952, Marianne Dreams tells the story of a ten-year old girl who becomes very ill on her birthday. Proud to have finally ridden a horse, young Marianne suddenly realizes that she doesn't feel well, and upon the visit of the family physician (back in the days when house calls were common, of course) she is sent to bed for several weeks.
It is while she is recuperating that she finds The Pencil, as she describes it, buried in a box full of buttons that her grandmother collected when she was a girl. Bored with staying in bed and restricted from moving about, Marianne begins to draw with The Pencil. Later that evening, an empty field appears in her dreams.
Marianne doesn't connect The Pencil to her dreams until much later, and by that point, she has drawn a terrifying nightmare for herself, including an empty house and its sick occupant, a boy named Mark whom Marianne has heard about from her tutor. Mark has polio, and the disease has ravaged his body to the point where he cannot walk. In Marianne's dreams, Mark sits in the window seat, watching the huge stones and misshapen flowers below.
Marianne cannot get inside the house, though, until she draws a door with The Pencil. She cannot get upstairs to Mark until she draws a staircase.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Dec. 2001
Format: Hardcover
When Marianne falls ill she finds a pencil and begins to draw - a house and landscape and then a boy looking out of a window. That night she travels into the picture in her dreams. Sometimes she draws horrible things which then engage herself and the boy in a desperate struggle to escape this place.
I enjoyed this book and i am 12 years old. I think it is a good book for 12 and unders and you will not want to put it down.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. LAYNE on 1 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after it was recommended to me at a meal in a restaurant. It sat unread for a while while I finished the massive Underworld by Don DeLillo (also excellent). However, when I finally opened the book, I could tell by the first chapter's end, that I was on to a winner! Although this is a book for children it is not at all patronising, nor does it aim for the lowest denominator - there are some very subtle touches here and there which conceivably would not be picked up by the average 12 year old. The story itself has depth and is not at all linear - it's an exciting read which deserves wider experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 8 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
I first read this as a child and it scared the life out of me to the point that it still haunts me today. Both the TV series and the film were good but didn't come anywhere near the menacing aura that seeps out of the pages of the book.

Without ever descending to the obviously scary (ghosts, monsters etc.) Storr manages to activate your imagination in the most disturbing ways; almost like a child's version of James' The Turn of the Screw ( The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics)).

I have been delighted to find this book again as an adult, and both exhilerated, relived and unsettled to find it as scary as ever.

Very highly recommended, but do read with the lights on in a well-populated house!
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