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The Daydreamer Hardcover – 6 Oct 1994


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; 1st edition (6 Oct 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224036718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224036719
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Exhilarating - brilliant" Independent "A classic" Financial Times "Clear and vivid prose...read these aloud to your children and be unsettled by them" Evening Standard --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The Daydreamer takes the reader out of reality and into the dream world of 10 year old Peter Fortune --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Dec 1998
Format: Paperback
Ian McEwan's vision is usually dark and uncomfortable although true to his subject. In The Daydreamer a brighter light is shining. The main character is a young boy who daydreams. His fantasies are the adventures in this book. In them McEwan tenderly deals with ideas of being someone else, of changing beyond recognition - of growing up. The stories all have depth and are amusing and well told. Many have a lingering sadness, as when Peter changes bodies with the cat for a day before it dies. There is always hope though and death is just another adventure. McEwan's goal was to produce a book that children and adults would enjoy and he has done so. The Daydreamer is a perfect book for sharing and discussing and has contain ideas for both adults and children to ponder.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Dec 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this one whilst downloading old music from my childhood days and had a lovely trip back in time, almost drifting off to the rainy English days spent at home reading Roal Dahl on my bed as a child. The storytelling style reminded me a lot of Dahl, and coming from a self confessed childhood Dahl obsessive, that's a pretty major compliment. The stories are short, slightly twisted, and reminded me exactly what it was I so enjoyed about reading back then. This is one book I'll be popping the post to my ten year old godson.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 July 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is like the creepy stories you find in Roald Dahl's 'Kiss, Kiss', or 'Tales of the Unexpected'. My favourite is the story of the Bad Doll, as you leave it wondering who is the doll, and who is the boy. Every story is weird, and every story leaves you wondering whether it really happened.
I think this book is good for readers aged 9-13. However, some of it can be a bit babyish - the bit about Gwen and teddy bears is a bit much for the kids aged 13, and a bit yucky really. So give the last chapter a miss! But older kids will read it because it's disturbing, surreal and weird, all the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss N Boland on 26 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a versatile,ingenuous,sometimes jaded book. It is basically a compilation of stories that tell the tale of Peter,a soft and thoughtful wool gatherer who dreams of many adventures. It's illusory and enchating, an easy read for all ages with magnetic prose and a good amount of alluring escapades.

Looking down through the fur,and parting it with the tips of his fingers,he saw that he had opened up a small slit in the cat's skin. It was as if he were holding the handle of a zip.Again he pulled,and now there was a dark opening two inches long.William Cat's purr was coming from in there.Perhaps,Peter thought,I'll see his heart beating.A paw was gently pushing against his fingers again.William Cat wanted him to go on.
And this is what he did. He unzipped the whole cat from throat to tail.Peter wanted to part the skin to peep inside.But he did not wish to appear nosy.He was just about to call out to Kate when there was a movement,a stirring inside the cat,and from the opening in the fur there came a faint pink glow which grew brighter. And suddenly,out of William Cat climed a,well,a thing,a creature.But Peter was not really certain it was there to touch,for it seemed to be made entirely of light.And while it did not have whiskers of a tail,or a purr,or even fur,or four legs,everything about it seemed to say 'cat'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Mar 2000
Format: Paperback
Recently in English at my school we have been reading this book, we have discussed the many ways you can read it, whether you are a young child or an adult, we all agreed it explains many ways of life but in fun interesting way, depending in the way you look at the book. Many of us (12 year olds) were put off by the front cover but by the time we had read the first few pages the book had drawn us into it, and we were longing after the lesson to read on, some of us did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jan Dierckx on 3 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This could be a collection of short stories but each story is called a chapter and tells about Peter. In the first half of the novel Peter is a ten-year-old schoolboy and in seven 'chapters' or 'stories' we follow him from his childhood to adulthood. The border between stories and novel is blurred away. It's meant to be read by adults and children alike.

Peter is called a daydreamer. I'm not a psychologist but this sounds like an understatement. After the title page Ian McEwan gives a fragment of the Metamorphoses by Ovid: "My purpose is to tell of bodies which have been transformed into shapes of a different kind." The 'daydream' once it gets in Peter's mind begins to live a life of its own. Real life doesn't matter anymore or better, real life ceases to exist. This can lead to unpleasant surprises. For instance: he sits on the bus to school with his younger seven-year-old sister and his parents insisted that he watched her closely. But he forgets all about her during a daydream. When he wakes up his sister is nowhere to be seen...

There are seven chapters and each chapter consists of a daydream that illustrates his coming of age from a schoolboy to an adult.
When I said earlier that 'daydreamer' was an understatement I meant that the imaginary shifts into reality without you being aware of it at the beginning. A daydreamer knows it's a daydream, Peter thinks it's reality. His 'daydreams' are almost delusional. Gradually the 'daydream' becomes reality and the borderline between the two disappears. Peter doesn't want the daydream, the daydream wants Peter.

To give an example: in the second chapter Peter comes home after school. He sits on the sofa and William the old cat jumps on his lap. Peter begins to tickle William. Purring, William turns on his back.
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