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33 Reviews
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and thought provoking for adults and children
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...
Published on 16 Dec 1998

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very short story
Poor value book purchase as very brief story, aimed more at children than adults. I read it in a couple of hours and it definitely doesnt rank as one of his best.
Published 19 months ago by MRS CM RUSHTON


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5.0 out of 5 stars The Daydreamer, 23 Dec 2013
By 
L. E. Waters (GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Daydreamer (Paperback)
This is a cleverly structured collection of a child's experiences - narrated with a great child's voice. It really gets into the head of a child and we see life through Peter's perspectives, which are not that usual!

Delightful read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books of all time, 11 Aug 2013
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This book is written on 2 levels, one is stories to read to children, but also great stories for adults. I loved it! The stories were short enough to fit in one each lunchtime and I will definitely read the book again and again. I wish I had this boy's imagination!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book., 13 April 2013
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Mrs. S. Billington "sister dew" (Cumbria, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Daydreamer (Paperback)
A beautifully written series of stories by Ian McEwan, told from the point of view of a young boy who daydreams he's transported into the bodies of other people and animals. Too good to keep to yourself - I had to share with several people!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A review of Ian McEwan's 'The Daydreamer', 12 Oct 2012
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Ian McEwan, born 1948, has always had a knack of writing emphatically about children. He does so in several of his books, not least The Cement Garden (1980) where, through the 14 year old narrator, Jack, he gives a convincing and detailed view of the world of childhood left to fend for itself. So it is good to find that he has managed, amongst his tribe of adult books, to write some novels for children as well.

This novel, The Daydreamer, first published in 1984, starts nicely from a third person's perspective and has a straightforward style. It deals directly with the workings of a young boy's mind, and the differentiating between that and the mind-set of adults. It's also comparable with Matilda by Roald Dahl (Dahl, 2001), published in 1988.
A reviewer in the Publishers Weekly said that McEwan's prose in The Daydreamer "reveals a profound understanding of childhood" (Publisher Weekly, 1994).

McEwan, in his book The Daydreamer, writes about a ten year old boy who, by the end of the story has grown into a twelve year old adolescent. The story is progressive, and has a thought-provoking end which could easily have had a sequel.
The Daydreamer is a progression of short stories and each one could have been self contained.
McEwan's writing is realistic, even though Peter's daydreams are extremely imaginative.

McEwan is quick to exploit the differences between the boy, Peter, and the adult world. It suddenly becomes a dangerous time for Peter, attributable to the misunderstanding of grownups that label him a "problem child". The misunderstanding takes place because there is more going on in Peter's head than in the world outside. A useful idea that McEwan takes full advantage of in some of his adult novels too. Mixing interiority with exteriority enriches what otherwise would have been very placid scenes.

One thing noticeable in the book is McEwan's usage of upbeat names and positive sentences. When negativity does encroach it is dealt with in a constructive manner - like the house burglar, Soapy Sam, or the bully, Barry Tamerlane, whose name derives `from the Persian, Timur-i lang', the last great nomadic leader, a conquer, empire builder and, the first to exploit settled populations. Tamerlane is examined by Peter in a positive light, revealing a streak of underlying humour in McEwan's writing style.
The Daydreamer shows great use of imagination, voice, and an understanding of the emotional and underlying processes of growing up - the view from a child's perspective; the skill of enhancing the outer world by use of the inner; the changing world of children's literature along with the importance of positive messages within the storyline, and the unsighted views of realism and fantasy.
in particular the usage of words, language, imagery and illustrations, and how he incorporated these into his work is second to none.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Coming back to it very often, 26 July 2011
By 
K. Grabowska - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Daydreamer (Paperback)
Really enjoyable. I like coming back toindividual stories in between bigger reads. Recommended, especially for adults who have forgotten how to use their immagination! :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Daydreamer, 23 April 2011
By 
G. W. Overton - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Daydreamer (Paperback)
am a huge fan of the author and have a high regard for his exquisite use of the English Language.

His heavyweights eg Atonement and Amsterdam are nearer my normal read and i suppose i fell into this
particular book more by accident than design; nevertheless it stands in its own right and I regret having missed
the opportunity of reading it to my children now they are grownup. If I say I still enjoyed it then perhaps i am
grateful for retaining some of my own youth even though I am about to turn 60.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surreal and Spellbinding, 11 Oct 2009
By 
Simon Savidge Reads "Simon" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Daydreamer (Paperback)
The Daydreamer is actually Peter Fortune a young boy who though people might see as quite and a little bit subdued, dull and distant is actually a boy who has such an over active imagination he often vanishes off into the land of daydreaming. In fact Peter does this so often that he tends to forget everything around him, what the time is, what day it might be or even who he actually is. In fact it is this part of his personality that makes people label him difficult when really what he is harbouring is actually quite a talent.

After being introduced to Peter which is a comic little opener to the book we then in the following chapters, which read like individual short stories, get to see just how his imagination goes off with him in some wonderfully surreal tales. One day his sister Katie's evil dolls one day turn on him and try and make him one of them when he gets his own room. One day he swaps places with his very old cat and goes around showing the local cats just who is boss. One day he manages to get rid of all of his family. One day he manages to catch the local burglar causing a suburban wave of fear during a crime spree down The Fortunes road.

In fact what the book is also looking at is things from the eyes of children for adults that read it and through the eyes of others for children that read it. For example The Cat looks at loss and mortality (it is quite sad be warned), The Baby looks at things through a babies eyes and tries to deal with jealousy of older children and The Grown Up looks at the future and sort of touches on puberty and trying to understand adults a bit more which for a child must be a mystery. You could call these modern fables in a way but all done with a human angle whilst being sometimes quirky, sometimes surreal, sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, sometimes disturbing and yet always very entertaining.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Daydreamer, Ian McEwan, 20 April 2009
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A beautiful, magical collection of thought provoking short stories. My seven year old loved them, and I really enjoyed reading them to him. Something different to the usual format for younger children, filled with quirky concepts that had us discussing ideas for days afterward. Buy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down!, 15 April 2009
By 
Susannah Blake "manic mum" (Sevenoaks, Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Daydreamer (Paperback)
My son who is 10 read this book recently and I was amazed. Normally it is a little bit of an effort to get him to read, although his reading age has been assessed as 14 - due to his knowledge of vocabulary. This is a boy who would rather read comics!!

He discovered Ian McEwan and would not put it down. He enjoyed reading this book so much that he carried it from lesson to lesson so that if he had any extra time he could read some more! I have never known anything like it before. The Daydreamer

If your child enjoyed this book/writer as much as mine, then I would thoroughly recommend David Almond as a writer.

I found it very difficult to find another writer like McEwan and according to my son I have found one in David Almond.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Something different, 3 Sep 2008
By 
Redeye (England/Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Daydreamer (Paperback)
After being initially surprised and disappointed by this book, I wasn't aware of the subject or style before purchasing, I grew to like it, eventually thoroughly enjoyed reading it and in the end I was delighted by it. It was a brilliant view of the world through the eyes and mind of a daydreaming young boy, and was both innocent and ultimately profound. I was glad I didn't read about it before I purchased because I might never have read it.
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The Daydreamer
The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan (Paperback - 7 Sep 1995)
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