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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that should be read by everyone
This book is the best I have ever read. It is a journal dictated to a medium by a man who has died. It tells of what lies beyond death. It reads like reality and not fiction and one feels uplifted and hopeful after reading it (which is surprising as it is simply a work of fiction). However it was thoroughly researched and the author has drawn from near death experiences,...
Published on 28 Aug 2001 by magic1@btinternet.com

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Touching Story Disfigured by Long-Winded Preaching
I'm a long-time Richard Matheson fan who has always admired his ability to blend the fantastic with the conventional. _Hell House_, for example, is full of spirits, mediums, and psychic doobobbers that are tightly integrated into the story; one accepts them easily, regardless of one's actual belief in such phenomena.
_What Dreams May Come_ is problematic not...
Published on 5 April 1999


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that should be read by everyone, 28 Aug 2001
This review is from: What Dreams May Come (Hardcover)
This book is the best I have ever read. It is a journal dictated to a medium by a man who has died. It tells of what lies beyond death. It reads like reality and not fiction and one feels uplifted and hopeful after reading it (which is surprising as it is simply a work of fiction). However it was thoroughly researched and the author has drawn from near death experiences, the amount of research shows and the eternal nature of the human soul shine through and make one feel alive. It will also make you examine your life in the here and now and wonder which of your actions will follow you through to the next life and which are superfluous. An amazing read. RUN out and buy it!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is beautiful, the film only half as good, 31 Oct 1999
By 
loujareth (Derby, England) - See all my reviews
I, like others, read this book many years ago after finding it at a second hand book stall. Yes it's not to everyone's liking but it is such a lovely thought that there just might be an afterlife, like the one desciribed by Richard Matheson.
When I found that they were making a film of the novel, I was pleased but very surprised, I never thought they would venture to film a story such as this. I knew the subject would be scoffed at by general cinema-goers but was glad they'd made it. On the whole the film is very much like the book but the ending was such a typical Hollywood nice ending. Why do they always do this to so many book adaptions?
I have since discovered that they did film the books ending originally but thought it wasn't suitable for an average film audience (too downbeat) So they re-filmed it and thats what you see now.. But joy of joys!!! You can get the proper book ending version on DVD....only in USA. Maybe one day they might just think about the poor British people who really would like to see the PROPER book version ending and release it here, on video or any format. (any one who knows more, let me know)
The book, just incredible....
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book Brings Reading Alive!, 22 Aug 2000
I loved this book. Right from the start, it whisks you right into its brilliantly conceived plot and Richard Matheson's brilliant descriptions of the beautiful afterlife are truly marvellous. I am 16 years old and part of a new generation that seems to be more partial to television shows with violence and films with the word 'Destruction' in the tagline. But this brilliant book has brought reading alive for at least one of the new generation. Me. It carefully balances sentiment with horror and at certain points throughout the story I was actually worrying so much for the main characters. Although they are ficticious, I feel like they are brilliant people who really do exist. The film was the same as the book, and yet so different - those of you who have read the book and seen the film will agree. I watched the film first and reading the book second has proved to be a great idea. I wonder is there may be a sequel to when Chris finds Annie? I hope so. I read every word on every page of this book like a hawk in three days I was so impressed by it. I think you will be too.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most thought provoking, evocative novel ever., 15 July 2001
By 
I read this book with great regularity - as a hospice nurse, having spiritual views can help enormously to cope with death and dying on a daily basis. Whilst it is, indeed, fictional the expansive list of references included demonstrates the amount of research conducted by Mr Matheson. Most of the references are non-fictional studies into near-death experiences. I would urge readers who enjoy this story to take a look at work by Raymond Moody and George Ritchie. The story is all-absorbing - one feels acquainted with Chris Neilson (the dead guy) and desperate for him to find peace. The description of 'Summerland' is fantastic, reassuring (especially if you've been bereaved)and very convincing. It's hard to remember this is a novel not an eye witness account. The film adaptation was a travesty - this book is ahead of its time and an absolute gem.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too good to make into a movie, 10 Nov 1998
By A Customer
I read "What Dreams May Come" in the early 80's, some time after reading some of the writings of Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Matheson encapsulated the essence of her writings scientifically, but imbued the storyline with a reality and an emotive feel far beyond what I expected. His characters, their weaknesses and strengths almost step out of the pages, his goodness and belief, his strength of character, all these things shine through. I loved the book, I bought copies for friends, and then it was out of print. Now its back I shall stock up, because this is a life changing experience. Since reading the novel I've read more Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and several biographical stories by English comedian Michael Bentine. It all adds up. So when the film was released I dragged my wife along, and despite fine performances from Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding, felt the screenplay missed the boat. The characters are given too much intensity, the death of the children is used to attempt to justify the wife's suicide, and the journey to hell isn't anywhere near as good as the book. In short, its been overdone with emotional overlays, and the result is a too sweet pudding, as opposed to the magnificent three course meal of the book. Buy it, read it, keep it, and give a copy to your kids (along with any Kubler-Ross and Bentine you can lay your hands on. A final word to religious fundamentalists who dismiss this work as mistaken or dangerous. It is as valid, if not more so, than any belief. It upholds universal brotherhood, and the one undeniable bottom line in religion, we all worship the same God, we just interpret God differently.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious, Thought Provoking, and Emotional, 21 Mar 1999
By A Customer
The story begins with the main characters death, similar to "Made In Heaven" and like in that story Heaven isn't Heaven without the one that you love. The author uses a similar pretense, but is still original in the presentation. I would love to listen in while this author and and Spider Robinson talk about their ideas on life after death. Some of the thinking in this book is similar to Spider Robinson's "Lifehouse" series.
The hero dies, but is unable to pass on to the next plain because he feels his wife's pain. When he finally passes on and reaches "summerland" (Heaven), he can not find happiness without Ann, his wife and soulmate. While he is making this discovery his wife kills herself because she feels that life without him isn't worth living. The Hero searches through Hell and only through his love for her and his sacrificing himself is any good accomplished.
The story is deep and serious (it may belong in the religous section rather than the Science Fiction section) but still a good read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has changed my life, 1 Oct 1998
By A Customer
I just finished this book yesterday at work. I am an Emergency Medical Technician, and see things that have made me question my, and everyones elses existance. This book has given me a new veiw on life, death, and love. I will never treat anyone or anything in the same manner again. I am giving this book to my Grandmother, and will read it throughout my life when times seem unbearable, and I will always remember my feelings at this moment. I thank the author for the most moving and inspiring book I have ever read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, an amazing writer., 21 Nov 2013
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This review is from: What Dreams May Come (Paperback)
After seeing the film over the years on several occasions, I have now read the wonderful book. As a Medium, and having seen my loved-ones on a regular basis over the years, I smiled while reading Richard Matheson's story as a lot of the detailed information within it is indeed factual and true. Of course, I respect that not everyone in this world believes in an afterlife, but one day they will see - to their surprise and happiness (and relief) - that there is one and that life goes on. Mr Matheson conveys detailed imagery and mentions what many NED's (near death experience) survivors have documented over many decades, that there is something on the 'other side'.

Richard Matheson is one of my favourite authors, he was an amazing writer; not just because this is my favourite book (and film) but because he was a gifted writer who carries readers on a fantastic journey throughout time, beautiful experiences, he gets to the heart of the matter in an eloquent and moving manner and you just cannot get enough of his work as you turn each page eagerly and feel genuinely sad when you reach the final page, as you truly want to read more, and more, and more of this talented man's inspiring and interesting words. He doesn't just stimulate your mind, he touches your heart and soul too and that is rare of most storytellers.

I highly-recommend this book - What Dreams May Come - to anyone who is ever curious as to what lies behind the thin veil that we call 'the spirit world' and how we can still interact with our loved-ones once we have passed (or crossed-over) from this realm of existence into the next, and that love really does conquer everything.

Just because we die physically, that is not the end of us as a soul...far from it.

I'm not religious, but I do know that there is an afterlife for us, and many beautiful things (the spirit world is very much like here on earth - but colours and scenery are more vivid - seeing our loved-ones and even pets again) awaits us. It truly is comforting and provides much hope for anyone grieving the loss of a loved-one.

Nothing (and no-one) is ever really lost. The consequences of suicide are described within the book but, from my understanding, those who take their own lives in real life are not punished (my sister wasn't), they are given help and comfort to see where they went wrong on their life path and are given opportunities to put it right in a future life.

After reading What Dreams May Come, you will question everything about life and 'death' and you will come to the conclusion that there must be something more than our existence here on earth... That there is more. And it's all great.

Despite this story in the book being labelled as fictional, there is a lot of truth within it and I believe that Mr Matheson knew this... The man had a glimpse of the other side for real, and through his written work he has helped and has comforted countless people worldwide, and has instilled much hope to them - how wonderful is that. Although the details in the film version contain different things in parts, compared to what is in the book version, the lessons are the same; that life - and love - are eternal, and the dreams that await us after physical death are very much real and spectacular.

What Dreams May Come. A brilliant wonderful book. No doubt Mr Matheson is still telling fabulous stories to friends and family in the spirit world. What a lovely man.

I sincerely hope that anyone who has read his book, regardless of whether they have had a loved-one pass away or not, feels comforted and happier as a result of reading this breathtakingly-beautiful story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly amazing book!, 16 Jun 2010
By 
L. J. Cullen "Loving Life!" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: What Dreams May Come (Paperback)
A friend recommended this book to me, and i must admit to being slightly worried about whether i would be able to follow it and understand it, seeing as he is a very intelligent fellow!
It was a little hard to understand in the beginning but i just re-read the first 10 pages and got used to how the book was being portrayed to us readers and to me it was a truly amazing book.
Richard Matheson has such an incredible mind and imagination to think up the story line, desciptions, emotions etc. I especially loved the bit in the field when his old dog came running towards him. (many tears later i read on!!)
One of the best books i have ever read in my life and if Heaven is really like that then it holds no more fears for me!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can Heaven wait?, 26 April 2010
This review is from: What Dreams May Come (Paperback)
I only recently discovered Richard Matheson when it became apparent that he wrote most of the films/stories that I enjoyed; other good examples being Duel and I am Legend.

This is a slightly different theme, the book deals with life, death, loss and pain; the overarching question being could you ever be happy without your soulmate? I've never considered myself a particularly emotional man having been brought up with a "stiff upper lip" however the opening section of the book describing the death of the main protagonist is incredibly moving. If you can read this without thinking of your Wife/Girlfriend/Partner and a subsequent lump in your throat then you're an extremely tough person.

I won't review the story, that's been covered elsewhere and indeed I don't want to spoil it; it's enough to say that it's a deep read that does raise some interesting philosophical & religous concepts. Personally I thoroughly enjoyed the whole story, I found it moving, tragic and yet uplifting too. Overall a very powerful experience and I highly recommend this novel.
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What Dreams May Come: A Novel
What Dreams May Come: A Novel by Richard Matheson
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