I found this to be a well-written, interesting book, but not one of the most exciting or easy-to-read works on the subject of lucid dreaming.
It is a comprehensive exposition of lucid dreaming containing many references to and quotes by other relevant authors and psychologists.
Many accounts of lucid dreams are included, which add to the book's readability.
Gackenbach has found that there tend to be fewer characters in lucid dreams than in ordinary dreams. The dreamers sometimes interact with other dream characters in order to confront if not resolve psychological difficulties.
It is as if the dream characters had a consciousness of their own. “They behave as if they possessed their own perceptual perspectives, cognitive abilities (memory and thought) and even their own motivations.” – P. Tholey.
The authors tell us that many lucid dreamers (dreamers who are conscious that they are dreaming) are not aware that they may be able to control the content of their dreams. But even prolific lucid dreamers have noticed the limitations of dream control.
Kelzer is quoted as stating: “At best, the lucid dreamer is able to take charge of his (or her) personal experience within the dream but is not actually able to control the dreamscape itself to any great extent.”
We are informed about athletes who train in their lucid dreams, thus greatly enhancing their waking athletic performance.
There's a chapter about confronting your demons in lucid dreams. The authors quote Tholey with regard to advice to lucid dreamers who find themselves confronted with a fearful dream figure.
1.Do not try to flee from a threatening figure. Confront him courageously and ask him “Who are you?” or “Who am I?”
2. Try to come to a reconciliation with him through a constructive dialogue.
3. Do not surrender to an attack by a dream figure. Stare the figure in the eyes. If you have to fight, try to conquer the enemy but not to kill him. “Offer reconciliation to the conquered enemy.”
4. After reconciliation, ask the dream figure if he can help you. Then mention specific problems in your waking or dream life with which you need help.
Apparently, lucid dreaming can be addictive. Living in the dream world can become preferable to reality. (Another lucid dream author, Charlie Morley, also mentioned this.)
There is an interesting section about lucidity and healing, discussion of the similarities between OBEs and lucid dreams and the relationship between NDEs, UFO experiences, meditation and lucid dreaming.
We are briefed about the initial experiments confirming the validity of lucid dreaming and that it mostly occurs during REM sleep.
In conclusion I would say that this is a quite comprehensive account of lucid dreaming, including many dream examples, but I don't think I learnt anything new. In my view, it is not a “must-read”, but an optional addition to one's collection of books on the subject.