The Dream Archipelago Slow Read 2021 - The Next Ports of Call


We've finished the first book, and this is our chance to pause and reflect on whether we want to continue - or whether YOU want to continue. Did you like it enough to want to keep exploring the setting?

The current proposal is to next read THE DREAM ARCHIPELAGO, which is a collection of short stories. Some of the islands and even some of the characters will make a reappearance in this book. Unlike The Islanders, there's no arching narrative across the book that I can recall. The stories are similar in style and tone to the 'fiction' chapters we saw in The Islanders. I don't think 'meta-fictional' structure or theme will be a feature, but who knows what we'll find.

Then we move on to THE GRADUAL, which is a novel that features a Glaundian musician who travels through the islands. I picked this as 'the novel' of the sequence because the reviews suggested it seemed thematically in keeping with what we've read. I've not read the book myself. I could have picked THE AFFIRMATION or THE ADJACENT instead, or even THE EVIDENCE.

If anyone wants to change the direction of this boat or even to disembark so they can catch a ferry to someplace else, then now's the time to do so.
Let me know if you have any thoughts.


  • 1

    I read Dream Archipelago ages ago and really liked it. I can't remember much about it, apart from the appearance of thrymes in one story. I'll be happy to read it again, and a novel that follows.

    I think The Islanders was a bit of an experiment in form by Priest, and not one that was entirely successful. Based on my partial recall, I think Dream Archipelago will be a better read.

    I'm happy to keep going!

  • 0

    Also happy to keep going. I don't like all of CP's stylistic choices, and don't feel that I have any kind of handle on what he was trying to do with Islanders, but I do think I would like to persevere with his work. I am hopeful that at least somewhere he allows himself to indulge more in the kind of much more lyrical prose that we saw in the final chapter of this one.

  • 1

    So, with the next book - THE DREAM ARCHIPELAGO - we have short stories of varying lengths. I've tried to stick to about 20 pages a week, but most of the stories are 40 or 70 pages long. So I split the 40-50 page stories into two parts, and the 70-page stories into three.

    I gave page numbers in my edition for the breaks, and also sentences. These are in the schedule.

    This may prove to be too artificial a way to break things up. If we don't find it works after the first week, we can move eliminate the midway discussions, and just hold the discussions at the end of the stories. By this plan, we'd keep the same schedule, but have our discussions at 1, 2, or 3 week intervals. Or we can try something else - open to suggestions.

  • 1

    I think we see how it works.

  • 1

    In spite of what you may think I will be happy to stay the course. I think Islanders was not my cup of tea, but the others may be more suitable for me.

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