Requiem for a Dream

(No Series)

In Coney Island, Brooklyn, Sarah Goldfarb, a lonely widow, wants nothing more than to lose weight and appear on a television game show. She becomes addicted to diet pills in her obsessive quest, while her junkie son, Harry, along with his girlfriend, Marion, and his best friend, Tyrone, have devised an illicit shortcut to wealth and leisure by scoring a pound of uncut heroin. Entranced by the gleaming visions of their futures, these four convince themselves that unexpected setbacks are only temporary. Even as their lives slowly deteriorate around them, they cling to their delusions and become utterly consumed in the spiral of drugs and addiction, refusing to see that they have instead created their own worst nightmares.

“I suspect there will never be a requiem for a dream, simply because it will destroy us before we have the opportunity to mourn it's passing.”

All have disappointments in life - for me, this book turned out to be one of them. The movie has always seemed an art form, the perfect and in-your-face warning to stay off the drugs, kids, they're just no good. I was beyond excited to finally read the book that turned into such a (at least to me...) well-done movie.

Disappointing. :( And, after looking at other reviews, I'm apparently in the minority.

The main issue is the writing style. It just doesn't work with my brain. It's supposed to be artsy and different and...well, I really don't know. I'm not getting this art. At all. What I get when reading this is no logical structure, annoying dialogue that just makes it a headache to decipher, annoyance, everything running together without enough pause, annoyance. I did find a key to it after reading a while -read slow. Can't read fast. Have to read slow and it becomes more tolerable.

The dialogue is all mixed into the narrative. There are no spaces or regularly followed structures. There aren't many quotation marks.

As with the movie, the mother shone as the star of the story. Sad stuff. The more I stayed on her viewpoint, the smoother the sailing. When it switched to the troubled youth and their disjointed thoughts, followed by even worse dialogue, the reading grew rougher again. I felt sympathy for them all and by the end had warmed to them more, but it took too long for me to get there.

Overall the story truly is excellent - the characters aren't special people, but they're not bad. They're everyday victims of drugs, misled lives, loneliness, and bleak despair. The story would likely hit people's hearts less if it were about the fortunate and the special. This is a tale of what happens to so many average citizens - and how sad it that?

The second half of the book was much better than the first. Maybe I was more used to the writing style, but I think the tale had livened up and I felt more consumed by the madness and spiraling descent into destruction that the characters themselves were feeling.

I have to give kudos for an excellent story, but the sludging along through those lagging parts, accompanied by the sometimes tedious writing, lowered the rating a lot. It's impossible not to feel for the characters though, as they struggle to hold on to their dreams and aspirations while they destroy themselves. Haunting, sobering stuff there.

I'm surprised to say the movie is the winner. Besides having an excellent cast, that score by Clint Mansell just can't be beat.

   Book Quotes:

“There's a sorrow and pain in everyone's life, but every now and then there's a ray of light that melts the loneliness in your heart and brings comfort like hot soup and a soft bed.” 

  “Life was not longer something to endure, but to live. ” 

  “But to believe that getting stuff is the purpose and aim of life is madness. ”

   Movie Trailer:

   Other Drama Reviews: