Maybe The Dream Knows What Is Real: Steve Grogan
Reviewed By Steve Stred
“They had hollow caves where their hearts should be.”
I often get approached by other indie authors, asking if I’m able to read and review their books. I very rarely say no, but at times I will reply and say “I can, just give me a few weeks or a month.” So it was with Mr Gogan that he reached out and I agreed.
It was only then that I looked at the Goodreads page and found that thus far the book hasn’t had many reviews, and what it’s received has been less than favourable. I reached out to the fellow Kendall Reviews team to ask if anyone else had this coming up but struck out. I was sent a blog post where the author had written a rebuttal for one of the reviews, which is an immediate red flag.
After chatting about it with a few folks, I decided to jump in and see what the pages held.
I will say this – this book and the story within have potential.
It reminded me big time of the Michael Douglas movie “Falling Down.” If you haven’t seen it, the movie follows Douglas’ character; recently divorced, recently unemployed who snaps and goes off the rails.
This story follows our main character from his childhood up until the main incident. The book reads like a first-person POV manifesto and describes just how and why we get to the point where the main character snaps and what happens after it all goes down.
There are incredible moments in this book, and when those happen Gogan can really shine. There are also moments that were overwritten or could have greatly used editing/copy editing. I didn’t see an editor or copy-editor listed, but tidying up a few spots and revamping some other sections, I thought would’ve really elevated this book.
As the introduction states; the main character of this book is not likeable. He’s narcissistic, border-line psychopathic and at times crosses into racist/sexist territories with his views on women and their heritage. But that’s the point.
‘Maybe the Dream Knows What is Real’ is a very topical, timely story. When some things first happen, I was immediately repulsed/annoyed, but there was a purpose to most parts and that’s what counted. It all led from point A, to point B, to point C and beyond.
Wrapping this review up – I think this book has merit, but I think it could be significantly stronger with thorough editing and a rewrite, as well as a rethinking of the synopsis. I think what is written for the synopsis currently is a big turn off for a lot of people wondering if this book is for them.
This is a harrowing tale, taking place mostly within the disturbed thoughts of someone who has felt like a loner and an outcast his entire life. I’m glad I decided to check this one out but saying that – this one won’t be for everyone.
Maybe The Dream Knows What Is Real
He was lost, directionless, unable to find his identity. He thought he found it in her, which was good because he was teetering on the edge of madness. She had no way of knowing her actions would push him over it.
This novella is part splatterpunk, part erotica, part psychological study of an unstable mind, told in Steve’s highly visual and deeply emotional prose.
Some stories have protagonists/narrators for which you can feel empathy, or at the very least you can feel sorry for them.
This isn’t one of those tales.
This is a story about a young man who makes the mistake of depending on others to give him a sense of self-worth. It is a dark, disturbing story not meant for the faint of heart. The graphic content makes up only 15% of the prose, but it is some of the most harrowing writing ever committed to page.
Steve Grogan has published several collections of poetry and short stories, both here on Amazon and in print. This is his first published novella.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here