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Author: Kevin Baker
"If Paris is France, Coney Island, between June and September, is the world." — George C. Tilyou, entrepreneur, circa 1905 From the decks of a steamship that brings Sigmund Freud to America for a lecture tour, hundreds of European immigrants strain for a glimpse of the promised land. As they approach, they see New York, the city of their dreams...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780060193096
ISBN-10: 0060193093
Publication Date: 3/1999
Pages: 519
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.

4.6 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: Harpercollins
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Dreamland on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Another great book. With circus workers as a backdrop, you get to explore a whole time period that really wasn't that far ago. The characterization is amazing and you will remember all of the characters long after you put this book down. I really loved this book and I strongly recommend it.
CraftyTJ avatar reviewed Dreamland on + 381 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Kevin Baker's Dreamland is the kind of novel that begins with a two-page list of characters and ends with a nine-page glossary. In between, this vast, sprawling carnival of a book takes in Coney Island and the Lower East Side, midgets and gangsters, Bowery bars and opium dens, even Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. It is, in short, a novel as big, lively, and ambitious as Gotham itself, and if you can stomach some of the more garish local color, it's every bit as much fun.
bookgoddessme avatar reviewed Dreamland on + 106 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Kevin Baker tells the story of New York City at the turn of the century in a gritty, grotesque, unapologetic manner creating characters that we care about deeply that stay with us long after the book is done. Is is a love story, a life story, a death story? You see Coney Island's Dreamland, the immigrant's experiences, and the gangsters impossible lifestyles jumping from the perspective of one character to the next. Being a New Yorker born and bred it broke my heart, and held my hand while I wept. Highly Recommend...
reviewed Dreamland on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great Historical Fiction. Story surrounds Coney Island in his hayday and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
reviewed Dreamland on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A huge, sprawling historical novel, great characters, a perfect novel to escape into.
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mercourier avatar reviewed Dreamland on
Really awesome historical fiction about Coney Island and New York at the turn of the century. Plus a good love story to boot. I was a little sad at the ending, and left wanting more. The characters make you turn the pages and the story captures your imagination. Worth a look!
perryfran avatar reviewed Dreamland on + 1156 more book reviews
I've had this book on my shelf for several years and just now got around to reading it. When the book first came out in 1999, I read a review of it in the Washington Post and put it on my wish list then. I eventually found a paperback copy and I'm sorry I didn't delve into this fascinating novel sooner. The novel takes place around 1910 in New York City and Coney Island. It's a long sprawling story of Coney Island freaks, New York gangs, prostitutes, politicians, cops, Jewish immigrants, sweatshop workers, and the other myriad social classes that inhabited New York at the time. The book goes into details of the brutality and cruelty of life in the slums and the day-to-day existence of the people. This includes cruelty to both people and animals - some of this is really hard to read. It tells of the horrible 14-hour drudgery of women working in sweatshops sewing shirtwaists, the awful living conditions of the common people being crammed into small tenements and renters buying shifts to sleep in a spare bed, and it details the life of the dwarfs and other side-show freaks who populated Coney Island. This is a must read if you are interested in New York City history and life during the early 1900s. High recommendation!
reviewed Dreamland on + 2 more book reviews
Cited as one of the 10 Best Books of 1999 by the Christian Science Monitor, and New York Times Notable Book of 1999. I found this an extraordinarily riveting story with some unlikely characters. With locations as wonderful as you can imagine, this book takes you on a delightful journey.
reviewed Dreamland on + 25 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. If you like historical fiction this is a nice read. It details life in New York and Coney Island around the early 1900's
reviewed Dreamland on + 8 more book reviews
I was very excited to read this book but unfortunately was unable to finish it. I did not find it to be interesting at all! I have tried reading it several times and each time I gave up before finishing the first few chapters.
reviewed Dreamland on + 59 more book reviews
Lots of 20th century slang. It did not capture me..I was not able to finish it.