The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters.

Position:Book review

** 1/2 The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters By Gordon Dahlquist

A weighty Victorian thriller.

When Celeste Temple receives a terse "Dear Jane" letter from her beau, Roger Bascombe, she doesn't just get mad: she gets curious. Her quest to discover Roger's reasons for leaving leads her to the opulent home of Lord Vandaariff, who entertains highly unusual guests in a highly unusual fashion. In the unlikely company of "Cardinal" Chang, an assassin trying to discover who killed one of his targets before he got there, and Dr. Abelard Svenson, a physician in search of a missing client, Miss Temple investigates Lord Vandaariff's diabolical Process and the source of the bizarre, violent, and erotic happenings at his manor.

Bantam. 768 pages. $26. ISBN: 0385340354

Kansas City Star *** 1/2

"Dahlquist uses a superfluity of detail to impart a disturbing evocation of Victorian debauchery.... [The novel] has a clever conceit with a foundation of literature as fantasy, though it has its excesses and derivations." ROBERT FOLSOM

Washington Post ** 1/2

"Ponderously ornate ... it's a kinky, atmospheric look at Victorian England that all too often moves like a sullen coach through one of the author's many, many London fogs.... [But] Dahlquist can conjure nifty dreamlike images, such as a mystery train filled with passengers dressed for a Venetian bal masque and small glass calling cards capable of broadcasting images, like Queen Victoria's own little video iPod." KEVIN ALLMAN

USA Today **

"There are lots of fascinating scenes in which people are turned into blue glass, are tinted blue, or spew blue foam from their mouths--and these are some of...

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