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The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

af Kij Johnson

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5613943,333 (3.98)36
Kij Johnson's haunting novella The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe is both a commentary on a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman's life. Vellitt's quest to find a former student who may be the only person who can save her community takes her through a world governed by a seemingly arbitrary dream logic in which she occasionally glimpses an underlying but mysterious order, a world ruled by capricious gods and populated by the creatures of dreams and nightmares. Those familiar with Lovecraft's work will travel through a fantasy landscape infused with Lovecraftian images viewed from another perspective, but even readers unfamiliar with his work will be enthralled by Vellitt's quest. A remarkable accomplishment that repays rereading.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 39 (næste | vis alle)
Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book. I bought this on ebook for my Kindle

Thoughts: I did not realize that this was a retelling of Lovecraft's "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" until I had already started reading this book. I plan to read the original Lovecraft story shortly. This was a decently done fantasy adventure story about a professor, Vellitt Boe, who goes on a journey to retrieve a student who has run off with a waking world man. Boe has worked tirelessly to provide the women of the dream world with an opportunity to attend college and losing a student to the waking world could result in the closure of the school.

I really enjoy Boe's journey through the strange dream lands and the intriguing characters she meets along the way. There is a heavy theme throughout of women not being as prevalent or worthwhile as men in the dream world and Boe fights these prejudices on her journeys. It was imaginative and well done and I enjoyed both Vellitt Boe as a character and the intriguing worlds she journeyed through.

I think I originally put this on my wishlist to read because it was a fantasy adventure featuring an older protagonist. The fact that Vellitt Boe is in her 40's is addressed throughout. I like that the author discusses both how traveling is harder at that age but also how much more life experience Boe has, so she makes better decisions and has better resources. This does a great job of explaining the benefits and detriments of getting older.

My Summary (4/5): Overall I really enjoyed this. I enjoyed the characters and the amazing worlds we venture through. Watching Vellitt Boe get to see the waking world and experience it for the first time was amazing as well. I would definitely recommend this if you enjoy fantasy adventure/questing types of stories. I will be reading the Lovecraft novella that this story is based off shortly and can comment on that how it compares to this after I do that. I will definitely be keeping an eye out to see what books Kij Johnson writes next.
  krau0098 | Jan 2, 2024 |
I've never read anything by Lovecraft, so I acknowledge that I may not be the best audience for The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe. This novella is apparently a riff on a short story of his, but with a woman as the lead character: Vellitt Boe, a 50-something university professor who travelled widely in her youth across her land, which is the dream world of our own. I found the beginning section—when we see the Ulthar University for Women, and then the beginning of Vellit's quest for a runaway student—to be the most interesting.

However, as Vellitt's journey progressed I found it dull, despite the dreamlike and even surreal nature of the landscapes through which she travels. Kij Johnson's prose is often lyrical and evocative. But—and again, this may be a function of me not having read Lovecraft—I wanted to see more of how Vellitt being a Black woman protagonist in a Lovecraftian universe changed the story being told. I don't mind a quiet/meditative book, but this didn't feel quite satisfying to me in the way that I wanted. ( )
  siriaeve | Mar 14, 2023 |
Recensione su World of Interests

Questo racconto lungo è ispirato da una storia di Lovecraft: non ho letto quasi niente di quest’ultimo, e infatti non ho letto l’originale. Sì, lo so, dovrei spicciarmi e leggere qualcosa di suo, ma, per ora, non è nelle mie priorità.

Comunque. Non avendo letto nessuno dei racconti onirici di Lovecraft, probabilmente non ho colto dei passaggi che si rifanno a lui. Ho solo apprezzato la storia, e solo dopo ho letto l’intervista alla fine del volume e ho capito alcune cose.

Devo dire che questo racconto è stato molto interessante, anche se a tratti un po’ lento. È la prima volta che leggo qualcosa di quest’autrice, quindi non posso compararlo con altre storie, però ho trovato il tutto molto interessante: Kij Johnson prende il mondo onirico di Lovecraft e, in qualche modo, lo rende suo, creando una storia di ricerca e di sofferenza.

Inoltre, mi è piaciuto molto come l’autrice ha descritto il mondo onirico e come ha fatto vivere le differenze tra questo e la terra ai suoi personaggi (in particolare Vellitt e Claire). Inoltre mi è piaciuto il fatto che l’autrice abbia dato, diciamo, la sua “impronta” al mondo di Lovecraft, usando sì le sue creature ma rendendole allo stesso tempo un po’ diverse.

Inoltre, mentre in Lovecraft non ci sono praticamente donne, questo racconto ne fa le protagoniste: siano esse insegnanti, scolare, o ghoul. Questa è subito una netta differenza che ho apprezzato e che approvo: anche se le donne hanno parecchie difficoltà in entrambi i mondi (quello di Vellitt e la Terra), l’autrice ci ha mostrato le varie sfaccettature di ognuna di loro: sono coraggiose, viaggiatrici, portano avanti un collegio che è sempre minacciato dagli uomini, eternamente in conflitto con loro.

Devo dire che Vellitt mi è piaciuta abbastanza: pur essendo una donna di mezz’età, si imbarca in un viaggio pericolosissimo per riportare indietro una delle sue studentesse, anche contro il volere di dèi capricciosi e odiosi. Alla fine del racconto mi è sembrato di conoscerla molto bene, cosa che non mi capita spesso con testi molto brevi.

Degli altri personaggi conosciamo ben poco, anche se durante la lettura ho cambiato la mia opinione su Claire, che all’inizio mi sembrava una ragazza frivola, e un po’ stupida.

Nel complesso, lo stile di scrittura mi è piaciuto, anche se l’ho trovato un po’ lento in alcuni punti. Forse è perché non l’ho letto in poco tempo come al mio solito, visti i miei impegni personali.

Comunque, molto, molto consigliato ( )
  thereadingpal | Jun 14, 2022 |
A dream quest for the reader, as well as for Vellitt Boe, because we echo her every footstep across landscapes rich and strange. It's beautifully written, but has a certain slowness to the adventure. There were things about it that disturbed me, but also many interesting ideas for the mind to ponder. Solid. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
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Vellitt Boe was dreaming of a highway and ten million birds in an empty sky of featureless blue.
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Kij Johnson's haunting novella The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe is both a commentary on a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman's life. Vellitt's quest to find a former student who may be the only person who can save her community takes her through a world governed by a seemingly arbitrary dream logic in which she occasionally glimpses an underlying but mysterious order, a world ruled by capricious gods and populated by the creatures of dreams and nightmares. Those familiar with Lovecraft's work will travel through a fantasy landscape infused with Lovecraftian images viewed from another perspective, but even readers unfamiliar with his work will be enthralled by Vellitt's quest. A remarkable accomplishment that repays rereading.

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