Wowza. An amazing 5-star review of Dreaming in Starlight popped up on Amazon yesterday. Thanks reviewer! You are a true hero! Dreaming is available on Kindle now here (as well as paperback) for half the cost of a cup of coffee! Please leave a review if you’ve read the book, even if it’s just one sentence and you hated it! Thanks!
“Is this our legacy, nausea and raw nostalgia?”
So opens Dreaming in Starlight, Phillip Elliot’s brief but brilliant debut. Part confession, part eulogy, Dreaming encapsulates in beautiful efficiency the short life of a broken man, Jeremiah John Watts. Told though a series of letters that JJ writes while in self-imposed exile, the narrative is scant, nonlinear, and emotionally blistering. JJ is the kind of character you don’t want to identify with, but find yourself strangely rooting for. You approach this narrator with the same feelings you might approach an animal that has darted in front of your car: shame, guilt, sadness, longing. If only you had swerved at the last moment, the scared and wounded creature might live, but in the back of your head you can’t help but think that he’s better off for you having hit him.
Elliot tackles subjects like addiction, mental illness, lost love, and isolation with a scarcity in just 56 pages that somehow makes these heavy ideas feel much more alive than if he had spent several thousand pages discussing them. His style is at once lyrical and blunt, philosophical and plain. Reading him is akin to taking a hard punch to the gut from a poet: surprising yet expected. Due to its length, Dreaming can be a one sitting kind of read, but it’s going to be one hell of a sitting.
With such a knockout of a first book, we should all be watching Mr. Elliot very closely. His capabilities as a writer—while clearly demonstrated as amazing in Dreaming in Starlight—are still not yet fully known. I very much look forward to his followup.
I also came across a 5-star review posted on Amazon Australia:
My daughter recommended this book to me and I’m glad she did. I read it through in two sittings (or rather lying downs), one before bed and the other before I even got up the next morning. This young author has remarkable insight into the human psyche of troubled and lost souls and is skillfully communicating the torment and conflict, as well as intense feelings of love and regret experienced by the main character. I thoroughly enjoyed it but it also evokes sadness as I often see mental health patients around my workplace and wonder what their stories are. Really well done for a first novel!
Thank you, Australian person!
Buy Dreaming in Starlight here.