Remembered, surreal dreams become the prose equivalent of Salvador Dali paintings and films.



A detailed diary of Wictor’s (Ghosts and Ballyhoo: Memoirs of a Failed L.A. Music Journalist, 2013, etc.) surreal dreams and nightmares, which reflect his dysfunctional love life and personal demons as a struggling LA music journalist.

Wictor covered the music scene in 1990s Los Angeles amid a tumultuous personal life and health issues that left him feeling vulnerable, pained and angry. During this period, he suffered many lucid dreams—more like nightmares—that his remarkable memory allowed him to preserve in print. His subconscious is particularly active; he even claims to have experienced the rare phenomenon of lucid sleepwalking. But this, the third volume in his loosely linked Ghost Trilogy, is less scientific self-diagnosis than immersion into the weird narratives and tableaux he’s recovered, with minor introductory notes about the events—failed and toxic love affairs, an intimidating Bass Player assignment to interview formidable rock legend Gene Simmons—that inspired the “nightmare clusters.” With the grotesqueries of a Chuck Palahniuk plot, Wictor writes of committing murder (or being murdered himself; usually knives are involved); ill-fated reunions with shape-shifting ex-girlfriends; disasters such as floods, plane crashes and giant carnivorous bats; his articles appearing illegible and bastardized; and his behaving in an infantile or out-of-character manner to entertain some unseen audience. In spite of the dreamer’s clear distress at the time, some of the dreams are horrific, a few are poignant, others, laugh-out-loud hilarious. Themes of failure and humiliation, self-loathing and frustrated helplessness strike universal chords, though showbiz celebrity cameos (Bill Cosby, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Thompson, a miniaturized Sean Connery, Charlie Sheen in hell) are a bit further afield. Readers intrigued by bizarre, Inception-style voyeurism of a well-traveled writer/musician’s innermost recesses should dare venture into this Nightmare on Wictor Street.

Remembered, surreal dreams become the prose equivalent of Salvador Dali paintings and films.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-615-85181-5

Page Count: 252

Publisher: Thomas\Wictor

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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