The Somnambulist’s Dreams

The Somnambulist’s DreamsThe Somnambulist's Dreams by Lars Boye Jerlach
Published by Angry Owl Publishing on August 23rd 2016
Pages: 181
ISBN: 0692746609
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four-stars

A lighthouse keeper off the coast of New England finds the writings of a previous lighthouse keeper by the name of Enoch Soule. The writings are about the vivid dreams Enoch experienced while he was the lighthouse keeper. It appears that not only did Enoch remember absolutely everything about his dreams, he found himself in strange places in the lighthouse in various stages of undress upon waking from his dreams. He began to write down his dreams and the reader learns that he is not always human in his dreams – sometimes he is a raven with unique eye coloring.

The current lighthouse keeper, fills his very lonely long days (and nights) by checking his watch, drinking tea and keeping warm rocks in his pockets. Th warm rocks took me back to my childhood, when I would spend the night with my grandmother in Pennsylvania Dutch country. She would warm rocks and place them under the blankets at the foot of the bed to make the sheets warm on a cold winter’s night. But I digress. The current lighthouse keeper looks forward to the time where he can sit down and read about the dreams of the previous lighthouse keeper. Most of this narrative takes place in the “dreams” of Enoch Soule. His dreams take him many places: a well, a cemetery, etc. Are the dreams real or is Enoch spiraling into madness? Is there something metaphysical at play? Does one dream build on the other? Are the dreams related? Is there meaning to be found in the dreams?

There is something very romantic about lighthouses. They are extremely picturesque. When I lived outside of Boston, we used to go to Marblehead and spent a lot of time having picnics outside of the lighthouse. But what is it like to actually be in a lighthouse? What is it like to be alone day after day? To not have contact with another human being? To have no one to talk to for long periods of time? To have the same routine day after day, eating the same food, drinking the same tea, looking at the same sea. Human beings are social creatures. What happens when one has no contact with others for long periods of time? How does loneliness affect a person’s psyche? How does isolation affect one’s mental status? How does loneliness and isolation affect their dreams?

Another question..if there is a new lighthouse keeper then where is Enoch Soule? To learn, one must read the book. I have been reading a lot of book lately where there is a plot twist in the last part of the book. That “aha” moment where things come together and make sense. This occurs in this book as well.

This is a very unique and thought provoking book. I especially enjoyed the dream sequences and I was trying to figure out how the dreams were related (if they were). While reading this book, I couldn’t help but think of (obviously) Edgar Allen Poe, the original twilight zone television show, specifically the very first episode where the man is the only one living in the town. I also thought of the book Jonathan Livingstone Seagull (I’m not sure why perhaps the metaphysical aspect of this book). After reading this book, can one ever look at lighthouses or ravens the same way again? My answer: Nevermore!

I received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars