Land of Dreams
James P. Blaylock
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When a boat-sized shoe and giant spectacles wash up on the shore, three of the town's orphans - Jack, Skeezix, and Helen - know there's something fishy going on; and the old ghost in the orphanage attic is inclined to agree. An evil carnival comes to town, run by a sinister gentleman who can turn himself into a crow. A mouse-sized man hiding in the wood-work leaves Jack an elixir that might, just might, allow him to cross during Solstice to another world, a mysterious land of dreams that holds the key to Jack's past and all their adventures.
Land of Dreams is a phantasmagorical adventure reminiscent of Charles Finney's The Circus of Dr. Lao and Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes.
"… a master fabulist." -- William Gibson
"Land of Dreams is Blaylock's best yet - powerful, magical, suspenseful and funny, this novel sails us through the supernatural backwaters of the northern California coast, and none of its readers will ever quite be able to leave its landscape of rotting waterfront towns, and strange songs echoing in from the sea, and vast, unknown cities visible on dubious horizons. Blaylock is the best of contemporary writers, and Land of Dreams is destined to be one of the field's classics." -- Tim Powers
"Striking, beautifully turned surreal fantasy… Weird, complex, wise, original, delightful: pounce!" -- Kirkus Reviews