What Dreams May Come

  • by Richard Matheson
  • Narrated by Robertson Dean
  • 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What happens to us after we die? Chris Nielsen had no idea, until an unexpected accident cut his life short, separating him from his beloved wife, Annie. Now Chris must discover the true nature of life after death. But even Heaven is not complete without Annie, and the divided soul mates will do anything to reach each other across the boundaries between life and death. When tragedy threatens to divide them forever, Chris risks his very soul to save Annie from an eternity of despair.

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What the Critics Say

"One of the most important writers of the 20th century." (Ray Bradbury)
"Matheson is one of the great names in American terror fiction." (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Poor Character Development

Would you try another book from Richard Matheson and/or Robertson Dean?

The Reader, Mr. Dean was Good. I would not buy another book by Matheson.


What was most disappointing about Richard Matheson’s story?

Character development. See Below in comments.


What three words best describe Robertson Dean’s performance?

Prepared, Good Voice.


What character would you cut from What Dreams May Come?

Chris Neilson and Anne Neilson.


Any additional comments?

This review does not discuss nor make an evaluation of the concepts of life after death as discussed by the author. This review is directed to the character and plot development of the book. Some of the other reviews I have read have indicated that Mr. Matheson is a writer and may have written in a genre categorized as horror stories. I find that hard to believe if this book is a guide.

A significant necessity of a good book is for the reader to be able to have some identification or connection with at least one of the main characters. There was none here. We start from the beginning that Mr. Neilson loved his wife dearly. What really comes across is an obsession, not love. It is very syrupy and asks that you not question whether this is really a loving relationship.

Neilson is very closed minded, as is his wife Anne. After his death, he refuses to accept the fact that he has died, ostensibly because he loves his wife. He refuses to accept his death in the face of overwhelming evidence. He gets very angry at everyone, and very quickly so when they cannot see or feel his presence. Neilson is stubborn and obstinate. “I am right and the world is wrong” appears to be his motto.

Neilson’s wife is not much better, exhibiting similar traits. She refuses to even consider Neilson’s presence when others, including her son Richard (and Percy, the seer), do feel his father’s presence. She has her opinions. There is no afterlife is her belief. As the saying goes, “Don’t bother me with the facts. I have my opinions.” In essence, I found Neilson and his wife to be very unpleasant personalities.

I found this book to be similar to another book entitled “Patriots.” In that book, the author attempted to teach the proper use of weapons and firearms in a survival situation, or post apocalyptic environment. A laudable goal if someone does not want to sit and read dry manuals or dry do it yourself books. However, the characters in that book were so dislikable (and dumb) that it made reading the book very difficult. I ended up putting down the book about a quarter of the way through.

This book suffers from the same infirmity. Again, it is laudable that the author wants to develop his perspective of life after death and may even come to with a foundation which involved having thoroughly researched this area. That is highly commendable. However, the presentation of the characters, and the requirement that we believe that theirs was “loving relationship” despite the conduct of these characters, made this book difficult to read. I made it through the first four chapters before putting it down.

The book was a huge disappointment, not for the concepts of an after life. It was a disappointment due to the development and presentation of the personalities, and their conduct.

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- Thomas John

Skip the book. See the film.

One of those rare instances where the movie actually is better than the book. Way better. It retains the basic outline, salient points, and aesthetic details (not to mention adding a depth and beauty missing in the book) while dispensing with a lot of the arrogant, legalistic, and codependent baggage contained in the book. I will say that the narrator did a fine job, however I found the book to be a somewhat twisted and disturbing version of the film.
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- Jeremy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-21-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.