Dreamland

  • by David K. Randall
  • Narrated by Andy Caploe
  • 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An engrossing examination of the science behind the little-known world of sleep.
Like many of us, journalist David K. Randall never gave sleep much thought. That is, until he began sleepwalking. One midnight crash into a hallway wall sent him on an investigation into the strange science of sleep.
In Dreamland, Randall explores the research that is investigating those dark hours that make up nearly a third of our lives. Taking listeners from military battlefields to children’s bedrooms, Dreamland shows that sleep isn't as simple as it seems. Why did the results of one sleep study change the bookmakers’ odds for certain Monday Night Football games? Do women sleep differently than men? And if you happen to kill someone while you are sleepwalking, does that count as murder?
This book is a tour of the often odd, sometimes disturbing, and always fascinating things that go on in the peculiar world of sleep. You’ll never look at your pillow the same way again.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Content average to good; narration AWFUL!!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A completely different narrator. Or telling the actual narrator to:(1) Knock off the use of different "voices" (Freud speaking in a German accent; Brits speaking in a variety of different British accents, some of which are appropriate for the social standing of the person being quoted and some of which are not). This was INCREDIBLY IRRITATING in a non-fiction book. This is not a studio performance of a play. It is not Harry Potter, where different voices help you keep the different characters straight. I hated this audiobook's narrator in every chapter without exception, in the majority of paragraphs. Only my interest in the underlying scientific content kept me from asking for a refund. My knowledge that my iPhone was not at fault was the only thing keeping me from throwing it out the window (grin).(2) Knock off the use of overly emphatic and flowery intonation in regular passages. You DON'T have (pause) to (falling tone) EMPhasize every (pause; rising tone) sinGLE WORD in the book... you reALLLY Don't...


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Most interesting: the underlying subject of sleep research.Least interesting: the author's recounting of his own sleepwalking, which goes nowhere. (Normally I would expect this to be very interesting.)


Would you be willing to try another one of Andy Caploe’s performances?

No. Nope. No way Jose. Unh unh. Noooooooooo! Am I clear?Well, maybe I would, but only if I heard a sample of his work in a particular (other) performance in which he speaks as a normal audiobook narrator does for a scientific book. I don't know if the peculiarities and irritations of this particular performance were his fault, or something he was instructed to do by a misguided producer. If you think you want this book, listen to the audio sample to see if you can handle Caploe's peculiar and distracting reading style. If you can, more power to you; if you can't, then pass on this one.


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Some of the science is interesting. Although I hated most of the narrator's performance, let me give credit where credit is due: he does have an excellent French accent and mispronounces NONE of the French words in the book. (As you may have noticed, many narrators have no idea which letters at the end of French words are silent and which are not.)


Any additional comments?

The author lacks focus and a clear overall view. He starts out strong, with a description of the discovery, by a historian, of "first sleep" and "second sleep", and how this revolutionizes our understanding of sleep. He's right! And it's well-described in the book. But at several points later in the book, he fails to apply this correct insight to explain other sleep phenomena, simply parroting the scientists who studied those things, apparently unaware of the "first/second sleep" perspective.

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- Jim

Terrible performance of an average book

There have been many recent advances in sleep science and the author takes you on a slightly dreamy tour of them. The performance assaults your ear with bad foreign accents an unnecessary caricatures.

The material is disjointed and the author repeats himself in different sections--possibly because he expected people to jump around to the chapters they were interested in. Not being a scientist he makes the various sources understandable for the layperson. But this also makes it difficult for him to analyse the material and he often presents conflicting points of view without any effort to say which is more likely to be correct. He's basically serving up everything he read and letting you sort through it.

I had to skip certain sections because the reader adopts a nasal, whiny voice whenever he's quoting a study or an interviewee--even ones that are clearly authoritative or completely correct. It's like he's saying "this is how all geeks and nerds talk." He also feels obliged to use British, French and Austrian (Freud) accents if the source material allows.

Without good synthesis or a critical eye for the data you could do almost as well for yourself by Googling "sleep science."
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- Sean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-04-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios