The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Set in Calgary, Canada, the US, and in Central Europe, Dead Man Dreaming is a literary fiction about one man’s fight against hereditary genetic diseases—from losing his girlfriend to finding love again—and how he overcomes his fear and frustrations and comes to terms with his own Huntington’s disease.
David, a senior resident physician, suddenly finds his coveted heart surgeon’s job in jeopardy as he could be a victim of Huntington’s chorea. After much deliberation, as he takes the pre-symptomatic test, his life turns upside down. He tests HD positive. And the result takes a toll on his love life too as his girlfriend leaves him for he decides not to have kids in that condition.
Although he secures the job at the hospital, he declines the offer. Emotionally charged, David dedicates his life to finding a solution to prevent all hereditary genetic diseases. He believes if medical science could prevent fatal diseases like cholera, malaria, and tuberculosis, it must have a solution to genetic diseases as well. Months go by, but David finds nothing new to help his research. The confirmation of HD also disrupts his private life, and he hallucinates at night. He becomes frustrated and accepts a job in the R&D division of the same hospital.
One day, he accidentally meets his old classmate, Jessie. She is recovering from a bad marriage and her son is suffering from a genetic disease called hemophilia. Although he had never liked her before and they had nothing in common, he couldn’t help admiring her after hearing what she had gone through in life. Jessie points out that the solution to David’s research is already half-way there. A simple carrier screening test can easily identify parents with genetic disorders. The affected ones can then look for viable alternatives like sperm or egg donation, surrogacy, gene editing, or adoptions. But the research shows only one in six OBs and gynecologists are offering carrier screening tests in the preconception period. So, all they need is to fill the void with an awareness campaign.
David likes the idea, and together, they start a website to get others’ feedback on introducing a parental fitness test before having a child. If other jobs can ask for a fitness test, why the toughest job in the world can’t have one? They get an overwhelming response from all over the world, people rallying for a Carrier Screening Test, but not without condemnations. The number of signatories reaches millions.
Meanwhile, their common miseries and hardships in life also bring them closer. David falls in love with Jessie. However, his impending sickness prevents him from expressing his love and he suffers silently. But his interactions with million other victims open his eyes. He realizes while he may not have any control over how long he lives, but he can always choose how he lives the remaining days. And he decides to propose to Jessie.
Dead Man Dreaming is a story of a desperate and dying young man spiraling downward with anger and frustrations and how he bounces back with new love as he comes to terms with his life-threatening disease.
|Genre(s):||Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction|
|Release date:||2019-09-25 (expected publication)|
But what surprised me the most was how almost every paper was talking about early detection and a possible cure in the near futures – or about managing the disease well – but none said why the parents weren’t getting tested before having kids. A simple genetic test before pregnancy could easily check their odds of having a baby with a genetic disorder, yet only less than twenty percent of family physicians or OB/GYN providers offered a carrier screening test in the preconception period. I wondered why the maternity and parentood websites weren’t advising any genetic tests, either. Wouldn’t that awareness help reduce the number of children born with fatal genetic diseases?
This book introduces you to David who turns down his dreamjob – heart surgeon – in his hometown when it is confirmed that he has Huntington’s. After a phase of utter desperation, he meets further ‘victims’ of genetic diseases and tries to get his grip on life back.
With “Dead Man Dreaming”, Uday Mukerji has created a remarkable story of a man who needs to find a new purpose in life. It is a very captivating read, keeping you glued to David’s story. David is believable and complex; his perception of his looming fate, as well as his research for possible cures make him a highly interesting character – someone you would like to meet and discuss with in reality. Uday Mukerji’s story develops at a steady pace, drawing you closer to David and his mindset, as well as to Jessie – mother of a son with hemophilia – who joins his cause. David and Jessie are authentic, their story is thought-provoking and has a great flow.
This is a book for you if you like well-told and thoughtful stories. If you like ruminating on important or even controversial matters, you will find food for thought.
|Cover||⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐|
|Writing||⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐|
|Plot||⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐|
|Characters||⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐|
|POV||First person – past tense|
About the author
Uday Mukerji left his creative director’s job in advertising to pursue a writing career in 2009. After writing, re-writing, and deleting a few versions, and secretly burying two laptops, six years later, he is now ready to share his first literary fiction with you.
He was born in India, and had worked in Singapore for nearly twenty years. He loves to travel, and interact with people, not so much on FB or Twitter, though, but face to face, maybe with a cup of coffee. He is a nature lover and his concern for environmental protection also made him the editor of Singapore Environmental Technology Yearbook for ten consecutive years.
Connect with the author:
My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about “Dead Man Dreaming”? Or – if you did not yet read “Dead Man Dreaming” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?
I am looking forward to reading your comments. 🙂