Review: Same Bed Different Dreams

Title: Same Bed Different Dreams (November 7, 2023)
Author: Ed Park
Pages: 528

Ed Park spins historical fact into brilliant literary fiction with Same Bed Different Dreams. His gripping prose and flair for unconventional storytelling makes even the most opaque sections completely engrossing. This book will coast onto yearly Best-of lists (including my own) and it should be in contention for major literary awards. I was simply blown away.

It’s a mesmerizing fever dream of a novel, with an expansive story that contracts on a whim. It’s sprawling, yet intimate. The subtle interconnections between its nested layers are a joy to puzzle out and it begs to be re-read. Starting over with more enlightened eyes (and maybe a character web to track the broad cast of players and their connections) would certainly yield a different, yet still satisfying, experience.

While it’s difficult to describe the book in terms of plot, if you’re an enjoyer of secret societies, doomsday cults, alternate histories, coded messages, spies, double agents, artificial intelligence, and the history of Korea – give this book a go. If you bristle at the thought of an unconventional narrative structure without much hand-holding, perhaps skip it. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was certainly mine. 


My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.