Paprika

Paprika
Yasutaka Tsutsui

Dreams have a literary pedigree running from Homer to Freud, and have evolved in that time from religious or philosophical allegory to paranoid fantasies, sexual psychodramas, and CGI-inspired spectacles. Paprika is one of the better of the many SF-flavoured dream novels that have been written, its rendering of the chaos that results when dream thought gets entangled with waking reality more plausible than plot-driven Hollywood versions of the same concept (Tsutsui’s book inspired the film Inception). Unfortunately things get rushed at the end, and all the time spent spelunking through the unconscious might have been better spent creating some more fully rounded characters. One can understand the attraction for FX-minded filmmakers (there was even a psychedelic Japanese anime adaptation), but I think dream stories should emphasize the human element and be less concerned with technology.