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Reviews

  • The Oracle of Night makes a resounding case for the mystery, beauty and cognitive importance of dreams. Ribeiro marshals prodigious evidence to bolster his case . . . This book is the culmination of decades of thought and collaborative work. It's also the expression of remarkable, if sometimes all-over-the-map, scholarship, drawing on history, literature, biology, anthropology, neuroscience, sociology and psychology, among other disciplines . . . His lyrical account is aided by Daniel Hahn's beautiful translation from the Portuguese . . . Delightful . . . You can't help being awed and enchanted by the wonder with which Ribeiro approaches his subject, by the depth of his knowledge and passion.

    The New York Times
  • A comprehensive consideration of the sleeping mind . . . [Ribeiro] offers a capacious examination of the phenomenon of dreaming. The author draws on biology, chemistry, neurophysiology, anthropology, mythology, history, literature, biography, and art-along with myriad examples of dream narratives-to create a rich history of the human mind . . . A stimulating and informative overview.

    Kirkus
  • [Ribeiro] explores hypotheses about the evolutionary value of sleep to humans, presenting a fascinating analysis of the debate about the relationship between sleep and cognitive ability . . . concluding, among other things, that nap rooms would be a valuable addition to school environments.

    Publishers Weekly
  • A groundbreaking history of the human mind told through our experience of dreams-from the earliest accounts to current scientific findings-and the essential role of dreams in the formation of who we are and the world we have made.

    Next Big Idea Club
  • "A sweeping account as tangled and chaotic-and fascinating-as the dreams themselves . . . It reinfuses the dreamscape with beauty, mystery and significance . . . The Oracle of Night takes a breakneck journey through history, from cave paintings and the ancient Greeks to Celtic myths, Egyptian pharaohs, Gilgamesh and Julius Caesar. The text, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn, moves fluidly from systemic historiography to guesswork and lighthearted extrapolation . . . The result is a curiously hybridized book, at times playful, at times intensely scientific . . . Poetic and visceral."

    The Wall Street Journal
  • 'A detailed, complex guide to the history, science, philosophy and psychology of dreams'

    The Independent
  • 'It has a sound scientific core...and it's argument stands up. Dreams matter. They deserve our serious attention.'

    The Sunday Times
  • 'In this fascinating book Professor Sidarta Ribeiro, a neuroscientist, reveals what is going on when we close our eyes for the night.'

    The Mail on Sunday
  • 'His work is more poetic than merely factual, and the esoteric significance of dreaming is discussed in an equally compelling manner...the appealing mystery of the topic is never lost.'

    The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands & Islands)
  • '[Ribeiro] lifts the lid on the human mind. The Oracle of Night contains a number of interesting insights...and includes the intriguing possibility of a link between dreams and psychosis.'

    The Guardian

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