“The Remaker of Dreams” (2006)

One night, in a bourgeois suburb of Jerusalem, Yoel awakens from his sleep to discover that he possesses a rare talent: the ability to Remake dreams. He can retrieve not only the details of the dream but the visions and the sensual experience of it, and in greater vividness than that of a memory. Seventeen years later, Yoel is forced to put his talent back in use in order to retrieve the dreams of his loved one. However, the Remaking of dreams takes a high toll. A dreadful storm hits Tel Aviv and unsettles the city’s mode of life; the sun is late to rise, rivers of water flood the streets and a mysterious plague terrorizes the city’s inhabitants. In the midst of all this mayhem, the dream Remaker struggles to conceal his gift, facing a city which demands the remaking of its sunken dreams.

Meanwhile, down the street, the twins Alon and Lior are coping with a difficult separation from their parents. Alon is busy with a grand plan: At night he wanders the streets, compulsively recalling a love story which is torturing him, seeking control over the realm of memory. Furthermore, his twin, Lior, is struggling to keep him protected under the shelter of childhood. But times have changed and Lior gradually discovers that Alon is hiding a dark secret which might destroy them both.

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The two major efforts that the book focuses on – The Remaker’s attempt to master dreams and Alon’s struggle to control memory – are linked by a third character. At the beginning of the first part of the book, a body is found lying in a central avenue. The body belongs to Noam, the head of the beggar organization and the only one who knows both Alon and the dream Remaker. Little by little, it turns out that his death isn’t accidental. In fact, Noam is the one who has been obstructing the efforts and revealing the cruelty of the two central characters, which exposes him as their mutual enemy.

Many different characters find themselves caught up in the flooded city: The twins’ father, who has surprisingly returned from his business affairs in the crumbling U.S.S.R; a biographer who writes in Yiddish and is unable to complete his life’s work; an Arab child from Jaffa who is planning to save her loved one from an Israeli prison; Katzanelson, an aging Israeli who has lost his son and is serving as the assistant of the dream Remaker, and many more.

In the course of space and time, this novel produces a wonderful carnival of plots and characters. Gradually, connections between the different characters are formed, and the ties between their apparent and hidden desires, as between their great and insignificant loves, are revealed.

“The Remaker of Dreams” is a wide-ranging epos that manages to fathom many dimensions of life in Israeli reality through a spellbinding mix of tremendous imagination and ominous sobriety. The writer skillfully depicts different aspects of existence: relationships and their nourishing and destructive patterns; the Zionist dream and its position on the capitalist carousel of the new era. The novel discusses the desires of society as well as those of the individual: the heartaches of love, the desire to be redeemed by another and the need to cope with death, time and indifference.