REVIEW: A Dream In The Night, by Michael Phoenix

“Life is the hardest game

It keeps changing the rules

Anyone can play

With the dawn

of each new day”

I can honestly say “A Dream In The Night” was nothing like what I expected. This book is an eerie combination of verse, thoughts and short stories – moments in the author’s life – challenging, unanswered questions and emotion. So much emotion.

Yes, it is dark, and yes, it is raw. But in this autobiographical tale Michael takes us on a journey full of scenes most of us will have only glimpsed from afar. “Everyone has their own wars to fight, […] Everyone has their own scars to hide.” How true and insightful, yet how easy to disregard in our rush to live. How many of us ever stop to wonder exactly how we live our lives, what makes it what it is and whether there is any way to influence it and make it belong to us? In going about our daily business, how often do we wonder whose lives we also touch? Or if that person we shoved out of our way may be struggling under a burden no man should be allowed to carry on his own?

There are words about friendship and society, love and memories, night and dreams. There is rebellion against the numbing effects of living in a world such as ours and what it turns us into. You’re left repeating Michael’s words again and again “Sometimes life gives us no choice.”

A Dream In The Night is not a collection of happy stories, but it gives hope to those who need it most. It is unconventional, and I like that very much – it is one attribute the traditionally published books do not seem to have anymore, that spark that makes a work different. I also like the fact that Michael has poured his heart and soul into it – not just a few weeks’ worth of it, but years and years. He changed and he allowed us to see that. He was hurt and he let us see his pain. Now on his feet, scarred warrior, he’s here to share his tale.
If you pick up this book, approach it with an open mind and don’t rush. Read it through, and then read it again. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to think. If your thoughts make you feel a touch uncomfortable, stop there. Get a drink, take a walk, and then see what you can do about making someone’s life a little better.

You can learn more about Michael Phoenix here


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