Books

A Dream of Lockdown. David Stoll

A DREAM OF LOCKDOWN

David’s first novel, A DREAM OF LOCKDOWN, was published under the orrydian imprint in June 2022. The book is fiction, but in it David also talks about some of his music and how it was written. 

The three interlinked stories in the novel explore the inner life of the creative artist. A composer struggles with the middle movement of his new piece; a painter wonders what her works are trying to say; a philosopher wants to understand why people only think through the filters of their own ideas.  A DREAM OF LOCKDOWN is a comedy about chess, telling stories, distorting mirrors, cryptic puzzles, the songs of the Beatles and living through lockdown. “Life, what is it but a dream?” 

The book is available from Amazon both as a printed edition and also for Kindle.

Reader reviews include:

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Fabulously inventive, with a one-of a kind structure that made me think deeply about both the creative process and the act of reading itself.
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This is an ambitious project that makes for challenging reading, but the imagination, range and sheer quality of the writing carries it off. An impressive debut and an enjoyable, rewarding and thought-provoking read.
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This is a fascinating metafictional novel, highly readable and often amusing while also intellectually provocative. Governed by dream logic, like a game of chess behind the looking glass, the plot is entertaining and perplexing in equal measure. At the end of the book I felt I would need to read it again in order to better understand it, and the fact that the prospect is tempting prompts me to give this debut novel 5 stars.
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There is much to intrigue you and some laugh-out-loud funny comments along the way. The interweaving of several narrative strands is puzzling, especially as their order seems random. After a while it becomes apparent that the author, a professional composer of considerable standing, is taking you through the experience of creative development, and the experience is more important than the narrative.
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This book is about an interesting and somewhat mystical journey through the process and development of a novel. There are many references and comparisons to the composition of music, about which the author knows a great deal.
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Witty, intriguing and full of surprises.

UVNEY

One of the characters in A DREAM OF LOCKDOWN is Ebenezer DuLally Gasp UVNEY (the Gasp is silent, or nearly so) – a celebrated Man of Letters in his own right. 

Little has been told of Uvney’s life, but orrydian, keen to make his work better known, commissioned the old man to provide a set of illuminating Introductions to several major classics in a series of new editions.  So far Uvney has provided prefaces to the following books: 

Uvney

The Ghost at Chrone. Uvney.

THE GHOST AT CRONE

An isolated stately home in the dead of winter… the circumstances could not be more ominous for the disturbing manifestations which beset Crone Castle, the ancestral seat of the Lords Broodfest.

Unhappy to play second fiddle to the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, H G Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle, Uvney decided to write his own narrative based on the terrifying supernatural events at the country seat of Lord Broodfest.  THE GHOST AT CRONE was published by orrydian in 2023 and, despite some critical disfavour (see below), has now established itself as a popular penny dreadful and modern classic.

We, the undersigned, wish to dissociate ourselves completely from the jejune and, frankly, insulting portrait of the noble state of ghosthood presented by Uvney in THE GHOST AT CRONE. The terrifying and tragic events at the Castle are worthy of a far finer author, and – indeed – of an authority who properly understands what it is to haunt. Yours etc,

The Canterville Ghost
Peter Quint
The Ghost of Banquo
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
The Headless Horseman
The Ghost in the Machine

Modern readers, however, seem to feel differently, according to the reviews on Amazon:

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This is a most entertaining tale; witty, good fun and well-written. I loved the cast of characters and their splendid names.
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I don’t know what possessed me to buy this book. I rarely read ghost stories. I bought it on a whim and I’m glad I did. I like it. I like it a lot. Witty, amusing, entertaining and written under a pseudonym I suspect, by a serious, erudite writer, tongue in cheek, just for a lark.
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An exceptionally amusing novella, as clever and witty as PG Wodehouse. The characters are skillfully introduced, their eccentricities know no bounds and the reader is left hoping they will enjoy many more adventures together.
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A cast of eccentrics, including our narrator (Ebenezer Uvney), an atmospheric setting and an intriguing plot make this a thoroughly entertaining book. There is much clever wordplay and “plotplay” … but the erudition is worn lightly and the total effect is an extremely amusing and enjoyable read. Bravo, Mr Uvney! I hope we will hear more from you.

STOP PRESS

Readers will be happy to hear that Uvney is currently writing a new book.