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“Requiem for a Dream” by Hubert Selby Jr.

Requiem for a Dream, by Hubert Selby Jr., is one of the most powerful and thought-provoking books of our time. It is a haunting portrayal of how dreams can quickly become the harshest of nightmares if they are not taken seriously and actively pursued.

Told through the voices of four main characters, Requiem for a Dream is a story of addiction, hopelessness, and complete disillusionment.


The novel follows the lives of four characters: Harry, Sara, Tyrone, and Marion. Each character is struggling in their own way as they pursue their dreams.

Harry and Tyrone attempt to make money by selling drugs and end up living a life of addiction and violence. Marion’s dream is to become a model and actress in Hollywood, but instead she becomes trapped in a cycle of prostitution and self-doubt.

Sara’s dream is to be on a television game show, and her desire leads her down a path of prescription drug addiction. The characters’ lives eventually spiral out of control, and the novel ends with them facing utter despair.


Addiction: The novel paints a stark picture of how easily addiction can overtake the lives of those who aren’t paying attention.

All four characters make choices that lead to addiction, either to drugs or to the idea of success. The novel exposes the brutality of addiction and the way it can ruin a life.

Hopelessness: The characters in Requiem for a Dream are constantly searching for something, an idea of hope, only to find that their hopes and dreams are false.

All four of them ultimately find themselves in a bleak and desperate situation, lacking any real hope of redemption.

Despair: At the end of the book, the characters are living in a state of complete despair. Each of the characters is broken, unable to find any form of joy in their lives. It is a tragic portrait of how quickly a life can be destroyed by addiction and hopelessness.


Requiem for a Dream is an incredibly powerful book that paints an unflinching portrait of addiction, hopelessness, and despair.

The characters’ dreams quickly become their greatest nightmare, and the novel does a masterful job of illustrating just how quickly and easily those dreams can be destroyed.

It is a book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it, and it is a must-read for anyone looking for a story that will leave them questioning the power of their own dreams.

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