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How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet
How the Dead Dream begins with a young boy, T., who is obsessed with money. As he grows up, he becomes a fervent capitalist and real estate developer. His life, though, becomes increasingly lonely. When he accidentally kills a coyote with his car, this contact with the natural world unnerves him and he begins to question his priorities in life. When his girlfriend suddenly dies, his grief and sense of loss causes him to develop a concern for animals that are becoming extinct. He breaks into zoos at night, not to free the animals, but just to watch them and try to understand. Lydia Millet's novel has received mostly positive reviews with BookPage saying, "It's to Millet's credit that the reader's sympathy never flags, that the suffering of a selfish, greedy fortune-builder remains heartwrenching. The intelligent, sharp-humored charm of her narrative voice aligns the reader with T from the start. In lyrical passages that trace T's deeper musings, Millet makes the personal universal, raising the stakes so that each realization has the weight of a revolution. And, like all revolutions, it's an untidy process, leaving the future uncertain."