When you can not distinguish between virtual reality and reality, when computer-assisted dreams are more real than real life, when your cult leader answers every question you may have, then the real world becomes the dreamworld and your friends may not have a place your new universe.
Alan Clay has created a world so real, that it seems only a matter of time before a similar cult looks set to spring upon us. It's convincing character portrayal and sharp analysis give a special insight to the friendships and his quirky style adds to the richness of the text. Provoking emotions throughout, Clay has crafted a true gem, that is a wonderful event to experience. Sydney Beat Magazine. Dance Sisters by New Zealander Alan Clay, had me hooked from the first explosive page. A female song and dance trio threatens to self-destruct on the brink of fame, when its leader becomes involved with a manipulative cult, touting sex, astrology and virtual dreaming. What a refreshing read! Otago Times Dance Sisters is written by Alan Clay - a New Zealand actor/writer based in Sydney. Dance Sisters describes the psychological dramas experienced by Eva following her initiation into a dream-group obsessed with the use of virtual-reality dreams. The dream-group emerges as a cult and the leader seeks to twist the members' perception of reality via computer-assisted dreams. A well-written insight into fringe-reality and quite a sizeable read for a demo. For mature readers.
Most of the time, when I read a book to decide if I will publish it or not, I read the first 2 or 3 chapters then go for a walk with my little dog and let my mind free to create a universe based on what I have read. If the universe springs to life without much effort, that's it; if not, I give a chance to the book and go back to read the rest of it. With Dance Sisters, I started and could not let go. There's a kind of realism in this book that grabs you and pushes you forward until you reach the last page. Everything rings so true and the plot of the story is simple but complex. I often wondered at what could bring a "sane" person to submit to the will of a leader or to be wholly absorbed in a cult philosophy (for that matter any philosophy). This is something I have never understood and perhaps never will but Dance Sisters gave me an insight into a probable cause of such total submission. This book is a clear demonstration that technology has become a new tool in the arsenal of mind controling, power starved people.
The Dance Sisters are a female singing and dancing duo, recently expanded into a trio. They are in contention for an Australasian Song Award, and are supposed to be practicing hard for their performance on awards night. But, Pearl, the leader, has recently ended a relationship with Moana, the other original member, and has become involved in a cult that deals in things like astrology, group sex and virtual dreaming. Pearl begins to attach more importance to the cult than to the Dance Sisters, very much threatening their chances at the Song Awards. The pressures on the trio are explored from the point of view of Eva, the third member, as possibly the biggest night in their lives comes ever closer. This is quite an enjoyable read. It's convincingly written, and the characters are real people, too. It's a story of friendship and camaraderie, but also a story of the impact of technology on society and is well worth reading. This Review Courtesy of Dead Tree Review Magazine
About Alan Clay: born in 1954 in New Zealand and grew up in Auckland. He attended a Clown School in Sweden in 1977, and has since taught and performed extensively in Scandinavia, England, Australia and New Zealand. Alan has lived in Sydney since 1992, where he teaches at the Actors Centre, and runs Playspace Studio, a physical theatre course centre in Newtown. Dance Sisters is Alan's second novel. His first book, Moontan - A Clown's Story, was published in New Zealand in 1994.