Book review: Sammy Sage Hassan’s ‘Dream Maker’ is more than a self-help book

by Lekan Olanrewaju

Sammy Sage Hassan’s Dream Maker: A Fable is a self-help book; let’s get that out of the way first. The good news here is it presents itself as something else entirely, thereby managing to become so much more.

The official description of the book pegs it as “one man’s pursuit of the wisdom of life,” but what it really does is share said wisdom in, thankfully, an interesting and engaging manner. The narrative follows Baba, an old teacher, revered in his practice as a custodian of ‘old wisdom’. Imagine a Yoda type figure, but set in a city purportedly created by King Solomon and spending his time running some form of training camp. It is in this camp that he teaches a particular ward, (using a variety of techniques, one of which is a game called ‘Dream Maker,’ from which the book takes its name,) through whose listening ears Hassan shares with the reader his life lessons.

Sammy Sage Hassan first made a name for himself as a poet and spoken-word artiste, a background that is well evident in Dream Maker. Not to say the writing is particularly poetic (this isn’t a bad thing, as he avoids the long-windedness that tends to characterize attempts at such writing from most) but it is interspersed with poetry and recognizable folk-tales and fables, weaved into the narrative with enough skill and dexterity to avoid coming off like a gimmick. For the most part, anyway. Unfortunately one starts to get the feeling these are too much after a while, and for a narrative which isn’t the most shocking to begin with, the book ends up a bit bogged down for it. Regardless, the

Published by Hot Coffee Books, Dream Maker: A Fable is the first in the Dream Maker series, and while it doesn’t exactly revolutionize the literary industry, it does enough to raise interest for what Hassan will offer next.

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