Michel Jouvet

The Dream Thief Publication date : March 1, 2004

Shrouded in autumn mists, Venice would seem to be a city of mirages. But what happens to a famous professor when he goes to Montegrotto, a nearby spa known for its mud baths, good wines and beautiful women? Why does he lose sleep, question his dreams and start following a female figure glimpsed on a vaporetto? And what about the strange ballet of enigmatic characters that seem to multiply around him: Ludwig Mann from Vienna, an eminent gerontologist in search of the secret of longevity; the gorgeous but pernicious “Marlene”, a regular at the bar of the Teodoric Hotel; the disturbing shadows of Serguei Komarov and of Hans L., his crony from the former East Germany, whom he had previously met in Saint Petersburg?
As he sinks irresistibly into a world of dreams and loses all ordinary sense of consciousness, the distinguished professor starts to obsess about a perfect but completely incomprehensible plot. Has he forgotten that he is the inventor of GB 169, a mysterious molecule that has the power of deprogramming and re-programming human beings by manipulating their sleep?
A scientific novel, Le Voleur de songes takes us into the universe of “paradoxical sleep”, of mind and memory, of dreams and puzzles of the imagination. This is a brilliant novel by a master of style, humour and suspense who amazes the reader with some highly unexpected scientific paradoxes.

Michel Jouvet discovered and described a phenomenon he called “paradoxical sleep”, an intermediary state of the brain between waking and deep sleep. A member of the French Academy of Science and the winner of a gold medal awarded by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, he is the author of many distinguished works, including Le Sommeil et le Rêve, and of a best-selling novel, Le Château des Songes, all published by Editions Odile Jacob.