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The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,331 Ratings  ·  360 Reviews
A wildly original and hilarious debut novel about the typical high school experience: the homework, the awkwardness, and the mutant creatures from another galaxy.

When Darren Bennett meets Eric Lederer, there's an instant connection. They share a love of drawing, the bottom rung on the cruel high school social ladder and a pathological fear of girls. Then Eric reveals a sec
...more
Kindle Edition
Published January 20th 2010 by Vintage
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Peter Derk
Jul 11, 2010 Peter Derk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
First off, I challenge anyone to actually remember that title with complete accuracy in two hours. The Boy Who Never Slept and Couldn't Want...No, The Boy Who Didn't Want to Sleep and Had to...Shit! But to be honest, I think the title works because it does tell you just a little something about the book. Plus, it beats the shit out of the other book I have checked out: Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty: Poems. What the fuck does that even mean? I like poems as much, actually more ...more
Terry
Well, it was light years better than the last book I read featuring a high school guy protagonist (Carter Finally Gets It). In fact, in the ranks of books seeking to capture the high school experience it's a solid entry that honestly portrays teenage friendship, betrayal, and first love. The narrator's consistent tone, reflections on his mistakes, and insights into the world make the book a really good, fast read--so good in fact, that I didn't want to put it down.

The problem? I thought it was g
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Beverly
Dec 22, 2011 Beverly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 14-16 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: indiebound.org/nextlist
I guess I am too old and not cool enough to truly appreciate D.C. Pierson's debut novel, The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep. To me it read like a story written from Dawson's Creek Meets Pretty Little Liars - except in this case it is - Nerdy Little Losers. The science fiction elements don't become significant to the story until the last third, and by then they seem like an after thought. That is too bad because there was so much potential for a great science fiction adventure. Most of the story is taken ...more
Lisa
Dec 26, 2011 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not enjoy this book one bit. It was hyped as hilarious, and unless you're a 13-year boy (maybe - I wouldn't know for sure) there was nothing even amusing about it. Pierson spends no time at all building Darren's character so you aren't sure whether you like him or not and then he throws in Eric with no background either, so I was left wondering how and why the two would even be friends. Darren's brother is a psycho - no one acts that weird, and Eric just dropping the bomb about his conditi ...more
Brett Starr
Apr 21, 2010 Brett Starr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Its About Friendship.....

"Thats him, Officer, he's the one who laughed when those kids who thought they were going to school went to Heaven instead"!

"The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To" offers alot of different things - coming of age, teen rebellion, sci-fi fantasy, young love, but most importantly it offers the value of friendship.

Two high school loners (Darren & Eric) become friends. Friends who both happen to enjoy drawing, video games & sci-fi fantasy! They decide to emba
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Tony
Dec 15, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Darren is a straight-up geek in hiding -- the kind of quiet, nondescript, high-school sophomore with social anxiety who does his best to blend into the background and avoid speaking to anyone. His mom split, his dad is barely around to parent, his older brother is kind of a bullying idiot (think Chet in Weird Science), and all Darren wants to do is be left alone so he can enjoy his video games, comics, and sci-fi movies in peace. One day a new classmate named Eric makes friends with him, and soo ...more
Oriana
Oct 25, 2011 Oriana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
Shit. Did I really read this all the way back in May? Um. Well I think I liked it a lot, I think it was snappy and really inventive and fun. But I can't promise that; I frankly don't remember hardly a thing about it. Fuck man, I have a head like a sieve.
Meg
Jan 05, 2010 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's funny, and you'll like it, and then you'll get to the end, with the game-changer, and either you'll want to ride that ride or you'll stand bewildered while I go whizzing by, giving you two thumbs up and laughing like a maniac.
Jessica
Mar 15, 2010 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Quirky and contrived feeling. Going along, going along. Characters okay. Once Eric says he doesn’t sleep and gives the reason it is really hard to believe. I just couldn’t suspend my beliefs. By page 60 done
Zelda
Apr 14, 2010 Zelda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Must be my age - couldn't get into this one. Teenaged boys playing video games and writing graphic novels - sounded like the Columbine HS pair....
Bryn
Sep 02, 2012 Bryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book subverted all my expectations. It is not pretentious or wanna-be witty. It's not really science fiction or fantasy, but it's also not really contemporary. This is a story that doesn't sit comfortably in any one category.

I liked the main character a lot. He did stupid things, but they were really believable stupid things. Even as the story got more fantastical, it was still very grounded. I also liked how the ending was not what you might expect. It actually reminded me of Chuck (the TV
...more
Jen
Mar 26, 2013 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic book. While everything I’d read about it made it out as if the majority of the book detailed Darren and Eric on the run after Eric’s power is made known, that aspect of the story is actually only about a third of the book. The real story is the friendship between Darren and Eric, which is incredibly realistic and painfully accurate in its depiction of what it felt like to be a teenager. More than anything else, the territory tread by this book is the feeling of not belonging, ...more
Rusty
Jan 30, 2015 Rusty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prose, fantasy
Wow. I really liked this novel. A lot. It's about a nerdy high schooler that likes to doodle, or draw, to you lay people out there.

He makes friends with kind of the uber-nerd, the kid that the normal nerds mostly avoid, and finds out that this kid, he's totally not like other nerds, he's... well, different.

And they begin work on their epic, multi-novel/movie trilogy/episodic televsion series with additional comics/graphic novels and other transmedia materials and develop a friendship like you o
...more
Lindsey
Feb 04, 2015 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because I mad crush on DC Pierson so I don't know, maybe I’m biased, but I don’t think I am. This was a really fun book. It starts out following the developing friendship of Darren and Eric, two teenage boys who spend all of their time creating an entire sci-fi fantasy universe, with the very sweetly naïve idea that it will turn into a best-selling comic/movie/television series. DC is so funny and the characters are so likable that I would have enjoyed just reading about th ...more
Nicole
Jan 26, 2011 Nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely detested this book - I got to page 128 and there was still no plot to be had. Could not stand it. And it's classified/marketed entirely wrong - this book does not belong on shelves beside novels aimed at adult readers - it's directed squarely at young teenage boys interested in video games and sci-fi...and those are probably the only readers who would enjoy this novel.
Jenny Bates
I must say that I really liked this book, but the reason I only gave it three stars was because of the language and pure "boyness" of the book. Anyone who knows me, knows that language doesn't really offend me. I don't swear myself, but I grew up with it so that it really doesn't much phase me. But I found the "f-Bomb" to be quite distracting in this book for some reason. I think that it was realistic and not meant to be gratuitous because the narrator is a teenage boy, but for some reason, for ...more
Bennett Gavrish
Grade: C-

L/C Ratio: 30/70
(This means I estimate the author devoted 30% of his effort to creating a literary work of art and 70% of his effort to creating a commercial bestseller.)

Thematic Breakdown:
40% - Surviving high school
25% - Sci-fi
25% - Friendship
10% - Adolescent romance


Employing first-person narrators is a risky endeavor. If the reader fails to connect with that one character, all of the book's merits can be spoiled. And that's part of the problem with Pierson's novel. Darren, a high scho
...more
Ken
Oct 25, 2009 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, finished-in-2009
Desultorily ambitious, written in an oh-so-Generation-Y tone of voice, THE BOY WHO COULDN'T SLEEP AND NEVER HAD TO is a quirky, humorous, genre-bending outing by debut author DC Pierson. The protagonist, Darren, is just your average fantasy comic-loving nerd hiding from the world's usual teen-aged terrorists (like his older brother and his friends, for one, two, three, and four), when he meets Eric, a kid who doesn't sleep.

This is where our contemporary realistic novel begins to play mind games
...more
Sarah
Apr 21, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To is DC Pierson's wildly, original debut novel that combines common coming-of-age experiences with an eccentric, though exciting plot that involves running from the government.

Narrator and teenager Darren Bennett is an artist (not a draw-er, as some lame, prissy high-school girls call it) who keeps to himself for the most part. Dwelling in his own brilliant and creative imagination, all he wants to do is draw and work on a screenplay without bringing unn
...more
Fatima Alsuwaidi
Darren Benner and Eric Lederer are two underdogs teenage boy, who spends their times writing and drawing sci-fi movies\books made up by their own imaginations. At some point Eric decides to tell Darren his secret: He Can't Sleep, EVER.
After proving to Darren that he's not lying to him, things starts to get really interesting

The book goes in a very fast, and funny base ( I finished it in about 5 days, but it's only because I've been busy) and it's filled with adventures and unaccepted events be
...more
mythicgeek
So basically I picked up this book after seeing a post where a kid had to read it for school and was asking someone to tell him what it was about so he didn't have to. The author himself commented and rather intelligently (and not at all rudely) shamed the kid into avoding a rather short and very interesting book he'd probably enjoy, while making actually dropping tantalizing hints about it. So I picked it up and read it through and I found I enjoyed it.

I didn't love it but basically I feel like
...more
Scott
This book is like uh-mazing.
It looked interesting, other people I know have liked it . . . so I had high hopes. And I started it and I thought, "Oh no! I built this up too much." It starts off a little rocky, and to be fair Pierson isn't the most gifted writer. His sentences are sometimes clunky. Sometimes. However, this isn't a book that requires gracefulness, or even a steady hand. It sometimes leaps out-of-control, yet it always feels in control and, here's the key to its awesomeness, authen
...more
Beth
May 11, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Authentic" is an excellent word for this coming of age story. I read to page 100 and was struck by a realization that I didn't know the main character's name until that point, and went back to the beginning before proceeding. I'm not sure if I missed it, but it added something to the story, that it hooked me in with the voice so well. It takes the invisibility to another plane.

The novel follows the high school experience of Darren, who wants to be an illustrator, and his friendship with fellow
...more
Joey
Apr 25, 2015 Joey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was driven to read this book because of the title and a bit of the synopsis. However, I was kind of sad about how the story unravelled. The good thing about the book is that it has funny jokes, funny characters, and also it made me excited and angry at times when I'm supposed to. However, I personally did not like the writing, sometimes it was too much that I skimmed so fast just to get to the point of the story (but this is a debut novel so that's okay). I also did not like how the story intr ...more
Bing
Mar 17, 2010 Bing rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Eric doesn't sleep. He physically cannot and does not seem to require it. It's like a super power, or possibly a super curse. No one knows, until he becomes friends with Darren, who spends his days and nights in a fairly isolated fantasy world. Darren's entire world and beliefs are changed when he finally comes to believe Eric; if one person with a super power exists, then anything really is possible. The world really is full of infinite potential. But when Darren and Eric fall for the same girl ...more
Matt
Mar 23, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Right up my fucking alley.

Sci-fi with a candy coating (that candy being the high school coming-of-age-ish story) and lots of hilarious observation. Life as a sixteen-year-old who girls didn't want to sleep with. Reading books and playing video games about stuff of scifi and fantasy that you just wish - not seriously, but maybekindasortaforhalfasecond semi-seriously - was true and possible but, again, we live in the real world and the real world doesn't just pick you, the protagonist of your worl
...more
Scot
Dec 07, 2011 Scot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a coming-of-age story tartgeting teen and young adult readers. It reviews the universal problems of growing up but explores them in the current cultural context of what that means for those attending suburban schools in the second decade of the 21st century. The narrator, a quiet artistic guy named Darren who is socially awkward, is befriended by another kid also having trouble finding his niche, a guy named Eric whose special gift is revealed in the title. It is fairly impressive for a ...more
Miss Bookiverse
Der Junge, der im Titel erwähnt wird? Der kommt vor, aber bis auf ein paar Ausnahmen geht es hier um das Erwachsenwerden eines Teenagers namens Darren. Videospiele, selbst erdachte Comicwelten, Freundschaft (mit dem Titeljungen), Mädchen und ein ätzender großer Bruder (jedes Mal, wenn der mit seinen vulgären Äußerungen aufgetaucht ist, wollte ich mir Seife in die Augen reiben). Der selbsterfundene Science Fiction Epos und Darrens unausstehliche Phase im Mittelteil konnten mich nicht für sich gew ...more
Heidi
Aug 13, 2012 Heidi marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Why did I mark this book as to-read?

Because of the author's response (2nd down) to this kid who asked Can someone completely cover the book 'The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To' to me ?

I really think you couldn't do a much better job of encouraging a teen to read your book, and he managed to do so without being uppity about his own work or flat out calling the kid lazy.
Bored to Death book club
Voor elk boek dat tijdens de book club wordt gelezen vragen we aan een van onze leden om een review te schrijven van het boek. Zo kan iedereen die niet aanwezig was toch een beetje meegenieten! Allereerst Michelle van Dijk over 'The boy would couldn't sleep and never had to' van DC Pierson.

Wat zou ik The boy who couldn’t sleep and never had to graag bespreken in een groep vol zestienjarigen. Het is een geweldig boek over vriendschap en eenzaamheid, over fantasie en werkelijkheid, over coole fees
...more
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Author schools kid for not reading his book 1 16 Aug 14, 2012 11:23PM  
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“My imagination is something of a badass.” 59 likes
“It's like seeing your teacher outside school. It's them, but they're all wrong and out of context” 6 likes
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