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Sleepers Awake

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Sleepers Awake, first published in 1946, is one of Kenneth Patchen’s major prose books. A work of extraordinary imaginative invention, it might be described as “novelistic fantasy”—a pioneering new direction in fiction which created its own protean form as it was written. Patchen mingled narrative with dream visions, surrealism with satire, poetry with statements of princi ...more
Paperback, 388 pages
Published December 1st 1996 by New Directions (first published 1946)
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Nouveau's Midnight Sun by John Thomas AllenKafka on the Shore by Haruki MurakamiThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki MurakamiQ by Bill LavenderMetamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
Best Surrealist Literature
33rd out of 76 books — 159 voters
Blubber Island by Ismael GalvanThe pragmatic hitchhiker by Jean-Yves CrozierThe Journal of Albion Moonlight by Kenneth PatchenQ by Bill LavenderIf by Nicholas Bourbaki
A1 Anti-Novels
6th out of 6 books — 6 voters

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Brilliant. Patchen is prime for a major rediscovery. Erudite, ecstatic, uninhibitedly playful. Confidently written in multiple genres, as if it were following a common form. This is poetry. I will re-read and re-read, etc.
a beautifully hallucinatory romp through an anti-war psyche in the guise of a detective screed. one of my favorite books of all time. literature as pure art
Jamie L
This book has an interesting premise: some sort of beings in an alternate state of being (so many beings) that take over human bodies and then just live in them. They're not very nice beings. I sort of lost the story about 1/2 way through. The writing is quite fractured and I couldn't tell if it was on purpose or not. If it was on purpose, the author didn't do a good job of making it work. It was ok, meaning that I finished reading it, but it was not at all poignant, nor entertaining enough to r ...more
Simply put, the best book I have ever read. I have read this almost ten times. It is simply brilliant, beginning to end.
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“Greatness and Truth can never be in danger from these murdering wretches. To perform one's duty, be it now, be it clean, and be it done with humility… A man is a sacred thing. ANY ACTION OR THOUGHT WHICH INJURES THE HUMAN IMAGINATION IS EVIL.” 5 likes
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