Heard about this novella via an NPR author interview earlier this week and decided to pick it up from Amazon.
It's a short, but compelling read, set i...moreHeard about this novella via an NPR author interview earlier this week and decided to pick it up from Amazon.
It's a short, but compelling read, set in a world where insomnia is a fatal disease and healthy sleepers can donate their sleep to help save the suffering. Children's sleep is especially effective, which leads to the discovery of Baby A - a universal donor. Unfortunately, nightmares can infect donated sleep, and Donor Y becomes a symbol of fear and distrust of the system.
The sociological implications (modern world disrupting our natural rhythms & humankind's plundering of natural resources) are rather obvious; yet, for the most part, not presented in too heavy-handed a way. The protagonist, Trish Edgewater is well-rounded; you learn her motivations quickly and follow her through her developing doubts and concerns. The plot moves along quickly - as you would expect in a 110-page novella - and there's a few elements I wish had been explored more thoroughly. However, expanding the story to a full length novel probably would have been a mistake; leave the audience wanting more.
I also expected the ending to be a bit different; and I suspect if this novella is ever made into a film, it will follow the conclusions I was drawing to make for a rather depressing finale.
I'd definitely recommend this novella to anyone who enjoyed Charlie Huston's Sleepless and/or Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby, as Russell may have have drawn from both these worlds to create her own narrative. (less)
I bought this novel when it was on a Kindle Deal, thanks to a recommendation in the "Top 10 Books of 2013" thread over on the SDMB.
Poore writes a ver...moreI bought this novel when it was on a Kindle Deal, thanks to a recommendation in the "Top 10 Books of 2013" thread over on the SDMB.
Poore writes a very engaging & imaginative story about John Scratch, aka The Devil - taking familiar elements (fallen angel, makes deals for human souls) and weaving them into a darkly funny narrative that jumps back and forth between not-quite present day & historical touchpoints.
Attempting to lure the love of his left back to Earth (both fallen angels, she rejects the violence of early Earth & returns to heaven) - John helps raise Egyptian and Roman empires - but his greatest success starts once the Pilgrims make it to the New World. A good portion of the story is spent with musicians - in particular a 1960's jam band that he assists in their rise to fame (not the Dead - a fictional group whose name escapes me at the moment). After introducing these characters, the story focuses in on John's involvement with their lives and changes direction; I liked this storyline well enough, but kind of wish Poore had kept going with the historical touchpoints instead.
I found myself highlighting a lot of phrases along the way - not just the humorous stuff ("Great civilizations boasted the weirdest entertainment. This was and always would be true.") but some more philosophical thoughts as well: "“This is Good,” said God, more pleased than ever. It was a strange idea, “Good.” Lucifer frowned. If this or that, from now on, was “Good,” then by implication there were things that were not. “Life” was the most complicated part of the Plan." It reminds me a bit of Heinlein's Job: A Comedy of Justice, in how the relationship between God and the Devil is portrayed as being more sympathetic to the Devil.
I'm not sure this will make my Top 10 of 2014 list, but I did really enjoy the story and plan on not only seeing what else Poore comes up with (as this was an impressive first novel!) but also revisiting this book in the future.(less)
AllEarsNet Newsletter 7 Oct 2008 - Mike Scopa review On order at Indy-Marion Co Library; IU Library Blmgtn - Business/SPEA Information Commons (B-BUSSP...moreAllEarsNet Newsletter 7 Oct 2008 - Mike Scopa review On order at Indy-Marion Co Library; IU Library Blmgtn - Business/SPEA Information Commons (B-BUSSPEA) Wells Library - Tech Services - Being Cataloged (Ask Staff) (less)