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The Sleeping Father

3.3  ·  Rating details ·  379 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
The Sleeping Father begins with a divorced dad who inadvertently combines two incompatible anti-depressant medications, goes into a coma, has a stroke, and emerges with brain damage. His teenage son—the protagonist of the book, Chris—and his teenage daughter—Cathy—inherit money from their grandfather and decide to rehabilitate him on their own. decide to make one.
Absent an
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Paperback, 200 pages
Published September 26th 2003 by Soft Skull Press
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Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I discovered Matthew Sharpe, one of many underappreciated novelists swirling around a sea of undue obscurity, through Krok's DFW-comparison-raising review of You Were Wrong. Based on my trust of Krok's taste in the fine arts and my largely reflexive adherence to DFW-comparisons, I had to check it out. I quickly purchased You Were Wrong and devoured it one night while getting pretty tanked and jacked up on Irish whiskey infused coffee. Soon after this doubly intoxicating experience, I purchased t ...more
B J
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is unusual and hard to describe. Primarily a story of a divorced family with two teenage children that live with their father. The father accidentally takes the wrong medication and becomes brain damaged but before any of this began I have to believe this family was different. The children are independent, intelligent, and loyal to their father, if disrespectful. Though I really don't know children like this, there are flashes of truth through out this book of the angst of adolescence. ...more
Anastasia
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2011
Questo libro è stato come un immergere il proprio dito nell'acqua fredda dopo una scottatura.

La scottatura era Girls di Kelman, per cui avevo espresso il desiderio di tornare nel grembo di un libro completamente innocente e ingenuo. Ora, io ho ispezionato la mia libreria, ma non ho trovato libri innocenti e ingenui. E fra i libri della biblioteca ancora da leggere avevo solo Dennis Lehane (che è tutto, tranne che innocente e ingenuo), James Ellroy (mai letto, ma non mi sa di aria bambinesca), e
...more
Kate Gould
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
After accidentally combining antidepressants, Bernie Schwartz lapses into a coma, waking to discover he has severe brain damage and is no longer able to speak or think coherently. His son, Chris – alternately adoring and abusing his neurologist – devises a rehabilitative regime founded almost entirely on misinformation, while his daughter, Cathy, attempts to channel her newfound Catholic fervour into her father’s recovery.

The meat of Sharpe’s narrative isn’t exactly joyful, yet it is observed a
...more
Krok Zero
Sep 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fall-2010
Dammit, Matthew Sharpe. I was all ready to claim you as the genius that only I knew about, based on the awesomeness of You Were Wrong. Alas, this novel is merely decent. It's written in a somewhat more timid version of the newer book's flavor-crystal-explosion prose style, and it is just kind of a basic family novel with not much original going on, and it is oppressively quirky at times. But, enough good writing to keep me engaged.
Raquel Dias da Silva
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Raquel by: a friend
Shelves: favorites
O pai de Chris e Cathy juntou acidentalmente dois tipos incompatíveis de antidepressivos e os jovens irmãos são obrigados a lidar com a situação imprevista e dramática, cada um à sua maneira. Com o pai em coma são obrigados a agir como adultos e a interagir com uma neurologista reprimida e uma terapeuta ninfomaníaca, assim como com um adolescente de inteligência intimidante e uma mãe desnaturada e que vive longe.
A relação pai-filho é uma relação intrínseca, muito biológica, uma vez que existe um
...more
Amanda
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
"Chris took Frank's excellent point and did a kind of uptight middle-class suburban Jewish version of letting it all go, which to the casual observer might resemble not letting any of it go." - p. 18

"How come Chris didn't get to become anything? Why did he have to go on being Chris until death rent him asunder from himself?" - p. 34

"You're so lovely, but I can't remember if your name is Lila or Layla."
"That all depends."
"On what?"
"On whether I'm having sex with someone or having sex with myself
...more
Laura
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008-09
I have mixed feelings about The Sleeping Father. On the one hand, the characters were creative and well developed, the plot was deep and relatively interesting, and the irony was symbolic, to say the least.
Cathy, a Jewish/Catholic good girl/pregnant teen, and her brother Chris, an obnoxious, sarcastic misogynist, were entertaining, but I didn't feel any connection to them. I didn't pity them or really care what they were doing. I found Chris' interactions with most other characters completely
...more
Tânia
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, pt
Bernard Schwartz is divorced, depressed, and due to the accidental mixture of Prozac with another different antidepressant, in a coma. He later awakes with brain damage, diminishing his ability to think or speak coherently. He is the father of a self-absorbed, sarcastic son, Chris, and a jewish daughter, Cathy, turned to the catholic religion in an attempt to find the meaning of life. Their mom is away in California, living the dream that does not include a family.

This book was hilarious and fu
...more
Katie
Feb 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I remember the characters in this book making some decisions that I felt like I couldn't understand, or would never make, but I think what works about that is that it's pretty accurate to the way things work in real life; often I feel perplexed by people's choices, and mostly, even if I ask and get an answer about why someone did what they did, I eventually have to just accept that individuals are mysterious and unpredictable and we don't always get to know what makes someone else tick. Interest ...more
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Matthew Sharpe (born 1962) is a U.S. novelist and short story writer. Born in New York City, but grew up in a small town in Connecticut. Sharpe graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio. Afterwards, he worked at US Magazine until he went back to school at Columbia University, where he pursued an MFA. Since then, he has been teaching creative writing at various institutions including Columbia Universi ...more
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