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Sleepwalking in Paradise

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San Francisco in the 1990s. High tech startups, IPOs, stock option millionaires. Once the cradle of the Beat Generation, the Haight Ashbury, the Aquarian Revolution, Gay Liberation, Bike Messenger Chic, San Francisco finds itself fighting for its own soul, a struggle reflected in the life of Tommy Delacroix, an alternative journalist turned corporate copywriter who has traded in the Good Fight for the Good Life of the dot-com boom: a German sedan, surging stock options, and an ambitious fiancee. But then Blind Johnny Ray stumbles out of his past, spouting wild tales about a glowing messiah who heals the homeless in the park. Hard to believe, except that Blind Johnny isn't blind any more. So begins Sleepwalking in Paradise, a San Francisco novel about Old Money, the New Economy, and the Second Coming. As Tommy chases down the impossible answer, he will stake out a singing messiah, bribe a nurse to hack into medical records, and come face-to-face with a sleepwalking power broker who holds the keys to Paradise. In the end, Tommy realizes that the true answer was within himself all along. His fiancee, on the other hand, is still waiting for a good explanation.


First published June 30, 2014

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About the author

Andrew O. Dugas

5 books54 followers
Andrew Dugas's fiction and poetry have appeared in LITnIMAGE, Fiction 365, the SoMa Literary Review, Unlikely Stories 2.0, edifice WRECKED, Bound Off Books, Poems Niederngasse, and elsewhere.

A graduate of Ithaca College, he is also a two-year veteran of Cornell's Creative Writing Workshop.

Sleepwalking in Paradise, a San Francisco novel about old money, the new economy, and the Second Coming, was published in June 2014 byVox Nova, an imprint of Numina Press.

From March 1, 2012 to November 26, 2014, he mailed 1,001 postcards with a hand-inscribed original haiku on it to randomly selected recipients. He currently publishes the Haiku Scout Newsletter, which every week collects haiku from social media into a single newsletter and emails it to subscribers.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Andrew Dugas.
Author 5 books54 followers
July 15, 2014
This book SUCKS. I should know, since I wrote it. Sure, some people like it. Hell, some people LOVE it. But they're mostly people I know or have paid off or threatened with physical violence or worse.

You shouldn't listen to them. You shouldn't let other people's opinions sway you in either direction. How well can you trust these reviews -- yes, even this one -- anyway?

Have you ever picked up a book because a friend raved about it? And then you hated it? And the next time you saw that person, you realized you'd lost all respect for them?

Yeah, me too. Awkward.

Anyway, my next novel should be better. You might want to try some of my short stories first. At least there's no big commitment.

Profile Image for Alvin.
Author 7 books107 followers
February 20, 2013
Perishingly few American novels focus on the single most glaring aspect of contemporary American society: the appallingly large and ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. Sleepwalking in Paradise bravely bucks the trend, delivering a suspenseful, well-written, and occasionally wry story with social inequality (and its odious effect on the human soul) at its very heart. Lovers of San Francisco and San Franciscans will appreciate that the city is deftly portrayed, from top to bottom, in all its insane glory.
Author 2 books9 followers
June 3, 2011
Cynicism struggles with faith in this story of public relations versus miracles, of the scheming brain versus the urgency of experiential shamanism. The quest of Tommy Delacroix to explain a random act of faith healing takes him from the streets to the boardrooms to the maternity wards of the San Francisco Bay Area, leading him to figure out what's really important in life, in a compelling tale of corporate intrigue and personal self-discovery.
Profile Image for Matt Stewart.
Author 13 books99 followers
April 15, 2011
Andy Dugas has concocted a mouthwatering San Francisco stew, mixing meaty local characters with flavorful dotcom insanity and spicing with a delicious dash of Bay Area magic. It's the Unofficial Meal of Paradise.
Profile Image for Ransom Stephens.
Author 8 books67 followers
April 17, 2011
Sleepwalking in Paradise is redeeming and funny, pertinent and modern. It's a great ride through modern America with a spiritual twist that brings to mind Richard Bach at his Illusions-best.
Profile Image for Luna.
678 reviews43 followers
January 10, 2015
I received this book as part of Goodreads Giveaways and First Reads.

I'm a little embarrassed by how long it took me to read this book. It's an incredibly easy read, and should have only taken me a couple of days at the most. The chapters are short (varying between a couple of pages and ten), and change perspective each time.

The main problem with the story was that nothing of interest happened until the last fifty odd pages. Each character was relatively separate from the next, and although I could clearly see where the story was going, there was minimal interaction up until the end point. It made it difficult to want to read this story at all, and I found myself slogging through it, despite the relative ease of reading it. I just wanted to get the book done so I could read something else.

I found the characters fairly dull. Marta was the only one that keep me intrigued, and that was mostly due to her Pepper Potts status. Johnny just annoyed the everloving shit out of me, and Nurse Steve seemed to be just thrown in there.

Then there was the ending. I knew it was coming, but it didn't resolve anything. It just seemed a mess of an ending, and I had a feeling that Dugas didn't entirely know where to go with it.

The problem is this isn't a bad book- it just didn't have a solid plot to keep me hooked. I rated this a 3 instead of 2, as there's a definite audience for it, but I think it needs a bit more work before finding a solid ground.
21 reviews
November 10, 2014
My experience with Goodreads 1st Reads and books that I've won have been hit or miss. This is a hit, a solid hit. Dugas takes the magic of San Francisco of the 1960s and transports it to the late 1990s, when the Bay Area could use another dose of it. His writing is solid, rarely self-conscious, and the story moves along at a swift pace. The characters are well drawn and easy to imagine, especially Tommy and Marta. My only criticism, and it's slight given the scope of what Dugas has accomplished here, is that what appears in the beginning to be a shared narrative of Tommy and Marta soon becomes Tommy's tale, so that when Marta is reintroduced a lot of page flipping is needed as refresher. The writing is so efficient that a little "repeating" would not be obtrusive, but useful. But every character has a good reason for being in Sleepwalking in Paradise, and to me the essence of this novel is that we need a dose of the 60s to save ourselves from our own greed. Now, being familiar with many of the places that Dugas describes was very fun for me, and I wonder if those readers not familiar with these San Francisco locales would get the same joy that I did. Well done, Mr. Dugas!
Profile Image for Helen.
607 reviews5 followers
December 12, 2014
This was a Goodreads giveaway and I'm glad I had the chance to read something I wouldn't have come across in my regular travels. Sleepwalking in Paradise is subtitled A San Francisco Novel, but since I know nothing at all about San Francisco, it could have been set anywhere. In this iPad age I've forgotten how to read patiently, so I felt the story took a while to get started. For at least the first half I couldn't have told you what it was about in under a paragraph. Is this a failing of the book, or of me? It is a good tale, and I enjoyed the ride. After I'd finished there was a lot to think about.

The fella and I just watched Life of Pi for the first time. We missed the first 20 minutes and when it was over we both said, "I'm not really sure what that was about". Didn't mean we didn't enjoy watching it though. That's how I feel about Sleepwalking in Paradise. Not sure I understand it, but enjoyed it anyway.

PS Publishers: don't use fine fonts and shiny ink. It makes a book reeeeeeeeally hard to read at night, and I think that affected my appreciation of the first half.
Profile Image for Marty Beaudet.
Author 4 books41 followers
July 7, 2014
I was sorry to finish this book, it was so much fun! An entertaining read with a clever premise, humorously told by a clearly skilled writer. I particularly appreciated the setting, as San Francisco was my home for 13 years. In fact, the protagonist lived in my former neighborhood, and much of the action took place in an office building in the Financial District, on the corner where I worked for 7 years. Even the time period corresponded to the time I lived there. I felt right at home! Anyone who knows the City will love this book.

Even for non-San Franciscans this is an enjoyable read if you like quirky, yet believable characters, and plot twists that surprise you. Using a technique I greatly enjoy, the plot of "Sleepwalking" follows multiple threads that gradually interweave in the tradition of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" series (also set in the City by the Bay).

Profile Image for Anita.
264 reviews5 followers
July 1, 2015
An adventure-filled novel with a whole lot of heart! I often find myself avoiding fiction for long periods of time, as I find few experiences as disappointing as reading a poorly-told story. This is one of those books, however, that reminds me that one *beautifully* written story is worth a whole stack of science books. I found myself feeling like I really knew these characters, and when I was away from the book for a few days, I realized I was wondering what would happen next in the story while I was washing dishes or cooking dinner. This was a really entertaining reading experience, and I'm thankful for the hours that I got to spend with it.
Profile Image for Lacey Thyme.
3 reviews2 followers
November 29, 2014
I thought it was going to be boring since even reading the synopsis was making my head ache. Glad the wording wasn't anything like in the synopsis; it was easy to read through and entertaining. I was worried about it being a San Fransisco novel as I am not a local, or anywhere near the country it is set in for the matter, but as I mentioned before, it was a good read - a really good one considering the fact that I've been putting novels back on the shelf after a few pages in the past several months.
Profile Image for Steven.
Author 3 books7 followers
March 18, 2018
There are innumerable good things to say about this novel. It operates on so many levels--magical-adventure, "San Francisco" novel (taking place in my old 'hood), exploration of big-city socio-politics, and then spiritual/personal evolution. And it achieves all these things in a thoroughly entertaining and page-turning way. There are very few books that I can say have permanently altered my day-to-day perceptions of the world, but this is one of them. It should become a movie!
1 review2 followers
July 30, 2014
It did not suck- it oozed.... (delightfully) pungent characters and a well-paced plot. I found it reminiscent of other favorites, particularly 'Illusions' by R Bach and 'Lamb' by Christopher Moore. I eagerly await his next submission.
Profile Image for Erin.
14 reviews
August 1, 2015
This book was kind of nuts. Sort of in a good way and sort of like, what the?! It was fun, a bit fantastical, and all in all, a good story. I got it through a Goodreads giveaway.
January 6, 2018
This book was a lot of fun. The Paradise Lounge comes up. For about six months some 30 years ago, my cousin and I frequented the place to listen to poetry readings.

It was a blast reading about it. The whole book was a blast. Lots of point-of-view characters whose stories all come together in a nice bow.
Author 5 books3 followers
August 3, 2015
Dugas is to be commended for braving to capture the cultural moment of contemporary San Francisco and for doing so admirably. With one-eyebrow raised, he scribbles out just the sort of people you would meet from such disparate worlds of the booming high-tech economy and persistent street life. He brings a personal intimacy to his rendering of the nooks and crannies in this paradisal city, and even lovingly depicts old warhorses on the literary scene. His young protagonist, Tommy, presents the existential question: where does he belong in this kaleidoscopic world. And Johnny, a bearded man out of the wilderness of Golden Gate Park is his guide.

The ending left me feeling the magical realism had lost its glow. Or else I didn't get the "assignment."
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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