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Dawn breaks and no one in the world has slept the night before. Or almost no one. A few people, perhaps one in ten thousand, can still sleep, and they’ve all shared the same mysterious dream. A handful of silent children can still sleep as well, but what they’re dreaming remains a mystery. Global panic ensues. A medical fact: after six days of absolute sleep deprivation, psychosis sets in. After four weeks, the body dies. In the interim, a bizarre new world arises and swallows the old one whole. A world called Nod.

206 pages, Hardcover

First published November 1, 2012

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About the author

Adrian Barnes

3 books187 followers
I was born in England but grew up in Canada buried in suffocating suburbia, which made me angry and fueled my flight, first to the city and then to the bucolic rural climes of the West Kootenay region of British Columbia where people mostly live like human people. I teach English and Creative Writing at Selkirk College and own and operate a chain of online newspapers. I also write novels. For kicks.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,294 reviews
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 72 books51.7k followers
September 6, 2022
Edit: RIP Adrian Barnes. I learned today that the author died early this year, succumbing to the brain cancer he was diagnosed with around the time the book was released.


I'm 5*ing this because it's a fine book.

I'm warning you that you might not like it because it is more literary than most fantasy you're likely to pick up. Yes, many fantasy readers read literary fiction. But also many don't. Consider yourself warned.

Consider the books Nausea by Jean-Paul Satre and The Girl With All The Gifts by MR Carey. This book could be the ... I won't say love-child ... let's say 'biological consequence of an abusive tryst'.

As it starts out you could be mistaken for believing you're going to get a high octane end-of-the-world novel with zombie analogues. Actually while it could easily have gone that way it turns more toward the navel-gazing, deconstruction of personality, relationships and society. But it's very well done.

Since the basics of the setup are delivered almost immediately and hinted at by title and cover I don't think I will be spoiling anything to reveal that sleep plays a large role here, and specifically lack of sleep. A rather vicious strain of insomnia unravels things and this encourages all of the aforementioned contemplation of the collective belly-button.

However, the ideas are exciting and very well written. The book kept me entertained, thinking hard, appalled, and fascinated.

In the end the mysteries are essentially left unexplained, which may upset some readers, but if they were to step back and try to imagine any denouement that would have satisfied them they might admit that none would and so Barnes was right not to try.

I would encourage you to give the book a read, bearing in mind what I've said.

The book ends with a poignant footnote/essay where the author shares that around the same time that the book came out he was diagnosed with a terminal and swift-acting cancer of the brain. He draws a number of parallels between what has happened to him during his treatment and the issues addressed in the book. The book has many profound things to say about life, and ultimately death. The author didn't know that a year after writing these things his life would take a turn that would throw those issues into such sharp focus.

In many ways it shouldn't matter. Critics are often aimed at the 'death of the author' school of criticism. But to me it mattered, and made the book, which was already personal, even more so.

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Profile Image for Maggie Stiefvater.
Author 81 books168k followers
June 9, 2020
One day, no one is able to sleep.

That's the premise of this brief novel, a look at a world that devolves into madness in just a few weeks as sleep deprivation takes its toll. It was a strange novel to read alongside the other novel I was finishing this week, HOW TO STOP TIME, which also is interested in the greater movements of human through culture. Both were more pessimistic than I think I would have been, and both are interesting reads during 2020, a time when the U.S. has been forced to look at how it moves as a group rather than simply what it is like moving through the world as an individual.*

*although this book is Canadian. Vancouver features prominently.

This novel is a debut, poignantly so — Barnes died of a brain tumor shortly around its release, and my paperback copy included a moving afterward by the author talking about his diagnosis and how it related to the novel.

I would have been eager to read what he wrote next.
Profile Image for Helen.
33 reviews
November 28, 2013
Ah I so wanted to like this more. The excellent premise lured me right in, but sadly the slumber was not as restful as I would have liked. There is a plot, of course, but I found it so sparse on actual story and so heavy with experimental tangents that I couldn't connect with what was going on. It's obviously very clever and you can feel the author's style consistently throughout, but it almost felt like this is a book for a certain elite and if that's not you, you're left right out.
The plot moves from normal to Nod far too quickly and though I expected that I would need to suspend my disbelief somewhat, I still felt it needed some semblance of a time frame to allow things to flow more realistically.
This is certainly a book of unanswered questions, and most frustratingly of all, the protagonist, Paul, doesn't seem interested in what any of the answers are. He rarely questions anything; why is his book coming to life? Why is this happening? What does his dream mean? How is he connected to the Sleepers when most others aren't?
I found some of the metaphorical language difficult to swallow and I felt the swearing was over-used, like it was just in there for some kind of shock value, like a late-night episode of Hollyoaks. I can withstand the odd "fuck" here and there but when it's on every other page it starts to grate a bit.
Having said all that, the author raises some interesting questions about the human nature, its relationship with catastrophe, leadership, manipulation and chaos. Perhaps i'm just not intelligent enough to get the idea.
To quote from Nod: "The hard thing when reading a Dickens novel is to keep faith with the normal, not to be seduced and swept away by the freak show". Sadly for me, there was far too little "normal" in this novel, it was mostly freak show and I wasn't so much swept away as I was pushed out the boat.
Profile Image for J.L. Aarne.
Author 16 books112 followers
May 6, 2020
I hated this book. It isn't a difficult read and it isn't that long, I read most of it in one go, but then I put it down and could not bring myself to pick it up and finish it for another month. I did eventually finish it, but I wish I'd never picked it up at all.

There is so much going on in this book that is NEVER explained. Why couldn't some people sleep and some could sleep? What caused this to happen? Why were the people who could sleep having these strange almost religious visions? What were they for? Why did the children who lived in the park all lose the ability--or desire?--to speak? If the MC is such a recluse (and an asshole), how did he get a girlfriend in the first place?

I didn't like the girlfriend, but I think that was intentional. I wasn't supposed to like the girlfriend. The author spends a lot of time dehumanizing and degrading her--my favorite example of this being when she, for some unexplained reason, got it into her head that if he fucked her she would then be able to sleep. There she is on the bed, assuming the doggy style position, and the MC happens to notice she has shit smeared around her anus. Not only is that revolting and unnecessary, but that and other instances like it throughout the book give disturbing insight into the author's view of women. Women when they can't sleep turn into disgusting sluts, men turn into megalomaniac, homicidal nutjobs.

Then there's the kid that they adopt. No logical reason is given for why they decide to do this, but this kid that they don't even know and who never says a word suddenly becomes VERY important to them. So important that she is the impetus for everything the MC does for the second half of the book. The possible exception being when he murders his girlfriend. I still don't know why that happened. It was probably meant to be a mercy killing, but it didn't seem like one because I got the impression the MC wanted to do it, probably because of what a slut she had turned into. In the end though, it was very important to save this kid, even at the cost of sacrificing everyone else, including himself.

It was stupid, the story went absolutely NOWHERE, so I was left feeling not only annoyed and offended, but like the entire thing was a waste of time and the paper it was printed on.

Edit: A couple people got mad at me for not hiding spoilers. I cannot put into words how much I loathe this book. If my review in any way prevented you from reading it, you're welcome :)
Profile Image for Craig Wallwork.
Author 28 books108 followers
June 28, 2021
Nod is a novel that only comes around every five to ten years. It takes that long for a writer to create a piece of fiction that actually has something to say and is unique. Nod is that book. It tells the tale of Paul who finds himself an unlikely prophet after his manuscript on the etymology of words becomes a surrogate bible to a city who cannot sleep.

Vancouver is the backcloth to this insomnia epidemic, one that has gripped nearly every one of its inhabitants, save for a few individuals, like Paul, who go by the collective noun Sleepers. The Awakened are zombie-like insomniacs shuffling around the city, wanting sleep, slowly going crazy and dying, or killing themselves just to fall into eternal darkness. One of these Awakened is a local vagabond called Charles, known by Paul, who comes into possession of the manuscript, and as such, sees himself as a sort of apostle, a person who believes within the construct of its words and phrases hides hope, a kind of instructional manual for a new world. Charles convinces the Awakened that this disease is only to purge the world of society’s flotsam, and that soon, there will be a uprising, a new beginning, and the Nod manuscript will govern their lives forevermore. The destruction and breakdown of civilization is only part of the story, a necessary sacrifice to deliver a narrative rich with religious, ethic, and philosophical dichotomies, in particular, "good and evil". The desire of sleep is the catalyst to behavioural explosions where being morally positive is consumed by the morally negative.

Adrian Barnes has successfully delivered a very simple dystopian story here; a nation in the throes of panic, frenzy, poverty, collapse and psychosis. But underneath lies a much richer, and cleverer, narrative where Paul, a self-confessed misanthrope, becomes a reluctant messianic saint, willing to sacrifice his own life to save others. Barnes’ ability to craft beautiful similes that immerse you in this crazy world is hypnotic, and the manipulation of words, turning them into nouns for characters, is akin to the adroit hands of Antony Burgess. The writing is sublime in places, funny in its social observations, and yet strong enough to stand up to many other literary books that frowned upon this type of genre. In truth, Nod could have easily been a novel written by Jim Crace, or for that matter, the transgressive-guru Chuck Palahniuk.

To steal a line from the book, “Life’s a scab, and it’s our nature to pick at it until it bleeds.” Nod is very much the same; once you begin picking at its narrative, it will mark you forever.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
876 reviews1,106 followers
October 19, 2017
1.5 stars.

Nope nope nope.

I thought I would love this book, as it has an absolutely incredible premise. A new day dawns in Vancouver, Canada, and it soon becomes apparent that almost no one in the world has slept. Only a handful of people have managed to sleep, and every one of them has had the same strange dream involving an odd golden light. Paul, our writer protagonist, is one of these 'Sleepers', and he is forced to watch as his girlfriend Tanya and almost everyone else around him begin to rapidly deteriorate and lose their minds.

What an idea right? I wish I'd thought of it. Unfortunately, I really disliked the execution of this. I was expecting quite a fast-paced read, as the font size was quite large and the premise made it sound like an energetic, action-packed, slightly scary piece of genre fiction. And yet it was oddly... literary, but not in a good way. I felt at times the book was rather overwritten, and I really despised the protagonist Paul. He's a thoroughly irritating character, who pretty much hates almost everyone else and doesn't socialise, instead writing books on language that he admits very few people would want to read.

Another thing that I had a problem with was the lack of world or plot building. There is next to none. The deterioration of Vancouver society happens very quickly, as expected, but everything that comes with it is just depressing and nonsensical. Strange cults pop up, children are acting oddly, and everyone starts going on about Paul's book he is currently writing, Nod (yep, the same title as the book). It seemed to be hinting at the idea that the real world was blending with the world of the book (despite it not being a fiction piece, instead a non-fiction...), but if that was what happens, it wasn't clear at all. A main villain soon emerged, but I found the person ridiculous, the motives of that person unclear, and the whole point of the novel shrouded in a dull fug.

Eventually I was reading just to get the book done. I actually really regretted continuing on with the book, but by the time I was around the 75% mark I felt it was too late to give up, so I just pushed through. I did quite like the way Barnes wrote the ending, particularly the very last page (quite unexpected which was appreciated)... but I just didn't care about any of the characters or the resolution of the thin thin plot. I was so disappointed with this, and felt so frustrated that I spent even just a few days on it. Sigh. Would not recommend.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,065 reviews1,474 followers
February 21, 2021
I've unknowingly read three books that focus on mass insomnia in the past few weeks. I suffer from bouts of insomnia myself and so this premise is especially terrifying and interesting, in equal measure.

Initially, I thought I had found what I was looking for in the previous two books within this volume. I was desiring to read a thrilling and horrifying tale depicting the eventual breakdown of mind and body, community and society. The first half of this book does a brilliant job in recreating these events, within a limited time-frame that added tension to the piece. I felt the danger that lurked within each individual come increasingly to the surface as sleep continued to evade them.

The second half of this novel seemed to switch in direction and take the reader on a more abstract and fantastical journey. I continued to appreciate the gorgeously lyrical writing style, as well as the overall ingenuity, but I longed for a return to the somewhat simpler initial stages of the novel.

The conclusion was extremely poignant and ensured I ended my voyage within these pages on a positive note. My edition of the book also attached an essay from the author in which he detailed his cancer prognosis. He alluded to similarities between the events depicted in his book and his time spent enduring that which would eventually kill him. I might not have whole-heartedly loved this book but it was devastating to read of a life and a writer lost far too soon.
Profile Image for Sara .
1,145 reviews110 followers
July 15, 2017
Truly one of the worst books I've ever read. I only finished because it was for book club, so it ended up being #hatereading

Total garbage. Plot is full of holes; the premise is half-baked; the characters are one-dimensional (female characters are half-dimensional); the writing is detached, smug, and trying too hard to be clever.
Profile Image for Luke Johnson.
40 reviews5 followers
May 26, 2016

Honestly, for all the interesting ideas this novel has, it just plain sucks. The world is thrown into chaos when 99% of the world's population spontaneously becomes incapable of sleep, and are forced to steadily succumb to sleep deprivation psychosis. The remaining 1% are haunted by dreams of mysterious golden towers.

Honestly, that's a solid setup. It was enough to convince me this novel was worth the price of admission.

I strongly suggest you don't make the same mistake I did.

Outside of this, our so-called hero is a misanthropic author of books on etymology nobody reads-- save for one homeless character who nobody in the story actually likes. I'm having a hard time describing him without swearing profusely. Honestly, he's abhorrent. He describes one character wearing a suit as an 'autistic attempt to copy mad men', which is a dozen different kinds of messed up and honestly has no place in the 21st century, and believes another character later on can't possibly be a doctor because he's fat, and therefore CLEARLY spent all his time before the end of the world in his mother's basement playing video games.

You know what? Fuck it. Fuck not swearing profusely; these words are a part of the english language for a reason, and at times like this they're damned fucking useful. Fuck you, Adrian Barnes. As a fat autistic reader, I was downright furious at the offhand contempt shown for people like me.

Anyway, now that that's out of my system, onto everyone else in this novel.

This book tries to be a lot of things. It succeeds only in being pretentious and forgettable, and in reminding the reader that they could be reading something actually good right now instead of this. I honestly couldn't recommend it any less. It's up there with Blood Song on my personal 'dear god WHY' list.

Although in fairness Barnes, unlike Anthony Ryan, actually has some understanding of how punctuation works.
Profile Image for Bill Jr..
Author 50 books71 followers
January 3, 2016
Sure, it sucks when you can’t sleep. You're tossing and turning in bed all night long. Your eyes look like they're held open with toothpicks; your mind replays the day in a neverending loop; you feel worn down like a car tire that’s never been changed. But no matter how tired you are, you're unable to sleep. We’ve all had nights like that.

As awful as a night without sleep makes you feel the next morning, imagine what life would be like if you could never sleep again. If the night before was the last time you ever slipped into unconsciousness. If your mind and body never again got its eight—or even four or three or any—hours of necessary rejuvenation. Imagine that it’s not that you don’t need sleep—you do need sleep, you desperately do—and you long for sleep more than you’ve ever wanted anything in your life. The problem is that you can’t ever sleep again.

Now imagine that the entire world is afflicted with the same sickness, incurable, and endless—or for as long as you can live without sleep. Which isn’t long. It’s about thirty days before you brain and body shut down. And before your thirty day expiration date arrives,madness is your certain fate.

That’s the premise of Adrian Barnes’ debut novel Nod: A world in which suddenly nobody sleeps anymore. Or almost nobody: One out of about every 10,000 people still sleep.

Nod takes place in Vancouver, Canada and follows the lives of Tanya and her husband Paul, an etymologist and writer, who is one of the rare Sleepers. Paul is the novel’s narrator. Early on in Nod, Tanya, an Awaker, desperate for sleep as anyone would be after several days of watching the moon make its slow crawl across the sky, demands sex from Paul, because she hopes that will get her to sleep. Tanya and Paul’s touching is coarse, brutal, and primitive, setting the stage for the rest of the novel.

In Barnes’ world, some children can sleep. As the Awakers’ psychosis grows, the Awakers come to believe that drinking the blood of these children will cure their terminal insomnia. The Awakers, banded together in savage, hierarchical packs, hunt the children.

Can the Sleepers protect these children? How can the Sleepers even protect themselves from desperate Awakers while they sleep? Will the Sleepers be able to ride out these terrifying four weeks until the Awakers, rapidly devolving into their Neanderthal progenitors, finally die?

Violent, frightening, textured, and dystopian are words that aptly describe the short-lived world that Barnes has created. Barnes’ writing is beautiful, but sometimes a little too good; the descriptions, both compelling and creepy, occasionally subtract from the story he’s trying to tell:

What else do I see? Packs of dogs, heads hovering low, roam the periphery of things. The long-standing human-canine alliance has been irretrievably severed, I’m sincerely sorry to report—the gnawed bones and matted chunks of hair scattered along the shores of Lost Lagoon testify to this. It’s sad, but then again those plump collies and German shepherds don’t seem too weighed down by nostalgia for bone-shaped vegan treats and belly rubs from the opposably-thumbed as they wander about, licking their chops.

Nod is a must for every insomniac because it shows you that no matter how bad your night of no sleep is, things could be a lot worse. The usual warnings about not reading a scary novel in bed when you want to sleep don’t apply here. Nod is best enjoyed in the place that you want to sleep because you will eventually fall asleep—unlike the doomed souls in Adrian Barnes' novel.
Profile Image for Tom LA.
604 reviews234 followers
July 14, 2018
Very dark. Heavy. Good but not nearly as good as the praises on the cover. They are ridiculously overblown. They sound like someone put these people on an electric chair and asked for their level of enthusiasm while the current was switched on. Fake.
Profile Image for Figgy.
678 reviews219 followers
November 13, 2016
Actual rating 3.75

Paul is an etymologist – his life revolves around the exploration of words and their origins, and writing books about their history and transformation.

As the end of the world begins he is working on his next book, the eponymous Nod, which focuses on words and phrases that have fallen out of common usage and understanding.
Anyway, in forgetting words, my thesis went, we abandon them. But the realities those banished words gave voice to don’t vanish: old, unmanned realities lurk eternally in dark woods, in nursery tales, police reports, and skittish memories. Like Grimm wolves.
All the old, whispered words still exist – fantastic words and phrases like ‘babies in the eyes’, ‘cavalry clover’, ‘doomrings’, ‘mavworm’ ‘Blemmye’. Thousands and thousands of them. And when we hear those words, even in the antiseptic light of the twenty-first century, we feel a slight breeze, a chill presence we can’t quite identify.

After psychosis sets in for those who cannot sleep, and Nod falls into the wrong hands, Paul’s world begins to spiral out of control in a way he never could have imagined.
‘Watch this.’ He turned and faced the angel-watchers, smiling grimly. Cupping his hands around his mouth, and without even bothering to try to sound like he meant it, he yelled, ‘Holy shit! Those aren’t angels. They’re devils!’
The effect was instantaneous. There isn’t much distance, once you’re forced to think about it, between a smile and a grimace of terror. Just two slightly different sets of facial contortions. On the street behind us, a hundred expressions shifted, and we all entered yet another hell. A man began to scream in a little girl voice while the skeleton woman dropped to her knees, still gazing upward, and began to deepen the wounds on her forearms with ragged fingernails. Within seconds, the rest had followed suit, falling to the ground and grovelling among the glass.

As there seems to be no explanation for just why the Awakened are… perpetually awake, and they draw ever closer to death; as The Dream filled with golden light and a feeling of well-being continues to call to Paul; and as he tries to find a safe place for Zoe, the mute Sleeper girl he and Tanya stumbled upon and took in, the question becomes not so much about how to survive this situation, but rather how to ride it out until the inevitable end.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!
Profile Image for Tanja Berg.
1,904 reviews438 followers
August 19, 2016
This was a fresh take on the end of the world. In this instance, most people in the world lose their ability to sleep. There are few "sleepers" left - Paul, the narrator is one of them - and they have the unfortunate privilige of watching humanity fall to pieces and the world descend into chaos.

Humans need sleep. After only a few days awake, we start to hallucinate. After about a month of sleeplessness, we die. The veneer of civility is thin and threadbare, after just a few days of no sleep for 99,9% of the world's population, all is chaos. There is no explanation given for why it happens.

Some of the prose is down-right gross in its descriptions. In this way the author shows the stripping away of decency. Paul must watch his wife Tanya go from put-together, succesful career woman to a mean wreck with little grasp of reality.

The end of the book revealed a surprise. The author is dying of a brain tumour. Some of his illness is transcribed into his writing.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Brandon Baker.
Author 14 books4,577 followers
March 18, 2023
This is exactly the kind of book that makes me feel like an idiot 😂 I don’t mind more literary-focused books, but there were some sentences I had to reread over and over again to try and figure out exactly what was trying to be said.

If I was smarter I might have thought it was more profound, but in the end it just gave me a bit of a headache. This book is like 30% story, 70% stream of conscious inner musings.

Otherwise, I didn’t really like the MC, and I didn’t like how his girlfriend was portrayed/how he viewed her at times.

I did like the little bits of end of the world stuff that happened, some of the imagery sprinkled through was cool and interesting, and I think the idea of it all was fantastic, but the execution just wasn’t for me unfortunately.
Profile Image for Richard.
5 reviews13 followers
May 9, 2013
A little verbose, but I guess it's supposed to be. The lead protagonist was a useless dickhead.
Profile Image for David Logan.
Author 1 book22 followers
September 14, 2016
Nod is a thin book about two things we take for granted: words and sleep. The first person narrator writes books on etymology. The first thirty pages or so emphasise the point by means of what the Russian Formalists called a thing I can neither pronounce nor spell, but it means estrangement. Poets are advised to 'make strange' thus forcing the reader to pay attention. Estrangement can go horribly wrong when the author makes wrong choices. Thankfully, Barnes makes correct choices.

Having made his literary point, the prose becomes more conventional as he gets on with the story. Hardly anybody in Vancouver can sleep. (Yes, Vancouver. Why not?). Our writer and children seem to be the only ones. Why? Who knows? I'm reminded of Day of the Triffids, where someone wakes up and everybody else is blind. There's a parallel with My name is Legion too. Triffids, Legion and Nod: three fine books and each one thin - conclude what you will.

There may be a bit too much navel contemplating in Nod for some. If that sort of thing puts you off, n'er mind, there's a nuclear explosion to be getting on with and a bit of un-photoshopped sex. I don't give many five stars, but Nod got the popular/literary balance just about right.
Profile Image for Rebecca Alcazaze.
153 reviews12 followers
November 5, 2020
It may be November but I’m glad I finally chanced upon a good Halloween novel after a month of so-so spooky books. I thought this was really rather good, and I was sad to realise that the author, Adrian Barnes had died not long after publication.

His writing style (or that of his implied first-person narrator, Paul) is a lot. Full of metaphor, word play and repetition that smacked me in the face throughout. I can imagine others may at times find it a bit too much though. The narrator is an etymologist coming to terms with a world of linguistic breakdown, so his prose being so glutted with words worked well.

There are lots of things left unexplained in the text. I find sci-fi and fantasy novels that attempt to explain everything can be a bit tedious. The decision to leave the cause of the catastrophe unsaid (like McCarthy’s ‘the road’) added to the creepy factor. Gaps in Paul’s general understanding of what’s going on, as he tries to navigate a Vancouver made monstrous by an other-worldly insomnia plague, are fine with me. The lovely thing about this was the disjuncture between reading a tale told in words while being confronted by a new world in which words are becoming defunct.

Adrian Barnes completed (much much more successfully) the same MA course in writing that I once did. I picked this up not knowing he’d been part of that programme. My reading of this was a little altered by an awareness of his death, possibly in a daft sentinel way, as I pondered how us readers will never get to sample another dose of his very fucking full-on style.
Profile Image for Cindy Newton.
657 reviews129 followers
July 10, 2018
I found out after I finished this book that the author died this year from a brain tumor. I was very sorry to hear that--the world lost a talented novelist on his passing.

The book offers an apocalyptic scenario in which most of the world's population suddenly stops sleeping for no reason. They are not sleepy at all and just cannot sleep. Our protagonist, Paul, is one of the lucky ones. He is able to sleep and has amazing dreams bathed in a wonderful golden light. His girlfriend, Tanya, is not able to sleep. Paul is forced to watch her descend into madness, along with most of the people around them.

I didn't really connect with Paul that much--he's pretty detached and rarely experiences strong emotions about what is happening around him. Despite that, it's a fascinating story. In addition, the writing is quite lovely. I found so many beautiful passages to mark.
Profile Image for Michelle Morrell.
1,041 reviews75 followers
June 28, 2017
One night, without warning, the vast majority of the world's population stops sleeping. No explanation is given, though the hints are supernatural, as the sleepers seem to share a dream of peace and golden light.

We get a little slice of the epidemic, one man's tale as he tries to survive for a month, the estimated time it will take the sleepless to die. Of course it's not that easy, as we watch the city of Vancouver spiral into madness.

The author can craft words in delightful ways, I found myself rereading sentences here and there just for their sheer delight of wordsmanship. But still I only gave this three stars as something seemed missing, some spark or soul. I just didn't care about the characters that much.
Profile Image for Richard.
15 reviews22 followers
November 14, 2012
This was excellent. An intelligently written novel, you could call it horror I guess, but there's more to it than that. It's a clever twist away from the glut of zombie novels that seem to be everywhere at present. It reminded me a little of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend in feel and mood and it had a nicely ambiguous ending.

It's also wonderfully apt considering the state of the world at present, a little look behind the curtain at what might await us should we lose control.
Profile Image for Amanda.
365 reviews17 followers
September 14, 2016
Nod is a piece of speculative fiction about what would happen if nearly everyone in the world stopped sleeping. Focusing on Paul, a writer who wakes up to discover that he is one of the few who has slept. Those still having the ability to sleep, find themselves dreaming the same dream about a golden light.

The world quickly fractures into "Sleepers" and the "Awakened ". Of course, the Awakened quickly start resenting those who can still sleep. Sleep deprivation is well know as having terrible and ultimately fatal side effects. Nod chronicles the devastating side effects that occurs in the Awakened , with the world changing into something unrecognisable.

Based upon the synopsis of Nod, I thought that the book was going to tell an interesting and unusual apocalyptic story. And in reality, such a good idea should have produced a enthralling novel. I feel the need to emphasis the "should". In reality this was one of the most unenjoyable reads that I have experienced in a long time.

Please bear in mind that this is my own point of view, and maybe other readers may find themselves enjoying Nod. My main issue with this book is that the author spent so much time using unnecessary words, that he failed to write anything interesting about what was actually going on. I don't usually quote from the books I'm reviewing but in this case it's necessary, "Charles loved big words, loved forcing them into his sentences no matter how much they squealed." Seriously? That sentence is probably the best description of Nod that I could ever come up with. Words just forced into sentences.

The style of writing that Nod is written in was overwhelmingly distracting. Maybe the author did manage to write a passably interesting book, but it was completely hidden under that many words I couldn't even be bothered to start digging. I did manage to finish Nod, mainly because I was playing the "how many ridiculous words in one sentence can I find" game. It's not that often that I find myself writing a completely negative review, but I can honestly say that I can not find anything about this book that I liked. 1 star.

****I purchased Nod by Adrian Barnes with my own money. All opinions in this book are my own, and this is my honest review****
Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 56 books8,615 followers
February 7, 2019
Well, that was disturbing. A sort of dystopia where the end of the world comes about because almost everyone simultaneously stops being able to sleep. Panic, sludgy brains, random violence, societal collapse, and mass psychosis follow rapidly on. This is one of those dystopias so incredibly realistic in concept that it's hard to forget it isn't happening; also, having had a baby that didn't sleep through for 14 months, my idea of pure hell.

It's a weird book, written in a very literary way (MC is an etymologist) with some deeply peculiar sequences that feel like dreams or madness, and plenty of stuff that makes no sense as part of the world or anything else. Why do the few remaining sleepers all have the same dreams? Why are the children mute? Who knows, this is exhaustion logic.

It's pretty violent, inc sexual violence against women because of course there is. Weird, grim and haunting.
Profile Image for A. Raca.
739 reviews152 followers
May 20, 2018
"İnsanlara ayıracak vaktim yoktu pek; türümüze dair kuşkularım vardı denebilir. Belki unutulmuş, kullanılmayan sözcükler ormanında, türdeşlerimin arasına güvenle çıkamayacak denli uzun kalmıştım."
Profile Image for Josh.
1,649 reviews155 followers
March 26, 2019
Nod explores the slow disintegration of humanity through sleep deprivation. Reality is distorted as the conceptual fiction of the world of Nod turns fact in the eyes of the Awakened. A harsh insomnia overthrows the daily grind, replacing it with a hazed infused horror fun-house that strips the characters down to their basic need to just survive.

While I was expecting a different story, Nod delivers in establishing a truly atmospheric semi-dystopian infused survival horror.

Yet the most endearing element comes from the death of a long term relationship between Paul (one of the few Sleepers - people who are able to maintain nightly sleep) and his is partner Tanya (one of the many Awakened, those in a perpetual state of insomnia). Their close bond pre the end of the world balances on the edge of ending before falling over the void into nothingness. Add cult-like theorists and an easy manipulation of will, and Tanya and Paul's life together was going to always take a turn for the worse. Not forgetting the fact that the Awakened have a vastly shortened life span as it is.

I can understand while some readers are put off by Nod. The story ends without providing full closure and there are a couple of plot holes that aren't filled. I didn't find these complains overbearing and still enjoyed the book for the most part.

I was provided a copy of Nod by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for David Stringer.
Author 1 book39 followers
February 5, 2017
Well I've continued the year with another really engrossing and enjoyable read. NOD is about what happens to the world, when for some unknown reason the vast majority of the worlds population can now, suddenly, no longer sleep. What ensues is the world free falling into madness, mayhem and horror.

The author does a great job making this a completely absorbing and believable story as the world sadly falls into decay and ruin, as our main character Paul tries to get on with and survive this new world as everything and everyone disintegrates in front of him. I really bought into it and felt alongside him every step of the way. The descriptive story telling of the author is one of the best I've come across as he paints a bleak, scary and yet familiar world to us. I couldn't put the book down and read through it in next to no time at all.

So in summary this is a really good book, that get's you thinking long after you have put it down, but be warned...this book holds no punches and shows us the dark side of the world and of human beings.
Profile Image for Abi Seddon.
18 reviews
December 2, 2013
There is a lot to recommend this book, not least a concept which, on the surface, is fascinating - the deterioration of humanity when the majority of the population cannot sleep. Some of the metaphorical language and images the author conjures are amongst the most inspired I've ever read; I'm tempted to re-read for that purpose alone. At the same time, I felt it was crammed too tight with the author's demonstrable intellect and frame of reference that it became an overwhelming read. There were parts of the narrative which were really engaging, particularly witnessing the demise of the protagonist's relationship with his partner, but I found the general thread of the story confusing and convoluted. I was relieved to reach the end, but not for the story's climatic ending. There will be people who will love this book and why shouldn't they? It is very clever, but, alas, not for me.
Profile Image for Martin Belcher.
408 reviews36 followers
April 2, 2016
Every now and again a novel comes along that is so Completely original and captivating that it makes you gasp....well Nod is one of these!
An apocalyptic tale with a unique and original idea. One day, almost the whole population of the world find they can't sleep, putting it down to some temporary insomnia that we all suffer from occasionally it is swiftly forgotten until the second night of sleeplessness and the shocking realisation that this phenomena is worldwide. Slowly days turn into a week and longer, the modern world as we know it breaks down into anarchy as sleep deprived people become ill, depressed, suicidal, violent and wiling to fight the lucky few that can still sleep. The sleepers as they are known, Paul the central character is a sleeper, one who can still sleep and sadly sees the world decend into violence and collapse.
Cleverly thought out ideas, original and unique with delightfully poetic writing, Nod is quite simply a masterpiece of apocalyptic fiction. Scary, thought provoking and it makes you realise how important sleep is to humankind!
Profile Image for Zeynep Gunduz Seyhan.
260 reviews16 followers
June 16, 2017
"insomnia hastalarının dahi arada biraz uyudukları söylenir. Ama bu farklı. Gecelerdir kimsenin gözüne uyku girmiyor. 5 gün daha böyle geçerse uyku mahrumiyeti psikozuyla başbaşa kalacaklar. Otuz iki gün sonra ise acılı bir ölüm onları bekliyor. Hala uyuyabilen şanslı azınlık artık o kadar şanslı saymıyor kendini; insanlar gruplara ayrılmak, ölmek öldürmek için, hiçbir fırsatı kaçırmıyor. "

bu şahane kitabın yazarı hakkında da biraz bilgi verelim. #AdrianBarnes Kanada'da yaşıyor. İki online derginin sahibi ve editörü. Sıkı bir koşucu. Geçtiğimiz yıllarda koşu yaptığı sırada bir ayı tarafından kovalandı. Sağ kaldı. 2015 yılında bu kez kansere yakalandı ve onu da atlattı. Şimdi sorarım size, tüm bu felaketleri yaşayan adam, kitabında bize hangi duyguları yaşatmaz ki. 😬
Profile Image for Aslı Can.
713 reviews214 followers
September 12, 2017
Bir sabah insanlar evlerinden ayrılıp güne başladıklarında fark ediyorlar ki; o gece dünya üzerinde hiçbir insan (en azından biri hariç) uyuyamamış. Bence bu fikir üzerine bir roman yazmak için çok güzel bir başlangıç noktası. Yazarın bu fikirden yola çıkarak yazdıklarını da sevdim, hakkını vermiş hikayeye başladığı noktanın.
Ama yine de içimde ufak bir burukluk var, sebebi de şu ki; bu fikirden hiç düşünmeden beş yıldız verebileceğim bir roman çıkmasını beklerdim. 3 değil 3,5.
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