Pooker's Reviews > Bedtime Story

Bedtime Story by Robert J. Wiersema
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really liked it
bookshelves: canada, fiction

Christmas 2010 booty!

December 1, 2011

I read this book a few months ago. It now sits on my bedside table. I rather like the looks of it sitting there. It's a handsome book and suits my decor. And the title, Bedtime Story - could any thing be more apropos?

That is all. No cover copy, no quotes!

December 2, 2011

Okay, the foregoing was a joke. A joke but true. The book is on the table and does look terrific. Books *do* furnish a room. But unlike some folks who only use them for decorative purposes, I read my books. So, I figure I'd better get down to it and do a better review before some wise-arsed columnist/professional reviewer points at yesterday's entry to paint me and other Goodreads members as "non-reviewers".

As I have often said, I would not normally choose to read a science fiction or fantasy novel. I like my books to happen in the real, believable world. But I read and enjoyed (and was a wee bit haunted) by Wiersema's previous novel, "Before I Wake" which does contain supernatural aspects, and I'd read somewhere that the author had written Before I wake with his daughter in mind and so was writing Bedtime Story for his son. Fair is fair. As a parent you better not look like you're playing favourites amongst your kids. So I was interested to know what Wiersema would come up with for his son.

I like the Dad in Bedtime Story. Chris Knox is a writer, husband and dad. Things aren't going all that great on the writing front and not all that great in the marriage department either. And, well, son David is just turning 11 and you know what that age sometimes does to parent/child relationships. The one wonderful thing that Chris and his son do together, is the bedtime story, where Chris reads to his son. David does sometimes question whether he's getting a little old for the ritual but we know that he still wants that time with his Dad.

David wants a book for his birthday. He wants Lord of the Rings. But Chris happens upon a book in a used book store, a book by an author he loved as a boy. Although Chris has not read this particular book he is certain his son is going to love it. His son is disappointed in the gift. Like Chris's wife Jacqui, I shook my head and wondered why Dad just didn't buy the book the kid wanted, seems a bit controlling, but hopefully meaning well. Still, I felt sorry for Chris and David.

Oddly though David does enjoy the book and, in fact, starts sneaking time to read it on his own. Soon he is obsessed with it. Suddenly while reading it, David suffers a seizure of some sort. The doctors can't figure out the cause or the cure. David remains in a mostly catatonic state, his eyes shifting left & right and subject to more seizures at bed time.

Chris is convinced that, as a crazy as it sounds, the book is responsible for his son's state and that, in fact, his son is trapped inside the story. Ooh spooky. Chris has to figure out a way to rescue his boy.

The book actually consists of two stories running parallel; Chris's story trying to save his son and the fantasy story that David was reading and Chris continued to read in hopes of keeping his son alive. As expected I was not totally enthralled with the fantasy story with its king & queen, magician and spells and dangerous feats to be completed. But I was intrigued with all the other Matthiases and Daphyds trapped in there trying to help David save himself (and maybe them). The book was fast paced and riveting. I was compelled to read late into the night. Just one more chapter!

This book has not changed my opinion of science fiction/fantasy novels. I'm still unlikely to choose one as my reading material, but I did enjoy this one.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 4, 2011 – Shelved
December 1, 2011 – Shelved as: canada
December 1, 2011 – Shelved as: fiction

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