Book Reviews

Sleep Over: An Oral History of the Apocalypse by H. G. Bells

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List Price: £11.60


Paperback: 376 Pages.

Published: 01 February 2018 by Talos

ISBN: 194045669X

EAN: 9781940456690

For fans of the oral history genre phenomenon World War Z, an inventive new spin on the apocalypse featuring a worldwide plague of insomnia.

Remember what it’s like to go an entire night without sleep?

What if sleep didn’t come the following night? Or the night after? What might happen if you, your friends, your family, your coworkers, and the strangers you pass on the street, all slowly began to realize that rest might not ever come again?

How slowly might the world fall apart? How long would it take for a society without sleep to descend into chaos?

Sleep Over is a collection of waking nightmares, a scrapbook collection of haunting and poignant stories from those trapped in a world where the pillars of society are crumbling, and madness is slowly descending on a planet without rest.

Online vigilantism transforms social media into a blame game with deadly consequences.

A freelance journalist grapples with the ethics of turning in footage of mass suicide.

Scientists turn to horrifying experiments as they grow more desperate in their race for a cure.

In Sleep Over, these stories are just the beginning. Before the Longest Day, the world record was eleven days without sleep. It turns out many of us will be forced to go much longer.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Unusual Style - A Challenging Read

What if you couldn't sleep one night. Not unusual, it happens to us all occasionally. However what if it happens to us all on the same night? No one in the world sleeps. Most odd. Then again the following night, and the following night................

The format of this book is most unusual. It is written as a series of first person oral histories. Each chapter gives one person's snapshot of what is happening around them. The school teacher where the children are abandoned, the taxi driver who sees a way to make money, the doctor who sees hundreds of spontateous stillbirths, the general practioner where people come for pills to make them sleep but nothing works. These and a great many more people give their accounts of events during this period when the world fails to sleep. This is very clever and written very well with obviously different characters and styles of writing.

The downside of this format is that there is no flow to the book and the reader has no opportunity to get to know the characters. One chapter and the character is replaced by someone new. I found this slightly disjointed and it isn't the way that I would like to read books in general. However, as a one off book I found it very interesting & very much enjoyed being taken out of my comfort zone.

Hats off to the author. Not sleeping as an apocalyptic event made a nice change from a virus, zombies, nuclear war, world economic collapse or any of the other events which are generally used by authors writing in this genre. It was a great idea and I enjoyed reading about the effects on people all over the world. It is amazing to think how little it would take to really shut the world down and break delicate peace in various places.

I am very glad that I read this book. It was great to be made to think outside the box in my reading and challenge me to read a style that I wasn't familiar with. I would be most interested to see what this author produces next.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

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