Matt Biggs resides in a world plagued by chronic, unrelenting insomnia: Those few who, like himself, can still sleep become easy targets for the crazed sufferers who are sliding into dementia and death. Only by finding safe places to rest can the inexplicably immune survive this terrifying scourge. Kenneth Calhoun's debut novel drops us into a world that all good workaholics can instantly understand. Worth staying up late to read.
Black Moon: A Novelby Kenneth Calhoun
Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind/b>/i>/i>/i>
For fans of The Age of Miracles and The Dog Stars, Black Moon is a hallucinatory and stunning debut that Charles Yu calls “Gripping and expertly constructed.”
Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world. Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.
He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness. Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend. All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.
Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Meet the Author
KENNETH CALHOUN has had stories published in The Paris Review, Tin House, and the 2011 Pen/O. Henry Prize Collection, among others. He lives in Boston, where he is a graphic design professor at Lasell College. Black Moon is his first novel.
From the Hardcover edition.
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This book has so much potential, but the writing style is inconsistent and goes through different levels of skill. Major plot points and character developments are left without explanation, and thus there is no worthy resolution. Looking forward to seeing how this author will develop, but this book was very difficult to get through.
This books was a page turner! I read it all at once on a long flight home and it kept me awake the whole flight (9hours). The premise is hauntingly realistic, a sleepless world. What is sleep anyway? And why do we need it? What really goes on when we're sleeping? The landscapes are beautifully described and made exceptionally vivid by the author's artful prose. The book is written in a way that makes you feel like you are experiencing the epidemic as well, slowly succumbing to a sleepless existence (I always feel like a bit of a zombie on long flights so that certainly added something to my experience of the story). The characters seemed very real to me, strangely familiar in many ways. I wanted to hear more of the main character's dreams, those were some of my favorite parts. The books is a dark trip for sure, but a beautifully crafted one, and certainly one worth taking. You have to experience the dark to appreciate the light, right?
This book has a great premise. Insomnia, which we have all suffered from at one point or another. Imagine not being able to sleep forever. This is what is plaguing most of the world in this novel. It starts out with just one husband trying to find the cure for his insomniac wife. It has a great premise,and is a good read, and doesn't fail to surprise us in many ways. I would recommend this to my friends that like this genre. I was given this book in return for an honest review.
Great premise, but the author's attempt to show us the disconnected thought processes of people going insane gets downright boring at times. It's a little like listening to Aunt Maud at the breakfast table tell you about "this crazy dream I had last night, you'll never believe it, drone drone drone." I get what the writer was after, and the Deep Thoughts embedded in the story, etc., but it was occasionally a slog. Lyrical, beautiful, sad, interesting, but not a page turner. And I think unnecessarily obscure about the action/outcomes. What happened with Mother Mary, for example?
The great idea for a story lured me in but the inspiration has been almost wasted with lengthy dream and fantasy sequences. I am going to finish the book but I won't remember it for a week ... unless I have insomnia.
I found this book to be pretty cool. I've read a lot of reviews on it and most people are commenting on how many "insomniac apocalypse" books there are out there. However this is the first I've ever encountered, so if you haven't either, then perhaps your experience will be similar to mine. First of all let's get it out of the way that by the end of the book you realize Mr. Calhoun needed a better editor because the fate of one character is completely missing; just something you can't do if you've followed that person throughout the book. Also, some other characters were quickly dropped and given a hasty ending. Why were they even followed? They were interesting, and I thought that they were all going to converge experiences by the end of the book. Spoiler: they don't. The book could've been a lot longer. Also, Chapter 12, although fascinatingly grotesque, gave me a nightmare (Bonus? Deal breaker? I'm not sure what you're into). What is great about the book is the idea and Calhoun's wonderful gift at painting with words. He described the relationship of a wife and husband in such a way that made me miss my husband sleeping in the next room. Plus dystopian literature? Who doesn't love it? I enjoyed the experience, and am glad I read it despite the disappoints at the end. Source: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.