Beyond Sleep

Beyond Sleep

by Willem Frederik Hermans


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The young Dutch geologist Alfred Issendorf is determined to win fame for making a great discovery. To this end he joins a small geological expedition, which travels to the far North of Norway, where he hopes to prove a series of craters were caused by meteorites, but ultimately realizes he's more likely to drown in a fjord or be eaten by parasites. Unable to procure crucial aerial photographs, and beset by mosquitoes and insomnia in his freezing leaky tent, Alfred becomes increasingly desperate and paranoid. Haunted by the ghost of his scientist father, unable to escape the looming influence of his mother, and anxious to complete the thesis that will make his name, he moves toward the final act of vanity which will trigger a catastrophe. A deadpan comedy often subtly calling up the works of Heller or Vonnegut at their best, Beyond Sleep is a unique and illuminating examination of how hard it is to be a true pioneer in the modern world. Beyond Sleep is a masterpiece.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585679881
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication date: 05/27/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Willem Frederik Hermans (1921-1995) is widely considered perhaps the most important Western European author to emerge from the postwar period. His novels, short stories, essays, and philosophical and scientific writings represent a major body of work being discovered in the United States.

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Beyond Sleep 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
arubabookwoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dutch geology grad student Alfred travels to far north Norway seeking to prove a discredited theory that certain circular craters were caused by meteors rather than glacial movements. Alfred hopes to win fame, professional status, and a new type of rock named after him.Instead, his entire journey is a comedy of errors. He arrives in Norway to discover that the expert his professor referred him to is a doddering, blind idiot, who moreover detests Alfred's professor. He is unable to obtain the aerial photos he needs to locate the craters. And he arrives at base camp totally unprepared for the mosquitos, the rigors of carrying pounds of gear on rigorous mountain hikes, and ill-equipped for the weather. However, he learns some life lessons along the way.This was a mostly amusing journey to a rarely visited area of the world with a humorously delusional guide.