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The House of Sleep

Jonathan Coe

7,702 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0241967740 / ISBN 13: 9780241967744
Published by Penguin, 2014
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The House of Sleep

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Sarah is narcoleptic. Her inability to distinguish between dreams and waking reality gives rise to many misunderstandings. For Terry, a disillusioned film critic, sleep is merely a memory. For Dr Dunstan, sleep is nothing less than a global disease. Constructed to reflect the different stages of sleep, "The House of Sleep" is a brilliant and original comedy about the powers we acquire - and those we relinqish - when we fall asleep, and when we fall in love. "It must be one of the best books of the year" - Malcolm Bradbury in "The Times."

Review:

The House of Sleep is an intricate cat's cradle of a novel, full of both sly satire and oblique meditations on the interstices of love, sleep, memory, and dreams. The setting is Ashdown, a wind-swept old house by the sea that once provided university housing and now is home to a clinic for sleep disorders. During the early 1980s, a group of students meet here, united by little other than a curious preoccupation with sleep. They include Sarah, a narcoleptic who has trouble distinguishing her intensely vivid dreams from reality; her first boyfriend, the fussy egomaniac Gregory, who gets his kicks from pressing his fingers on Sarah's closed eyes; Terry, a film buff who sleeps at least 14 hours a day, dreaming blissful dreams he can never quite remember; and the sensitive Robert, who loves Sarah enough to do anything at all in order to have her. By a series of startling coincidences, the four are drawn back to Ashdown 12 years later, setting into motion a plot so carefully contrived it makes most thrillers look spare and impressionistic. Like a dream, The House of Sleep resonates with repeated images, phrases, even passages; here they serve as narrative glue for a complicated story that moves backward and forward in time and in and out of different points of view. The result is sometimes puzzling, always absorbing, and often very funny indeed.

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