Sunday, December 29, 2013

Falling asleep at the gun

Book: The Little Sleep

Author: Paul Tremblay

Published: 2009 (Holt)

Pages: 268

A private eye who has narcolepsy and has to find out where compromising photos and a snuff film reel came from and in the process discovers really unsettling things about his dead and revered father. Go!


The narcolepsy is a good hook in theory, and it mostly works on the page except when it’s conveniently muddling the detection plot and also when the dude is whining about how much it messes up his life. Explanation is good, especially from the guy who experiences it, but holy crap, dude, we get that it sucks. Just tell us what you find.

It’s going for a sort of neo-noir and almost makes it, and it’s fun to read around the whiny bits, and I lost sense of the plot for a bit there but that might be because I don’t read a lot of detective novels so am rusty about keeping up with details. I did like the gradual reveal about his dad, though, and I appreciated that it wasn’t about a murder but was high enough stakes to maybe bring one about when discovered.

Also, pro tip to the Books a Million guy who was hovering near me when I picked this as part of an armful of bargain books to buy about a year ago: Never, ever say, “Are you going to read all those?” to me and my words. I very nearly dropped everything and walked out without buying just because you said that, because duh.

But I like this book more than the anger I felt, so I bought it and now, bookshelf.

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