❰Reading❯ ➿ Nod Author Adrian Barnes – Dawn breaks and no one in the world has slept the night before Or almost no one A few people perhaps one in ten thousand can still sleep and they’ve all shared the same mysterious dream A handful of Dawn breaks and no one in the world has slept the night before Or almost no one A few people perhaps one in ten thousand can still sleep and they’ve all shared the same mysterious dream A handful of silent children can still sleep as well but what they’re dreaming remains a mystery Global panic ensues A medical fact after six days of absolute sleep deprivation psychosis sets in After four weeks the body dies In the interim a bizarre new world arises and swallows the old one whole A world called Nod.Nod

I was born in England but grew up in Canada buried in suffocating suburbia which made me angry and fueled my flight first to the city and then to the bucolic rural climes of the West Kootenay region of British Columbia where people mostly live like human people I teach English and Creative Writing at Selkirk College and own and operate a chain of online newspapers I also write novels For kick.

Paperback  Á Nod PDF ò
  • Paperback
  • 199 pages
  • Nod
  • Adrian Barnes
  • English
  • 15 February 2015
  • 9780956687692

10 thoughts on “Nod

  1. says:

    Edit RIP Adrian Barnes I learned today that the author died early this year succumbing to the brain cancer he was diagnosed with around the time the book was releasedI'm 5ing this because it's a fine bookI'm warning you that you might not like it because it is literary than most fantasy you're likely to pick up Yes many fantasy readers read literary fiction But also many don't Consider yourself warnedConsider the books Nausea by Jean Paul Satre and The Girl With All The Gifts by MR Carey This book could be the I won't say love child let's say 'biological conseuence of an abusive tryst'As it starts out you could be mistaken for believing you're going to get a high octane end of the world novel with zombie analogues Actually while it could easily have gone that way it turns toward the navel gazing deconstruction of personality relationships and society But it's very well doneSince the basics of the setup are delivered almost immediately and hinted at by title and cover I don't think I will be spoiling anything to reveal that sleep plays a large role here and specifically lack of sleep A rather vicious strain of insomnia unravels things and this encourages all of the aforementioned observation of the collective belly buttonHowever the ideas are exciting and very well written The book kept me entertained thinking hard appalled and fascinatedIn the end the mysteries are essentially left unraveled which may upset some readers but if they were to step back and try to imagine any denouement that would have satisfied them they might admit that none would and so Barnes was right not to tryI would encourage you to give the book a read bearing in mind what I've saidThe book ends with a poignant footnoteessay where the author shares that around the same time that the book came out he was diagnosed with a terminal and swift acting cancer of the brain He draws a number of parallels between what has happened to him during his treatment and the issues addressed in the book The book has many profound things to say about life and ultimately death The author didn't know that a year after writing these things his life would take a turn that would throw those issues into such sharp focus In many ways it shouldn't matter Critics are often aimed at the 'death of the author' school of criticism But to me it mattered and made the book which was already personal even so Join my 3 emails a year newsletter #prizes

  2. says:

    One day no one is able to sleep That's the premise of this brief novel a look at a world that devolves into madness in just a few weeks as sleep deprivation takes its toll It was a strange novel to read alongside the other novel I was finishing this week HOW TO STOP TIME which also is interested in the greater movements of human through culture Both were pessimistic than I think I would have been and both are interesting reads during 2020 a time when the US has been forced to look at how it moves as a group rather than simply what it is like moving through the world as an individualalthough this book is Canadian Vancouver features prominently This novel is a debut poignantly so — Barnes died of a brain tumor shortly around its release and my paperback copy included a moving afterward by the author talking about his diagnosis and how it related to the novel I would have been eager to read what he wrote next

  3. says:

    Ah I so wanted to like this The excellent premise lured me right in but sadly the slumber was not as restful as I would have liked There is a plot of course but I found it so sparse on actual story and so heavy with experimental tangents that I couldn't connect with what was going on It's obviously very clever and you can feel the author's style consistently throughout but it almost felt like this is a book for a certain elite and if that's not you you're left right outThe plot moves from normal to Nod far too uickly and though I expected that I would need to suspend my disbelief somewhat I still felt it needed some semblance of a time frame to allow things to flow realisticallyThis is certainly a book of unanswered uestions and most frustratingly of all the protagonist Paul doesn't seem interested in what any of the answers are He rarely uestions anything; why is his book coming to life? Why is this happening? What does his dream mean? How is he connected to the Sleepers when most others aren't? I found some of the metaphorical language difficult to swallow and I felt the swearing was over used like it was just in there for some kind of shock value like a late night episode of Hollyoaks I can withstand the odd fuck here and there but when it's on every other page it starts to grate a bitHaving said all that the author raises some interesting uestions about the human nature its relationship with catastrophe leadership manipulation and chaos Perhaps i'm just not intelligent enough to get the ideaTo uote from Nod The hard thing when reading a Dickens novel is to keep faith with the normal not to be seduced and swept away by the freak show Sadly for me there was far too little normal in this novel it was mostly freak show and I wasn't so much swept away as I was pushed out the boat

  4. says:

    I hated this book It isn't a difficult read and it isn't that long I read most of it in one go but then I put it down and could not bring myself to pick it up and finish it for another month I did eventually finish it but I wish I'd never picked it up at all There is so much going on in this book that is NEVER explained Why couldn't some people sleep and some could sleep? What caused this to happen? Why were the people who could sleep having these strange almost religious visions? What were they for? Why did the children who lived in the park all lose the ability or desire? to speak? If the MC is such a recluse and an asshole how did he get a girlfriend in the first place?I didn't like the girlfriend but I think that was intentional I wasn't supposed to like the girlfriend The author spends a lot of time dehumanizing and degrading her my favorite example of this being when she for some unexplained reason got it into her head that if he fucked her she would then be able to sleep There she is on the bed assuming the doggy style position and the MC happens to notice she has shit smeared around her anus Not only is that revolting and unnecessary but that and other instances like it throughout the book give disturbing insight into the author's view of women Women when they can't sleep turn into disgusting sluts men turn into megalomaniac homicidal nutjobsThen there's the kid that they adopt No logical reason is given for why they decide to do this but this kid that they don't even know and who never says a word suddenly becomes VERY important to them So important that she is the impetus for everything the MC does for the second half of the book The possible exception being when he murders his girlfriend I still don't know why that happened It was probably meant to be a mercy killing but it didn't seem like one because I got the impression the MC wanted to do it probably because of what a slut she had turned into In the end though it was very important to save this kid even at the cost of sacrificing everyone else including himself It was stupid the story went absolutely NOWHERE so I was left feeling not only annoyed and offended but like the entire thing was a waste of time and the paper it was printed onEdit A couple people got mad at me for not hiding spoilers I cannot put into words how much I loathe this book If my review in any way prevented you from reading it you're welcome

  5. says:

    Nod is a novel that only comes around every five to ten years It takes that long for a writer to create a piece of fiction that actually has something say and is uniue Nod is that book It tells the tale of Paul who finds himself an unlikely prophet after his manuscript on the etymology of words becomes a surrogate bible to a city who cannot sleep Vancouver is the backcloth to this insomnia epidemic one that has gripped nearly every one of its inhabitants save for a few individuals like Paul who go by the collective noun Sleepers The Awakened are zombie like insomniacs shuffling around the city wanting sleep slowly going crazy and dying or killing themselves just to fall into eternal darkness One of these Awakened is a local vagabond called Charles known by Paul who comes into possession of the manuscript and as such sees himself as a sort of apostle a person who believes within the construct of its words and phrases hides hope a kind of instructional manual for a new world Charles convinces the Awakened that this disease is only to purge the world of society’s flotsam and that soon there will be a uprising a new beginning and the Nod manuscript will govern their lives forever The destruction and breakdown of civilization is only part of the story a necessary sacrifice to deliver a narrative rich with religious ethic and philosophical dichotomies in particular good and evil The desire of sleep is the catalyst to behavioural explosions where being morally positive is consumed by the morally negative Adrian Barnes has successfully delivered a very simple dystopian story here; a nation in the throes of panic frenzy poverty collapse and psychosis But underneath lies a much richer and cleverer narrative where Paul a self confessed misanthrope becomes a reluctant messianic saint willing to sacrifice his own life to save others Barnes’ ability to craft beautiful similes that immerse you in this crazy world is hypnotic and the manipulation of words turning them into nouns for characters is akin to the adroit hands of Antony Burgess The writing is sublime in places funny in its social observations and yet strong enough to stand up to many other literary books that frowned upon this type of genre In truth Nod could have easily been a novel written by Jim Crace or for that matter the transgressive guru Chuck Palahniuk To steal a line from the book “Life’s a scab and it’s our nature to pick at it until it bleeds” Nod is very much the same; once you begin picking at its narrative it will mark you forever

  6. says:

    15 starsNope nope nopeI thought I would love this book as it has an absolutely incredible premise A new day dawns in Vancouver Canada and it soon becomes apparent that almost no one in the world has slept Only a handful of people have managed to sleep and every one of them has had the same strange dream involving an odd golden light Paul our writer protagonist is one of these 'Sleepers' and he is forced to watch as his girlfriend Tanya and almost everyone else around him begin to rapidly deteriorate and lose their mindsWhat an idea right? I wish I'd thought of it Unfortunately I really disliked the execution of this I was expecting uite a fast paced read as the font size was uite large and the premise made it sound like an energetic action packed slightly scary piece of genre fiction And yet it was oddly literary but not in a good way I felt at times the book was rather overwritten and I really despised the protagonist Paul He's a thoroughly irritating character who pretty much hates almost everyone else and doesn't socialise instead writing books on language that he admits very few people would want to readAnother thing that I had a problem with was the lack of world or plot building There is next to none The deterioration of Vancouver society happens very uickly as expected but everything that comes with it is just depressing and nonsensical Strange cults pop up children are acting oddly and everyone starts going on about Paul's book he is currently writing Nod yep the same title as the book It seemed to be hinting at the idea that the real world was blending with the world of the book despite it not being a fiction piece instead a non fiction but if that was what happens it wasn't clear at all A main villain soon emerged but I found the person ridiculous the motives of that person unclear and the whole point of the novel shrouded in a dull fugEventually I was reading just to get the book done I actually really regretted continuing on with the book but by the time I was around the 75% mark I felt it was too late to give up so I just pushed through I did uite like the way Barnes wrote the ending particularly the very last page uite unexpected which was appreciated but I just didn't care about any of the characters or the resolution of the thin thin plot I was so disappointed with this and felt so frustrated that I spent even just a few days on it Sigh Would not recommend

  7. says:

    Truly one of the worst books I've ever read I only finished because it was for book club so it ended up being #hatereadingTotal garbage Plot is full of holes; the premise is half baked; the characters are one dimensional female characters are half dimensional; the writing is detached smug and trying too hard to be clever

  8. says:

    Actual rating 375Paul is an etymologist – his life revolves around the exploration of words and their origins and writing books about their history and transformationAs the end of the world begins he is working on his next book the eponymous Nod which focuses on words and phrases that have fallen out of common usage and understanding Anyway in forgetting words my thesis went we abandon them But the realities those banished words gave voice to don’t vanish old unmanned realities lurk eternally in dark woods in nursery tales police reports and skittish memories Like Grimm wolvesAll the old whispered words still exist – fantastic words and phrases like ‘babies in the eyes’ ‘cavalry clover’ ‘doomrings’ ‘mavworm’ ‘Blemmye’ Thousands and thousands of them And when we hear those words even in the antiseptic light of the twenty first century we feel a slight breeze a chill presence we can’t uite identifyAfter psychosis sets in for those who cannot sleep and Nod falls into the wrong hands Paul’s world begins to spiral out of control in a way he never could have imagined‘Watch this’ He turned and faced the angel watchers smiling grimly Cupping his hands around his mouth and without even bothering to try to sound like he meant it he yelled ‘Holy shit Those aren’t angels They’re devils’The effect was instantaneous There isn’t much distance once you’re forced to think about it between a smile and a grimace of terror Just two slightly different sets of facial contortions On the street behind us a hundred expressions shifted and we all entered yet another hell A man began to scream in a little girl voice while the skeleton woman dropped to her knees still gazing upward and began to deepen the wounds on her forearms with ragged fingernails Within seconds the rest had followed suit falling to the ground and grovelling among the glassAs there seems to be no explanation for just why the Awakened are perpetually awake and they draw ever closer to death; as The Dream filled with golden light and a feeling of well being continues to call to Paul; and as he tries to find a safe place for Zoe the mute Sleeper girl he and Tanya stumbled upon and took in the uestion becomes not so much about how to survive this situation but rather how to ride it out until the inevitable end The rest of this review can be found HERE

  9. says:

    This was a fresh take on the end of the world In this instance most people in the world lose their ability to sleep There are few sleepers left Paul the narrator is one of them and they have the unfortunate privilige of watching humanity fall to pieces and the world descend into chaos Humans need sleep After only a few days awake we start to hallucinate After about a month of sleeplessness we die The veneer of civility is thin and threadbare after just a few days of no sleep for 999% of the world's population all is chaos There is no explanation given for why it happensSome of the prose is down right gross in its descriptions In this way the author shows the stripping away of decency Paul must watch his wife Tanya go from put together succesful career woman to a mean wreck with little grasp of realityThe end of the book revealed a surprise The author is dying of a brain tumour Some of his illness is transcribed into his writing

  10. says:

    Very dark Heavy Good but not nearly as good as the praises on the cover They are ridiculously overblown They sound like someone put these people on an electric chair and asked for their level of enthusiasm while the current was switched on Fake

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