#Nod by Adrian Barnes mini review


Nod is told in a series of journal entries by aspiring author Paul during this unique concept of an impending apocalypse. Set in Vancouver, the global populace bar a select few are suddenly unable to sleep. The few remaining 'sleepers' all share the same golden dream. Groups of children also sleep, but become silent and introvert and the nature of their dreams is not apparent to anybody. 

Living in a flat in a seemingly functional relationship, the world around them begins to slowly descend into madness, beginning with general irritability and over the days becoming more and more dystopian as people struggle to function on the little sleep they have. The 'awakened' eventually break into strange cults and factions, developing psychosis and unusual social regimes and rituals to help function as they slowly but surely deteriorate.

Paul meanwhile has to navigate the alien landscape without being persecuted by the awakened, so jealous they are of his ability to sleep. It feels like a 'Walking Dead' scenario, made interesting by Paul's relationship and exploration of language and words, using unusual imagery to represent the events engulfing him. 

The story is often tense, and you really feel for Paul tiptoeing over eggshells with the ever devolving awakened. As the people change or at least reveal their true natures Paul is witness to ever more shocking and depressing acts, and it feels genuinely and believably hopeless at times. It definitely isn't a life affirming book. The human race portrayed here stirs a real disgust for our species as they resort to ever more twisted coping mechanisms. 

There is no neat and tidy conclusion to this story, leaving it very open to interpretation at the end and whilst disparaging it's truly a unique concept and extremely well written. Completely recommended.

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