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By Ross McDougall on 06-23-17
I waited for a zig, it zagged. I wish it hadn't
This was a bit of an underwhelming book; I'm not sure if my expectations were misguided, the synopsis was exaggerated or it was just pitched at a younger reader. At any rate, I didn't find it very appealing or engaging beyond the premise.
A few times in the book, Barnes has the protagonist Paul reference that what we're reading is his memoir that he's writing in his final days. Given that it's kind of a diary written by a character, some of the stuff included in describing elements of the world and their experience that a reader would normally let go through to the keeper stands out as gratuitous at worst, and illogical to include at best.
The premise of nearly the whole planet not being able to sleep is a really cool one, and it was a determining factor for me to get the book. I feel like Barnes has missed the mark a little on this, but the premise carries a lot of the other issues. The book turns into a post-apocalyptic societal re-build which doesn't land completely because I just couldn't believe that the planet would completely collapse so quickly.
Tim Beckman read the audio edition for me, and it was a great performance. Nod is a good way to escape reality for a few hours, because it felt very far from reality in my mind.