Sunday, May 15, 2016

NOD - Adrian Barnes

Book Details

Book Title: NOD

Author: Adrian Barnes

: Titan Books 2015

Source: Library

ISBN: 1783298227

Page Count:

Format: Fiction

: Psychological Horror

Audience: Adults.

Summed up in one word: Deprivation!

First Impression: I read the blurb to this book and I immediately wanted to read it. It jumped to the top of my pile of books and I finished it in one sitting, NOD is not a big book but it is filled to the brim with horror, misery, uniqueness and more horror, the one thing it lacks is sleep.

Summary of the Story:

Paul wakes up one morning after a vivid dream of the world being saved or being destroyed, he can't decide. While he was fast asleep his girlfriend was wide awake, along with the rest of the world. Only a small percentage of the world got any sleep and they all had the same dream. The rest of humanity is left without sleep and day after day of no sleep starts to take its toll on peoples decision making skills, their hygiene and eventually their sanity.

Paul has to witness to fall of humanity alongside his sleepless other half Tanya. As we read we see Tanya slowly devolve from a beautiful loving partner into something very sinister and very out of control. Society tries to remain normal but soon after the 'Endless Day' begins there is trouble, people can't cope without their rest and 6 days without any sleep usually results in psychosis.

Follow Paul on his journey through a world that is falling to pieces before his very eyes in a 24 day story of what happens if we don't go to the Land Of Nod. He has to fight normal people just trying to keep it together, religious nuts who think humanity brought this on themselves and he needs to save the other people who are able to sleep as they are not safe.

My Review:

What a picture Adrian Barnes paints here with NOD. It is a unique apocalyptic tale, where instead of one big extinction sized event, humanity kind of melts away with psychosis.

The story here is the show stopper! Hands Down! AB manages to completely strip the population of earth of sanity over an 18 day period. The writing is easy and enjoyable, but it is not your friend, this writing is also brutal, honest and heart wrenching most of the time. I loved the day by day format of the chapters, this brought the reader clear comparisons of how much people had lost their minds and ability to function in society each day.

Paul is an etymologist and a writer, the story is told from his point of view watching the world and his significant other crumbling under exhaustion. The fact that he wrote a book called NOD and it is related to the events currently happening within in the book is relevant as it fuels the 'semi' villain of this story. Also Paul working in etymology brings some great words and origins of words to this text, AB definitely made the most of this approach. Paul as a main character works, he cares about his partner, he cares about the children that are suffering due to this episode of no sleep and he wants to do something about it, he is a survivor. 

The other cast in this story are mainly evil, Tanya starts off  strong but her falling apart fuels the first half of the plot and it is upsetting, horrific and makes you cherish every moment you spend asleep. Charles is the other half of this story, he is a homeless man made prophet by events within this book. Charles is psychotic but totally controlled, aware and hungry to use this opportunity of apocalypse to fuel his mad theories. My main problem with NOD is the same problem I have with a lot of books, using children to add a more sadistic tone to the story. Putting children in harms way bothers me but it is more of a personal issue than a definite plot problem.

NOD is definitely an adult book, there is plenty of violence and sexual/adult themes. The main theme of NOD is the end of humanity with additional themes of insanity, religion, suffering and child abuse/murder. There are happy moments but they are far and few between, such as Paul looking after Zoe and finding other 'sleepers' like himself. The journey Paul finds himself on is varied even taking on a aircraft carrier at one point and at no point was I tired of the plot...excuse the pun.

Overall this is one of the most horrific stories I have read this year, refreshing unique and takes you to a new frame of mind, what would we do without sleep? NOD will make you thankful for a nights rest and want you to hold your loved ones close, but its only fiction...right?


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