There is only one person in the world who can properly buy a book for me, and that is my friend Mia Sara Moreno.
(Sorry, Boyfriend and Sister, but you know it to be true.)
I know, technically, anyone can buy me a book.
But I’m talking about someone who can browse a book store and find a book that they think I will like.
It’s one thing for someone to know you’ve been wanting a specific book for a while so they go out and get it for you; it’s another thing entirely for someone to choose a book for you.
You get what I’m saying here? (Book lovers, come on, you know what I’m talking about, right?)
Mia and I know each other intimately when it comes to literature. We know our favorite authors, genres, and styles. For Mia’s birthday this year, I bought her Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. For my birthday this year, she bought me Nod by Adrian Barnes.
She knew what she was doing when she bought me this book.
Mia knows I love nearly everything Stephen King, and Nod is a definite dalliance with King-ness.
Anyone who reads Nod will fall in love with it if they’re a King enthusiast simply based on the subject matter alone. The entire world, except for a select few individuals, loses the ability to go to sleep. Have you ever heard that factoid about people being able to go 21 days without food, 7 days without water, but only 3 days without sleep before seriously adverse effects begin to show their ugly face? Nod tells a horror story about what would happen to those world if those three days were not met.
Nod will tickle your intellectual side too. Its pages contain more than just sentences; you’re reading poetic prose. (Does that make sense?) When I understood a particularly nuanced metaphor that Barnes used, I felt like I passed some random intelligentsia test. It irritated as well as pleased me, but I enjoyed the reading experience regardless.
Isn’t it funny how often those two emotions coincide?
But don’t think that Nod is just intellectualism run rampant. It is downright creepy. The denizens of Earth lose their minds over lack of sleep, and it sucks for those sane Sleepers left with their minds intact. The Awakened are filled with resentment for the people who can still catch a few Z’s, so they actually hunt them down and slaughter them. (Or they torture them to keep them awake 24/7.)
Plus, Nod shoves in your face how little you can really know a person, which is something that plagues me even when more than half the world isn’t losing their goddamn minds. Have you never wondered whether your girlfriend is secretly disgusted by you? Have you ever been secretly disgusted with her?
There isn’t much to spoil about Nod aside from a few key moments that occur before the ending, which I’ll let you discover for yourself if you want to. The book slumps toward its finale like a relentless zombie. No one is there to save the day or to explain why this freak experience is happening. Society just slowly devolves, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The end.
But it makes for one hell of a nighttime read.