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Literary Friday: Sleep Donation

Friday, April 4, 2014

This week I read Sleep Donation by Karen Russell.  I have read most of her books, and they tend to freak me out a little.  Swamplandia! really was like watching a train wreck.  You can read my review of Swamplandia! here.  I enjoyed her short story collection entitled Vampires in the Lemon Grove very much.  You may read my review of that book here.

Sleep Donation is a dystopian novel about a scary world where there's an epidemic of insomnia that kills.  The hysteria reminds me of the beginnings of the AIDS outbreak in the early eighties:  No one knows the cause and no one really understands how the insomnia is spreading.  The hyper-altruistic Storch Brothers have left their highly profitable ergonomic toilet seat business to serve the not-for-profit Slumber Corps, a charity dedicated to collecting sleep donations and raise money to help find a cure for the disease.  Their star recruiter and story's narrator is Trish Edgewater.  Trish's beautiful sister Dori was one of the first victims of this hideous insomnia disease.  Trish's sharing of Dori's story is like pure gold to Slumber Corps, and it never fails to close even the toughest recruit for sleep donation.  I enjoyed getting to know Trish.  She was very well-developed for a novella, and I could relate to her struggles and thought processes as she discovers a document that could end Slumber Corps for good.

Not everyone's sleep is equal. Trish recruits Baby A (or more specifically her parents, the Harkonnens), a universal donor whose sleep is saving hundreds if not thousands of people's lives.  Thanks in part to Baby A, things are going very well for Slumber Corps until Donor Y's infected sleep terrorizes hundreds with nightmares: Nightmares that cause Elective Insomniacs and suicides.  I don't want to give away any spoilers, but there are many surprising plot points in the story, and the settings for most of the scenes were eerie and wouldn't be conducive to a good night's sleep.

I read this novella on my iPad; it isn't available in print.  I highly recommend it for those nights you want to stay awake because it certainly won't put you to sleep!

For fun, check out the Sleep Donation website here.

Sleep Donation from Atavist Books on Vimeo.

Please link-up and share what you've been reading!

Literary Friday

Until next time...
Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. hmmmm....I need my sleep these days, as it is hard to come by some nights. Yiur diverse interest in books fascinates me!

  2. I agree with Andrea. I best not read it at bedtime, but it does sound like an entertaining read.
    I used to be an avid reader, but not as much any more. The other night I couldn't sleep so I got out a really vintage Nancy Drew book from my childhood (you know the ones where her car was called a roadster) I was really surprised at how much pleasure I got from re-reading it.
    Thanks for your sweet comment I love to see you have come by.
    I hope your weekend is fantastic RJ.
    hugs from here...

  3. Damn- another novella I can't read, being e-reader-less. :(
    This one sounds fantastic...what a great dystopian/sci-fi idea!

  4. I have seen this all over BN site with great reviews. It sounds like one I am going to have to add to my to read list.

    Thanks for hosting this party.

  5. This book sounds good! The author came to a local bookstore last month and I wanted to see her but I was out of town!

  6. This sounds amazing although with my own nightly battle with insomnia I'm a tiny bit scared to read it.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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