Nod

Adrian Barnes. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-78329-822-8
Despite some memorable phrases along the way, Barnes' (A Grin Without a Cat) take on the end of life as we know it follows a predictable course. One morning, Paul, an etymologist living in Vancouver, awakes to find that he is one of the very few humans in the entire world who slept the previous night; the vast majority of mankind were suddenly and mysteriously unable to. Their ranks include his partner, Tanya, whose anxiety ratchets up after hearing on television that after six days of constant wakefulness, the brain stops functioning. Things only get worse when the International Microwave Communication Ban takes effect that renders cellphones and computers useless, in an effort to facilitate sleep by bringing "down the walls of static that permeated" people's lives. Food becomes a scarce commodity, and violence escalates as the city's denizens abandon civilized behavior in an attempt to survive. Some Vancouverites come to believe that Paul himself predicted the phenomenon through his latest book project, a history of "orphaned and deformed words." Ultimately, the story arc is too familiar to truly resonate. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/12/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Hardcover - 206 pages - 978-0-9566876-8-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-4271-0
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