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Nod


64 Reviews
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 (28)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nod: A Review
Nod Review:
By Matthew McCormack

Adrien Barnes' first novel is a masterclass of humane insight and intelligent plotting, set during the last waking hours of human kind.

Except for a limited few, man has stopped sleeping. With no cure and the scientific promise of total body failure after four weeks of sleep deprivation, man slips into a...
Published on 26 Jan. 2013 by Matthew Mcormack

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea... perhaps not fully realised
A great Sci-Fi premise: suddenly, for no discernible reason, almost everybody stops being able to sleep, permanently. Society gradually fractures, infrastructures begin to collapse, people start going crazy as their bodies begin to shut down; normality is replaced by chaos. This sequence is narrated through the eyes of Paul, an etymology nerd who is one of the few who...
Published 18 months ago by TurboBex


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, thoughtful thriller, 16 April 2013
By 
Ian Hocking "author" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nod (Paperback)
I downloaded this book a few days back because it was up for the Clarke Award. I was not disappointed. It's an effective apocalyptic thriller that combines a pacy story (for the first third, at least) with thematic elements related to the nature of reality (dreams, and the construction of identity through symbols like words). There are some lovely observations and great language. For me, I found the novel's pace slackened in the middle third, principally because the story covered the same ground once or twice. This is a minor quibble, however. A great read; thoroughly recommended. Nice to see something quirky and good coming from this small press.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleep no more, 20 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Nod (Paperback)
I'm always impressed when someone comes up with an original premise for a story. These days that's hard to do. I felt the freshness of this book from the outset; perhaps because the language is so polished and intelligent. The dystopia has depth: there are philosophical debates at every turn, as we are invited to take a long, hard look at ourselves and the house-of-cards sophistications with which we live. How fast could everything fall apart? Poignant and sad as a story of loss, I loved the way the ending holds true. Barnes' last page will stay with me for ages; as will some of the more disturbing moments of his narrative. This is a tight, tidy and impressive debut and deserves serious recognition.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 10 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Nod (Paperback)
This book really didn't work for me and whilst other reviewers found it gripping I found it hard to force myself to read. I liked the premise but the characters felt wooden. There was very little that was attractive about the world or characters as described by the author. The author seemed more interested in making philosophical points than telling a story.
The main characters seemed unlikely to be together in real life as they had nothing in common and indeed since the main male character found social interaction/society in general difficult I am not convinced it was wise to narrate the story through his voice. The speed with which society disintegrated seemed too fast and lacked subtle variations.
I didn't manage to finish this book, as I tired of the high levels of introspection and lack of progression of the story. Won't be recommending it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Xerxes Tears, 3 Sept. 2014
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nod (Paperback)
An apocalypse novel with a whole new angle – more intimate with its detail and more angry with it’s anti-heroes too, he has created a much more interesting central character than some I’ve experienced in other near-future speculative novels. Paul is on the cusp of criminal behaviour but ultimately able to draw back from the savagery depicted in his anxiety for both Tanya, his girlfriend, and the little girl, Zoe, of the tribe of children who are unable (or unwilling?) to speak. There is some welcome ambiguity in Nod’s relationship with his friend/enemy Charles, and the horde of ‘disciples’ he gathers around him.

As a protagonist Paul is dynamic, complex and engaging and the chaos of breakdown in civilisation is well depicted, always from inside the problems facing him. This central problem facing civilisation is one that I won’t reveal here, but you can expect the unexpected, and indeed there is more than one level of deceit going on in this book. The novel works like a Lewis Carroll invention, the bizarre and the strange are integral to its embroilments. I also felt a stirring of the Brothers Grimm in some of its incarnations. There is a lot going on in our hero’s mind and he gives us insight into his feelings – especially in the scenes where he takes action, and when he builds the defences on each floor of his tower block.

I liked this novel for being strongly imaginative with the consequences of apocaplypse and for suggesting an ending that had some hope for new ways of being human. It’s an intriguing and unusual work and is unafraid of the genre label it will inevitably gain. It has a great deal going for it. There is some great cliché-free writing here, full of energy and I enjoyed it immensely. Other reviewers have given away the central premise, which is regrettable, and some have criticised the novel as being too centred on one place, but I didn’t mind that aspect and though we don’t see the effect of the central device used in other places, we get enough from the arrival of the aircraft carrier and it’s occupant to guess at what has happened elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: Nod (Kindle Edition)
The story was good but it was written in an extremely pretentious way. The metaphors used to describe simple situations were complicated to the point of being very irritating and there was lots of unnecessary description of things. I think the author was trying to be funny and sort of was in places but I found it overwhelmingly pompous. That said, the story was interesting and the book moved at a reasonable pace.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 15 July 2014
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This review is from: Nod (Kindle Edition)
Very interesting and slightly scary book. Thought provoking
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very well written, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: Nod (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed this rather bleak, thought-provoking book, with a rather unusual premise. It won't be to everyone's liking but some people will love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and compelling, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Nod (Kindle Edition)
Took a punt on this and was elated. It's a simple story with a complexity of human emotion underpinning it. It's that sympathy and human tenderness which Barnes weaves so elegantly with the horror of a world and society being ripped apart. A great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It left a bad taste but..............., 6 April 2014
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This review is from: NOD (Kindle Edition)
One of the oddest books I have read this year, but the plot line leaves you thinking. What if everyone lost the ability to sleep? How long before the world descended into chaos? And what if you were one of the few who could still enter the land of nod? How safe would you be?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual but addictive read, 27 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Nod (Kindle Edition)
Very readable and hugely entertaining. Thought provoking and left me wanting so much more. The fascinating mind of a good story teller.
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Nod
Nod by Adrian Barnes (Paperback - 31 Oct. 2012)
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