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5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely enjoyable and rewarding
CP Snow occupies a place in the front rank of popular authors and there is very much to enjoy in his Strangers and Brothers novel sequence, of which The Sleep of Reason is the penultimate entry. His prose is wonderfully elegant, if a little formal and with a faintly patrician air, modulated by the narrator`s sensibility as a self-proclaimed `man of the left`; his...
Published on 23 May 2012 by Johnny Walker

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A low point of the "Stranger & Brothers" sequence
Although it has its moments, this isn't one of Snow's better books.
It is one of the "Strangers & Brothers" sequence of novels, like the other told in the first person by Lewis Eliot. Eliot was always a semi-autobiographical figure for Snow, but in this book, Snow really seems to be doing little more than putting events of his own recent life and times...
Published on 27 July 2001


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4.0 out of 5 stars THE STRANGERS AND BROTHERS SERIES CONCLUDES, 23 Dec 2013
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CP Snow may not be everyone's cup of tea, but as an eleven-volume series of books covering English bourgeois life across much of the 20th century, even the everyday routine that makes up much of the narrative becomes a compelling reason for reading through to the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely enjoyable and rewarding, 23 May 2012
This review is from: The Sleep of Reason (Strangers and Brothers) (Paperback)
CP Snow occupies a place in the front rank of popular authors and there is very much to enjoy in his Strangers and Brothers novel sequence, of which The Sleep of Reason is the penultimate entry. His prose is wonderfully elegant, if a little formal and with a faintly patrician air, modulated by the narrator`s sensibility as a self-proclaimed `man of the left`; his characters are believable; the storytelling is fluent and involving; and the plots are beautifully constructed. These qualities ensure his books are a satisfying pleasure to read and in all respects The Sleep of Reason, if rather darker than other of his writing, is entirely successful.

Here we are initially in the familiar CP Snow territory of domestic concerns and professional intrigues within the academic and political classes. The extra darkness comes in a literal sense from a medical condition threatening the narrator's sight and more figuratively through the peripheral involvement of an old friend in an appalling crime and the consequent disturbing trial, described at some length in the latter part of the book.

Published in 1968 though set some five years earlier, an incidental pleasure is the author's willingness to address the social and cultural shifts that had taken place in the period "between the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles first LP" and to attempt to reflect them in his plot and characterisation.

The whole Strangers and Brothers cycle is well worth your time, but each entry in the series stands alone and The Sleep of Reason is a superb novel which is, of itself, an immensely enjoyable and rewarding read.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A low point of the "Stranger & Brothers" sequence, 27 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sleep of Reason (Strangers and Brothers) (Paperback)
Although it has its moments, this isn't one of Snow's better books.
It is one of the "Strangers & Brothers" sequence of novels, like the other told in the first person by Lewis Eliot. Eliot was always a semi-autobiographical figure for Snow, but in this book, Snow really seems to be doing little more than putting events of his own recent life and times (e.g.nearly losing his sight and the moors murders) into a fictional form. The result is flabby and unsatisfying.
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