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Beyond Sleep Paperback – 1 Jun 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Press; Reprint edition (1 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585679887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585679881
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.3 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,081,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A masterpiece of world literature" (Die Welt)

"A Kafka and Céline-inspired novel, which mixes...the black Romanticism of the 19th-century and the cold, laconic thriller art of the 20th-century" (Frankfurter Allgemeine)

"Hermans is one of the most important European authors of the second half of the twentieth century" (Cees Nooteboom) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

A gripping tale of a man approaching breaking point set beyond the end of the civilised world: a modern classic of European literature. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A Wall Street Journal review of Hermans' "Beyond Sleep" by Willem Otterspeer, a Dutch professor, piqued my interest. Herman's name was new to me, but the review was enthusiastic and intriguing enough to prompt a purchase. It is a remarkable and gripping first-person narrative, sustained in the present tense through the many shades of voice that circumstances draw from the protagonist. Reviews may lead readers to expect rollicking humor, but that is not the case. Hermans' humor is too subtle and indirect for that. The send-up of academic jealousy and rivalry is quite amusing. A scene late in the book where the protagonist is oblivious to striking, real-time evidence in support of his quest to prove his theory about meteorites is sly. As there is no omniscient third-party narrator to point things out for the reader, all you have is the character's voice and thoughts as reference points in the nearly featureless white nights of Norway's far-North. Not often will solitude, hunger, dampness, insomnia, delirium, and mosquitoes be the stuff of cosmic humor. Being inside the narrator's head and seeing only what he sees can be rather disorienting, for you cannot be sure that his perceptions (your only reference point) are true or delusional. A really good book, and funny despite that seeming gloom--good enough to spur my immediate purchase of "Darkroom of Damocles". I'm told that Hermans' essays are many, varied, and fine. Perhaps Milan Kundera's interest in Hermans will prompt some publisher to sponsor an English translation of a selection of these.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Dutch fiction isn't exactly widely spread around the world, but there are some gems. Willem Frederik Hermans is considered one of the "Grand Three" Dutch novellists, with Harry Mulisch (The assault, The discovery of heaven) and Gerard Reve. He died in 1995 and only now, 40 years after it's initial release in the Netherlands, his masterpiece has been translated into English. I read it every 5 years or so and it reveals new aspects everytime I read it.
What makes this novel (and his other recently translated "The dark room of Damocles" (1958)) so good is the fact that the story has three layers: first of all it's an adventure and thus a page-turner. Secondly, it's a psychological novel, in which the main character is given a lot of depth. Last but not least: Hermans is an uncomprimising critic of modern society.
Since English is not my native language, it is hard for me to find the right words to describe the virtues of his writing, but I really think that you should give it a try. I hardly read anything but English/American literature but Hermans is one of the few Dutch writers that really do matter to me.
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Format: Hardcover
This book, originally published in dutch under the title "nooit meer slapen" is THE masterpiece of dutch litterature; an absolute must. I read this book about ten times in dutch and in german where it appeared under the title of "nie mehr schlafen" at Kiepenheuer Verlag.

Hermans, considered one of the "Three Great" with Mulish and Reve, died in 1995. His view throughout his whole oeuvre was that in practice, people are born to annoy other people... which -actuality shows- is not so far from reality. However, in this book particulary, the description of his recurrent theme are not only extremely sharp but also very funny... Although a feared polemist, Hermans never let aside humour. If there is one book you should read of him, then go without fear for this masterpiece. Generally spoken, his best book is supposed to be "The Dark Room Of Damocles", which is to be reedited somewhere in 2007. To my opinion that's his second best book.
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Format: Hardcover
When you write your thesis or dissertation, or when you are doing research - read this book. Everything goes wrong. Alfred doesn't believe in his reseach, he doesn't believe in himself. This failure makes Great Literature. Nobel Prize worthy!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really excellent service and the book is fantastic.Many thanks
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