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Nod Paperback – Abridged, Audiobook, Box set

3.9 out of 5 stars 186 customer reviews

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£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders dispatched by Amazon with at least £10 of books. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Bluemoose Books Ltd (31 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956687695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956687692
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 513,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The apocalypse comes in many forms, but none stranger than that of the chronic sleep deprivation that leads to mass psychosis in Adrian Barnes's audacious novel Nod (Bluemoose, £7.99). Paul is a misanthropic hack writing a non-fiction book about obscure words when the world is afflicted and the majority of citizens begin to hallucinate solipsistic realities that Paul, as a Sleeper and a wordsmith, can influence. Barnes employs this brilliant idea to explore the nature of perception, redemption, and personal and social catastrophe. Outstanding. --The Guardian

About the Author

Adrian Barnes was born in Blackpool, England but grew up in Canada. He teaches English at Selkirk College, British Columbia. He lives in Rossland, near Vancouver, where he lives with his wife, Charlene and two sons, Liam and Ethan


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 still retain the ability to sleep.

Themes include the power of cults, suggestion and what people are capable of doing/being in extreme situations, thereby presenting us with the ugly sides of civilisation.

What I enjoyed most and found interesting is Paul's etymological expertise (which becomes very important to the plot)- the novel is peppered with old-fashioned, out-of-use words.

I wasn't completely satisfied with the book; I think I would have preferred a third-person account with some authorial explanation as to why it happened and what happens next. Although first-person does help to increase the tension, as it was, there were too many mysteries. It is, as far as I am aware, an original concept, but I wasn't quite convinced, maybe because there wasn't enough detail, so I wasn't as scared or disturbed as I think I was meant to be. Ultimately, I didn't care overly much about the character or the book, which certainly wasn't `unputdownable', but that may be just me! :)
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Format: Paperback
I bought this after reading the back cover. Loved the premise of the story, about a acute insomnia epidemic. Sounded like something Philip K Dick would write about. I found the story disappointing, though, in a number of ways. First, society descends into anarchy far too quickly and without any explanation why. After just a few days. I would've liked each chapter to start with the physiology of what happens after each day of no sleep, to really build the tension and set the scene. I would've also liked a detailed analysis of exactly how society was breaking down and why. I found the idea of this crackpot starting some kind of cult based on Paul's book tenuous. The story starts too fast but then I felt the author didn't know what to do with the idea and started rambling. I gave up reading it about two thirds through - what should have been a fascinating tale of societal breakdown had just become boring.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't too impressed while reading this. The concept was absolutely fascinating, but the execution was poor. The whole book read more like a university student's philosophy essay after they'd stayed up too late with some Red Bull and the collected works of John Stuart Mill.

I tried to like this book, but I just couldn't. The writing was pretentious and reeked of self-satisfaction (the multitude of obscure literary references being a particular bugbear, since it was as though the writer wanted to ram down our throats how well-read he was) and the characters were more platforms for the aforementioned ham-fisted philosophy concepts than actual, realised people with voices. Do not recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Imagine a world where most of the population was unable to sleep, and you were one of the few adults who could. This is the story of NOD.

Paul, an etymologist and misanthrope, charts the disintegration of society in Vancouver. He witnesses at close hand his wife deteriorate through a shared mysterious insomniac condition. Some of the descriptions are graphic to the point that made me want to skip over them. But I'm glad I didn't. Through his protagonist Paul, Adrian Barnes shines a harsh light and focuses powerful lens on the subjects of his journal - and doesn't turn away, even though the reader may want to at times.

This book is densely written in a way you would find in many literary novels rather than typical genre. And though at times can seem self-consciously wordy (with a number of obscure words, at least I had to mark a few out for definitions) and overwritten, that's the nature of the protagonist - the first person narrative where the author can be showy. But at its best the writing is superbly insightful, or at least has that verisimilitude. I don't know exactly what would be the effects of sleep deprivation over more than a few days, but the descriptions of paranoia and insanity seem about right. However, it may not satisfy SF fans who are looking for scientific explanations.

In all this is a novel that forces you to pay attention. It may make you uncomfortable but is compelling enough that you'll want to keep reading. If you like your fiction dark and dystopian then this is the book for you.

Though I gave it four stars above, I think 4.5 is more deserving.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were many more things which I liked about Adrian Barnes's "Nod" than there were things that I disliked, and yet several weeks after reading it I find that it is the things I disliked which are most colouring my reactions to the book. Which is a shame, because the things I like, I really liked a lot.

It's a hard book to review, because I think it's good, and original, and it deserves readers, and I hope it will go on and get lots of them, but if I want to do a fair review then I have to mention the things which I found problematic, and this may spoil the experience for people who have not yet tried the book.

In a publishing universe where the end of the world seems to come round with monotonous regularity, Barnes has found an ingenious way of bringing about the collapse of society. Suddenly, without warning or explanation, almost all of humanity discovers that it is no longer able to sleep. In a matter of days, psychosis sets in and all the complex, delicate systems which hold our world together fall apart.

He has also found an interesting narrative voice to describe what is happening. His narrator, Paul, is cool, detached, distrustful, even before the world begins to go to hell. He is a man who has always mistrusted what lies beneath the surface, has always expected collapse, the onset of chaos. Paul's description of how the end of the world is felt in one small corner of one Canadian city, is all the more effective for its elegance and control, the way that the horror and pity and terror of the ending of everything is obliquely hinted at rather than being splurged all over the page. This voice, on its own, is enough to justify you spending a couple of hours with this book.
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