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Black Moon: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Length: 290 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When a deadly insomnia epidemic descends upon the earth, populations become overwhelmingly afflicted, and infrastructures shut down. Gangs of the sleepless roam the streets, confused and disoriented, seeking sleep aids and attacking anyone still capable of nodding off. As the number of zombie-like sufferers increases, mere survival becomes imperative for sleepers and sleepless alike. Chase and Jordan try to secure their future by raiding a drug store for sleeping pills. Lila, still a sleeper, is sent away by her dangerously sleepless parents. Biggs, also a sleeper, feigns sleeplessness to wander the streets looking for his missing, sleepless wife. Felicia goes into hiding with doctors seeking a cure at the university sleep center. As each seeks a means of coping in this apocalyptic world, their paths cross in surprising and unpredictable ways. In his first novel, Calhoun paints an all-too-believable landscape, where dreams are a commodity, and immunity is as dangerous as the disease. His dark tale is allegorical and relevant in today’s zombie-infatuated zeitgeist. This clever twist on the dystopian formula is a standout. --Cortney Ophoff

Review

"Extraordinary... Horribly, terribly compelling" -- Alison Flood Sunday Times "Heartstopping" Guardian "Gripping... Terrifying yet terrific" Metro "Brilliant" Daily Mail "A gripping read... This is a book that will get you thinking - and thanking your lucky stars for a good night's sleep... I loved it" -- Jenny Green Sun

Product Details

  • File Size: 2642 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Hogarth (March 4, 2014)
  • Publication Date: March 4, 2014
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F1W0R3C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,619 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

KENNETH CALHOUN has had stories published in The Paris Review, Tin House, News Stories from the South and the 2011 Pen/O. Henry Prize Collection, among others. He lives in Boston, where he is a graphic design professor at Lasell College.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The first half of this book is what i term a 'totally not a zombie novel' zombie novel. There's some mysterious affliction turning people into something other than themselves, something dangerous. No one knows the cause, people are trying to stop it, the world falls into disrepair as the majority of the population becomes useless (or dead).

But they're not zombies, no. They're still alive, they just can't sleep, and go crazy (yes, people really go crazy if deprived of sleep for long enough). Why they're prone to fits of violent rage when they see someone sleeping is never quite explained.

But then about halfway through, it turns into some sort of badly disguised literary novel, plumbing the characters' past for trauma, showing how it guides their current actions, with the whole not-zombies thing as just another background feature.

The writing was pretty good, but that plotting was odd. At times we follow through the mundanity of characters' lives, their meals and driving directions, while other times we skip weeks of their lives from one sighting to the next.

And in the end, there's no payoff. One character is just abandoned by the author and never heard from again. Another only gets a single throw-away sentence to explain their fate. Maybe it's a literary fiction thing, but there's no tie-up, no conclusion, just an ending.

In all, an interesting premise was twisted into a faux-zombie-novel, then twisted again into an exploration of the human soul, neither of which was a satisfying read.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The premise of Black Moon is brilliant. I was really excited to read this book as it sounded like a fresh apocalyptic novel. People gone crazy due to lack of sleep is a pretty good idea when it comes to a doomed society-something different. The first part of this book did have me excited and talking about the novel. I think the way the author described the ravishing of the world as the cause of unleashing something crazy in the atmosphere that caused a sort of insomniac virus that was turning people against one another. Some people are unaffected by this sickness and pretend to be unable to sleep because the mere act of seeing someone asleep turns them into insane savages.

The beginning of the voyage with our survivors describing their surroundings and thinking about the coming end of society was good. The following of our heroes however, became disjointed and somewhat boring to me. What started off with a bang somewhere mid-through fizzled for me and the book didn't have its earlier fire. I didn't find myself caring about what happened to those who were searching for their families and the story for me, fell apart.

I thought the first half or so was excellent but the deeper the novel went, the more focus it lost and this affected me as a reader.
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Format: Hardcover
As enticed as I was by the concept (and I'm sure many of you feel just as excited by it) I was underwhelmed.

Development of both male and female characters is rail thin (one thinks other women are sluts, another is characterized simply by being compared to another character). There's an alt-ish character (he has gauged ears) an everyman, a fat everyman, some distant parental figures and so on. No one in this book is given much to work with

But a novel like this isn't about the characters, it's about the chaos. There are burst of quality but overall very little plotting and murky world-building. The origin of the sleeplessness is the subject of hypothesis and conspiracy, but none of this lives up to the promise of the concept and like the author's constant use of metaphor, quickly becomes an irritation.

On a personal note, I was once on a sleep med with paradoxical effect, meaning it made it impossible for me to sleep, for two weeks.

I doubt many people have experienced something like that, but given that experience I really felt the author has failed to capture the way in which people unravel under prolonged sleep depravation and more importantly the growing dread of the inevitable consequences: madness, dementia, and finally death.

The book does succeed in having something of a dream like quality but, like a dream, the details are often foggy and difficult to remember. I certainly didn't hate it and may recommend the book to the right person but ultimately I feel very blank about the whole affair.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Waffled between two and three stars here. I see two stars is "I don't like it" which isn't exactly true. "Its okay" is probably more accurate. I would probably have given this 2.5 stars if I could.

So first, I love this type of end of the world fiction which is largely played out. The fact that Black Moon has such a unique and interesting premise really saves this book from being a complete disappointment. It really could have been so much better. The writing is good, the story follows a couple different characters.

Here is my first problem with the book. Have you ever had a really interesting dream but when you try to explain the dream to somebody else you realize your explanation isn't half as interesting as the dream was to you? That's what a lot of this book felt like to me. Rambling prose about dreams and confused dialogue from sleepless, hallucinating people. It felt like the literary equivalent of wanker guitar solos from a jam band.

My second problem was the resolution or lack thereof. There just isn't much payoff to this book. There is a set up, a couple characters travel around a bit, and at the end you off handedly find out that one died and another most likely died but who knows how.

Also I just have to question the way dreams are described in this book. It seems like the world's dreams are all directed by David Lynch. I sometimes have out of place or funny things in my dreams, but the majority of my dreams don't include people with animal heads making grand statements.

I was probably more disappointed by this book than I just didn't enjoy it. Wouldn't recommend it highly to anyone.
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