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Sleep Donation: A Novella (Kindle Single) by [Karen Russell]
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Sleep Donation: A Novella (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 395 ratings

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Length: 110 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews Review

If Karen Russell isn't careful, she might end up pegged as an SF writer. From the fabulist worlds of her debut, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, to the whimsical realities of many stories in 2013's Vampires in the Lemon Grove, much of Russell's fiction feels utterly at home in the annals of 21st-century science fiction and fantasy. Enter Sleep Donation, which takes as its premise the existence of an America where an epidemic of insomnia rages, kept at bay only by the success of a sleep-bank system in which the happily rested donate their sleep to the ailing. Enter the cast: our narrator/heroine whose sister's death by sleep deprivation powers her own sales pitch to potential donors; a miraculous donor ("Baby A") whose pure sleep provides the mother lode of antidotes; and a "Donor Y" whose contaminated sleep infects multitudes before it's even detected. Finally, enter a less surprising knot of plot twists powered by typical human self-interest (corruption, the profit motive), and the resulting novella depicts a nightmarish world that, but for the simple addition of its central epidemiology, looks an awful lot like our own. Suspend your disbelief -- it's a small price to pay for admission to the allegorical world of one of the strongest and most evocative American fiction writers at work today. --Jason Kirk

From Kirkus Reviews

"One of America’s finest fiction writers returns with an audaciously allegorical novella about sleep deprivation in an age of sensory overload... Russell seems to be having some fun here, using the novella form and e-book format to put creative ingenuity to Orwellian use. The year is sometime in the near future, when the omnipresence of communication and connecting devices, the 24-hour news cycle and other sources of overstimulation have turned insomnia into an epidemic, even a plague. Sleep donors (like blood or plasma donors) can be a godsend for those suffering, particularly if those donors sleep undisturbed, without nightmares, like a baby. In this novella, Baby A is the ultimate donor, the silver bullet, the one whose sleep has universal benefits. (Other donors need to be more closely matched, as with blood types.) Our narrator, Trish, has recruited Baby A through the child’s parents and effectively sells the donor program to them by invoking the death of her own sister due to sleep deprivation. But the demands on Baby A eventually frustrate her father—a more reluctant participant than his wife—and he feels more concerned with what Baby A might suffer than with the benefits for society at large... As the plot progresses, Trish feels that both she and Baby A have perhaps been equally exploited. Those who appreciate Russell’s literary alchemy might find this a little too close to science fiction, but it serves as a parable on a number of levels for a world that is recognizably our own.” (Kirkus starred review)

Product details

  • Publisher : Atavist Books (March 25, 2014)
  • Publication date : March 25, 2014
  • Language: : English
  • File size : 909 KB
  • Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 110 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.7 out of 5 stars 395 ratings

Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5
395 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2020
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Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of a couple of hours
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2020
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Andrew G. Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Edible Prose
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2016
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting until it stopped being so
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2016
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky short story.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 28, 2016
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I love my books
3.0 out of 5 stars 2.5 stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2014
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