Officially speaking, I’m a novelist. But I’m really in the sleep disruption business. While it is gratifying when a reader or reviewer provides thoughtful analysis of my books’ themes or ideas or techniques, I always remind myself that the true test of the reading experience (or at least the true test for my reading) is excitement. Does the book in your hand race the heart, get under the skin? And notice the physical aspect that invariably arises when it comes to page-turning metaphors? It’s because a good book (thrilling or quiet, high-brow literary or neanderthal pulp) has to work on the body.
I have had the honour of readers reporting to me lost (or partly lost) nights of sleep at the hands of my books. Nothing delights me more than to hear of lights left on through the night, or altered dreams as a character wriggles into a reader’s slumber-thoughts.
So as The Guardians toddles (creeps?) out into the world, I’d love to know if anyone out there stays up late to finish one of its chapters…then stays up a bit later still to push the events of that chapter out of their head. Tell me if I’ve passed the sleep disruption test.
2 Replies to “The Sleep Disruption Test”
Heard you on Writers and Co. Was really taken with the discussion on brotherly bonds that grow out of childhood. I just turned 40 and still have my old group of friends that I have over 30 years of stories with from growing up in Oakville. The stories get recounted every time we meet for a pint. That’s Incredible, Natalie from Facts of Life, ‘hotboxing’ the car….loved the old school references. But most of all I loved the book. And yes, I had that page turning excitement where you do that thing – the page newly flipped, my eyes scatter-scanning ahead while shitting my pants…
I had to finish the end in the daytime.
Thanks, Paul. Sounds like we could have gone to high school together. Or at least went to high school at the same time…!