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The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To…

The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To

by DC Pierson

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You might remember this story from the famous "Yahoo! Answers" response to someone who asked for a summary, wanting to skip the summer reading. Then D.C. Pierson himself responded, saying how disappointed he was trying to avoid it because it sounded like work, when the book is much better than other classics that could pop up on such a list. (Charlie Brown got assigned "War and Peace", and that was just for Christmas vacation!)

But the book is everything Pierson said it was. The thing is it's really rather... how do I put this... The title promises science-fiction, but it's really more literary. It only gets into supernatural stuff in the last sixth, and it has nothing to do with what takes place before. The bulk is more about two geeky friends in a typical "enjoying their comic books video games when everyone rags on that and wants them to like football". A wild girlfriend appears! to put them back on the mainstream track and drama ensues. It's a branch off the "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" tree. But I do recommend it. ( )
  theWallflower | Apr 8, 2014 |
This book is... quirky. It's mainly a story about an adolescent friendship, with all of the things that go along with that when you're in high school: cliques, girls, parties (or the lack invitations to them), parents, trying all the stuff your parents don't want you to know about. It would be a pretty standard YA story except for the fact that one of the characters never sleeps. Has never slept, will never sleep. That's odd enough, and would make for an interesting character study, but then we get the addition of some wacky fantasy-like elements.

I walked away from this book completely stumped as to whether or not the last third of the story was really meant to have happened, or if we're dealing with an unreliable narrator, psychosis, or the influence of drugs/alcohol/extremely little sleep combined with stimulants. I'm still not sure, and rather than feeling like the ambiguity is on purpose I'm left feeling like the story is a tiny bit confused. Most of it seemed very realistic in nature, but what was not realistic was really effing not realistic. And it didn't make me think "hmm, I wonder why the author made this decision. What was he trying to say?" Instead, I felt like it was a situation where, much like the two teenage boy protagonists, the decisions were made because they were cool and fun. Is that the point? To put you in the mind of a teenage boy more fully? I've never been one, so it's hard to be sure.

This is a fast read with some interesting characters, but the muddled story kept me from truly loving it. ( )
  librarymeg | Jul 5, 2013 |
Way too wild and fun. The story didn't keep drawing me back quickly from other books for at least the first half of the book, although there were a lot of things I liked about the way it was written, and the characters. However, I was sure, through most of the lengthy development that it was going to take off at some point. I could just see it happening. It did, and I finished the rest from that point in the same evening. Another very good and unique story.

I'm shelving this as YA even though the reference I use for that doesn't list it that way, probably because of the presence of the sex scene witnessed by the narrator. That and the other references to the subject were perfectly fitting for the story and I've seen the same in other novels listed as YA. Not so sure about how fitting it is for, perhaps under 16 or so. ( )
  Yona | May 2, 2013 |
I absolutely loved the idea of this book. I found the execution of it somewhat dull. In the end, I skipped around a bit to get a feel for the good parts. I love that the book is designed around two boys relationship, but I just couldn't get myself to like it. ( )
  Ccfoley | Apr 30, 2013 |
This is probably one of the most fascinating stories I've ever read. While I've wondered what it might be like to never be tired or have to sleep, I've never put as much thought into it as DC Pierson. I've never wondered about what would happen if we couldn't dream or how much our imaginations need to escape and dream up all our crazy thoughts when we're unconscious. Pierson creates a wonderful story with very real, young, fleshed out characters. Darren's reactions to his friend Eric's unbelievable "thing" are genuine and he expresses emotions and thoughts that many people feel...we want anything to be possible. The conspiracy theorist in me also wonders how many Erics are real and where they are today...hiding out in caves in the desert or being poked and prodded in some underground government facility near Area 51? If you're looking for a really amazing story about science fiction turned fact (at least in the world of Darren Bennett), this is the book for you. And the best thing about this book is that there aren't pages of unnecessary information, because practically every move that Darren and Eric make serves a purpose. Enjoy! ( )
  russell.alynn | Apr 16, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307474615, Paperback)

A wildly original and hilarious debut novel about the typical high school experience: the homework, the awkwardness, and the mutant creatures from another galaxy.
When Darren Bennett meets Eric Lederer, there's an instant connection. They share a love of drawing, the bottom rung on the cruel high school social ladder and a pathological fear of girls.  Then Eric reveals a secret: He doesn’t sleep. Ever.  When word leaks out about Eric's condition, he and Darren find themselves on the run. Is it the government trying to tap into Eric’s mind, or something far darker?  It could be that not sleeping is only part of what Eric's capable of, and the truth is both better and worse than they could ever imagine.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:05 -0400)

Fifteen-year-old Darren, a social misfit who spends his time at school trying not to be noticed while drawing characters for a planned film series and book tie-ins, befriends Eric, another outcast who reveals that he never sleeps.

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