Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Book Review

The Little Sleep by Paul Tremblay

A narcoleptic PI from the mean streets of South Boston, written in the noir style of Chandler and Hammett. Intrigued?

Mark Genevich used to be a regular guy, running a small business with occasional trips to Foxwoods casino, until a serious accident left him scarred and narcoleptic. And not just run of the mill narcolepsy. He also has bouts of cataplexy, that leave him awake but unable to move or talk, and hallucinations.

He’s not sure who hired him, what they hired him to do and what photo’s of a current contestant on American Star (think Idol), who’s the daughter of the local DA, have to do with the case. Ellen, his ever patient mother and landlord, does what she can to help him but he’s out to prove that he can actually tackle this puzzle himself. When he realizes that the root of the problem is much closer to home than he could have imagined, he presents himself with challenges he would never have attempted before his mysterious client dropped this ugly dilemma into his lap.

Mark is dark and funny, using references to current events and pop culture to describe his world and attitude. That he continues to want to depend on his own limited abilities to make his way through life is admirable. Ellen makes herself available but doesn’t push and never makes too fine a point about his condition. After 8 years, she takes his sleeping spells and more serious cataplexy attacks in stride, never embarrassing him or assisting too openly. But the mom in her does complain about the cigarette burns on her couch and worries about the way he eats.

I was happy to find out that Paul Tremblay’s publisher’s coaxed him to write another novel about Mark that I immediately put on hold at the library, called No Sleep Till Wonderland. I can’t wait to go on another dark, sarcastic, whiskey-soaked adventure with Mark Genevich.

Places to find Paul Tremblay:

Do What You Love!

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