The House of Sleep
By Jonathan Coe
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375700880, 352pp.)
Publication Date: April 27, 1999
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Winner of the Writers' Guild Best Fiction Award in England and the Prix Médicis in France
Like a surreal and highly caffeinated version of The Big Chill, Jonathan Coe's new novel follows four students who knew each other in college in the eighties. Sarah is a narcoleptic who has dreams so vivid she mistakes them for real events. Robert has his life changed forever by the misunderstandings that arise from her condition. Terry spends his wakeful nights fueling his obsession with movies. And an increasingly unstable doctor, Gregory, sees sleep as a life-shortening disease which he must eradicate.
But after ten years of fretful slumber and dreams gone bad, the four reunite in their college town to confront their disorders. In a Gothic cliffside manor being used as a clinic for sleep disorders, they discover that neither love, nor lunacy, nor obsession ever rests.
Born in 1961, Jonathan Coe took degrees from Cambridge and Warwick universities. He lives in London.
"Intricately plotted and ingeniously constructed. . . . A deft satire . . . a strange and poignant love story." --The Wall Street Journal
"Often disconcerting, sometimes moving, frequently funny. . . . Coe eviscerates the bottom-liners with hilarious bare-toothed ferocity." --The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Jonathan Coe has written a witty, engaging romance that reinvigorates the old saw that life is a dream." --The New York Times Book Review
"An epic farce fueled by romance and satire. . . . It is also a hilarious and deeply touching tale. . . .Love, tenderness, affection: The House of Sleep glows with these qualities, and exalts them." --San Francisco Chronicle