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Black Moon: A Novel
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Random House Publishing Group 2014
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Description
For fans of The Age of Miracles and The Dog Stars, Black Moon is a hallucinatory and stunning debut that Charles Yu calls “Gripping and expertly constructed.”

Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows.  Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world.  Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.

He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness.  Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend.  All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.

Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/04/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780804137157
ASIN:
B00F1W0R3C
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Kenneth Calhoun. (2014). Black Moon: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Kenneth Calhoun. 2014. Black Moon: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Kenneth Calhoun, Black Moon: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Kenneth Calhoun. Black Moon: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: KENNETH CALHOUN has had stories published in The Paris Review, Tin House, and the 2011 Pen/O. Henry Prize Collection, among others. He lives in Boston, where he is a graphic design professor at Lasell College. Black Moon is his first novel.
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title
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fullDescription
For fans of The Age of Miracles and The Dog Stars, Black Moon is a hallucinatory and stunning debut that Charles Yu calls “Gripping and expertly constructed.”

Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows.  Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world.  Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.

He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness.  Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend.  All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.

Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "Surprising and unpredictable. . . . In his first novel, Calhoun paints an all-too-believable landscape. . . . His dark tale is allegorical and relevant in today's zombie-infatuated zeitgeist. This clever twist on the dystopian formula is a standout."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus
      • content: "Surreal. . . . Calhoun's premise is brilliant."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from January 13, 2014
        Even amid a glut of apocalyptic novels that imagine everything from nuclear meltdown to zombies, Calhoun’s debut presents one of the most terrifying disaster scenarios of all time, perhaps because it’s somehow plausible: a worldwide insomnia epidemic turns people into the real living dead, making them prone to hallucinations and fits of anger. In the wreckage of America, where life and dreams are indistinguishable, several characters struggle to find each other while battling insanity and the encroaching nightmare. A onetime ad exec named Biggs, one of the last people still capable of sleep, searches for his wife Carolyn in the pandemonium. Another sleeper, Lila Ferrell, is among the first to see the epidemic coming thanks to her therapist father’s research; after her parents succumb to wakeful fever and threaten her life, she takes to the streets wearing an owl mask. Eventually, she meets Felicia, a lab assistant at a sleep research center determined to reverse the epidemic. Finally, there’s Felicia’s scofflaw lover, Chase, who attempts to take advantage of the situation by stockpiling sleeping pills, only to wind up embroiled in a surreal adventure involving a truck of stolen sheep. The characters and their intersecting narratives are largely a showcase for the author’s almost unspeakably dark vision of a restless world. Calhoun’s depiction of the collapse of language, reason, and love in a world without sleep is unflinching, and—scariest of all—it feels brilliantly contemporary. Agent: Claudia Ballard, WME Entertainment.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2014
        A novel about insomnia and dreams, and thus, almost by definition, it's surreal. Calhoun's premise is brilliant, and he follows it to its logical (and psychological) conclusion. What if, gradually, everyone lost the ability to sleep? What would the world look like? How would contemporary culture shift on its axis? In this narrative, we follow a series of characters drastically affected by this shift, most of them pathological insomniacs, though a few retain their ability to sleep and thus become pariahs to the multitudes of the sleepless. At the center of the novel are Biggs (a "sleeper") and his wife, Carolyn, who's given over to the telltale signs of insomnia, including physical symptoms like red-rimmed eyes and psychological symptoms resembling dementia. Over time, Biggs has watched her gradual deterioration, and part of the novel involves Biggs' quest to find her after she goes missing and to share with her an elaborate dream he's had, one Carolyn eventually tries to re-create and film. Another symptom of cultural and personal breakdown can be seen in college students Chase and Jordan. Since prescription sleep aids become extraordinarily valuable in a world populated by insomniacs, Chase and Jordan develop a scheme to rip off the pharmaceutical industry by stealing pills from the containers in which sleep medicines are kept. Chase's ex-girlfriend Felicia works as a lab assistant at a Sleep Research Center, where doctors are desperately trying to find a cure--and where their research sometimes has lethal consequences. Another narrative thread involves high school student Lila, who, like Biggs, has retained her ability to sleep, but she finds she must leave her parents, whose insomnia is leading them toward madness. Calhoun writes beautifully, though the novel is occasionally slow-moving--and thus, ironically, becomes a cure for insomnia.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 1, 2014
        When a deadly insomnia epidemic descends upon the earth, populations become overwhelmingly afflicted, and infrastructures shut down. Gangs of the sleepless roam the streets, confused and disoriented, seeking sleep aids and attacking anyone still capable of nodding off. As the number of zombie-like sufferers increases, mere survival becomes imperative for sleepers and sleepless alike. Chase and Jordan try to secure their future by raiding a drug store for sleeping pills. Lila, still a sleeper, is sent away by her dangerously sleepless parents. Biggs, also a sleeper, feigns sleeplessness to wander the streets looking for his missing, sleepless wife. Felicia goes into hiding with doctors seeking a cure at the university sleep center. As each seeks a means of coping in this apocalyptic world, their paths cross in surprising and unpredictable ways. In his first novel, Calhoun paints an all-too-believable landscape, where dreams are a commodity, and immunity is as dangerous as the disease. His dark tale is allegorical and relevant in today's zombie-infatuated zeitgeist. This clever twist on the dystopian formula is a standout.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 15, 2013

        In Calhoun's awful new world, folks have lost the ability to sleep--a scary conceit with which today's overworked masses can truly identify. Matt Briggs is among the few who can still enjoy some shut-eye, but his wife has lost her mind from sleeplessness and vanished. Briggs goes after her, encountering as much craziness as one might expect after the dropping of a bomb. What recommends this first novel especially is Calhoun's track record, which includes publication in the Paris Review, Tin House, and the 2011 Pen/O. Henry Prize Collection.

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2014

        In the midst of an epidemic of terminal insomnia of unknown origin, sufferers become confused and incoherent, turning on the few remaining noninsomniacs with murderous blind fury, even when catching their own loved ones in the act of sleeping. Debut novelist Calhoun, whose work has appeared in the Paris Review, Tin House, and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2011, follows several characters through multiple story threads as they try to survive in this brave new world. Biggs is on a quest to find his wide-awake wife, who disappeared from their apartment, and in the process of seeking out her childhood home discovers uncomfortable truths about their relationship. Felicia is barricaded inside the sleep lab where she works as alert scientists rush to find a cure before they lose their wits; meanwhile, her besotted ex-boyfriend Chase falls in with an old friend who has been stealing and stockpiling sleeping pills from a local pharmacy since before the widespread disease took hold. VERDICT Calhoun's literary dystopia, which features beautiful writing, arresting imagery, and powerful metaphors, will appeal to fans of Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles. It is not sf as much as a deeply lyrical exploration of humanity at the extremes. [See Prepub Alert, 9/23/13.]--Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2014

        In the midst of an epidemic of terminal insomnia of unknown origin, sufferers become confused and incoherent, turning on the few remaining noninsomniacs with murderous blind fury, even when catching their own loved ones in the act of sleeping. Debut novelist Calhoun, whose work has appeared in the Paris Review, Tin House, and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2011, follows several characters through multiple story threads as they try to survive in this brave new world. Biggs is on a quest to find his wide-awake wife, who disappeared from their apartment, and in the process of seeking out her childhood home discovers uncomfortable truths about their relationship. Felicia is barricaded inside the sleep lab where she works as alert scientists rush to find a cure before they lose their wits; meanwhile, her besotted ex-boyfriend Chase falls in with an old friend who has been stealing and stockpiling sleeping pills from a local pharmacy since before the widespread disease took hold. VERDICT Calhoun's literary dystopia, which features beautiful writing, arresting imagery, and powerful metaphors, will appeal to fans of Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles. It is not sf as much as a deeply lyrical exploration of humanity at the extremes. [See Prepub Alert, 9/23/13.]--Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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For fans of The Age of Miracles and The Dog Stars, Black Moon is a hallucinatory and stunning debut that Charles Yu calls “Gripping and expertly constructed.”

Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows.  Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world.  Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.

He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness.  Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend.  All...
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