The House of Sleep – Jonathan Coe

I have had trouble sleeping for the better part of my life. So a sun-bleached copy of a book about people with sleeping issues, of course, caught my eye during a trip to a re-use centre.

And it turned out to be a good catch. From the slightly confusing beginning of the book, I was hooked. The characters needed very little description to become real to me. Their outward simple life with a lot of hidden quirks and quiet troubles made especially Sarah very relatable. Mainly of course because of her grey hair in the later timeline 😉

I am generally not a fan of mysteries, but the “I did not expect that” moments were really well-timed and not too overdone.

My sun-bleached copy. Published by Penguin in 1998.

So, this random find has turned into one of my all-time favourite reads, and now that I have a shop, of course, I have to share it. Because of that, The House of Sleep is one of the first new (as in not second-hand) books available in our shop. And the one to start the Favourites section of the store. I do hope someone else finds as much joy from this book, as I did. 🙂

“Your gravity, your grace have turned a tide
In me, no lunar power can reverse;
But in your narcoleptic eyes I spied
A sightlessness tonight: or something worse,
A disregard that made me feel unmanned.
Meanwhile, insomniac, I catch my breath
To think I saw my future traced in sand
One afternoon “as still, as carved, as death,”
And pray for an oblivion so deep
It ends in transformation. Only dawn
Can save me, flood this haunted house of sleep
With light, and drown the thoughts that nightly warn:
Another lifetime is the least you’ll need, to trace
The guarded secrets of her gravity, her grace.”

The House of Sleep

Aso, I am very much waiting for the time this book will be made into a movie. The way it was written and edited just brought the changes in timelines and scenes very much to life in my mind.