Get a free audiobook

Sleep Over

An Oral History of the Apocalypse
Written by: H. G. Bells
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

For fans of the oral history genre phenomenon World War Z, a worldwide plague of insomnia creates a devastating new apocalypse.

Remember what it's like to last an entire night without sleep? That dull but constant headache. The feeling of your brain on edge. How easily irritated you were. How difficult it was to concentrate, even on seemingly menial tasks. It was just a single restless night, but everything felt just a little bit harder to do, and the only real comfort was knowing your head would finally hit the pillow at the end of the day, and when you awoke the next morning everything would return to normal.

But what if sleep didn't come the next night? Or the night after? What might happen if you, your friends and family, your coworkers, the strangers you pass on the street, all slowly began to realize that rest might not ever come again?

How slowly might the world fall apart? How long would it take for a society without sleep to descend into chaos?

Sleep Over is collection of waking nightmares, a scrapbook of the haunting and poignant stories from those trapped in a world where the pillars of society are crumbling, and madness is slowly descending on a planet without rest.

Online vigilantism turns social media into a deadly gamble.

A freelance journalist grapples with the ethics of turning in footage of mass suicide.

A kidnapped hypnotist is held hostage by those at wit's end for a cure.

In Sleep Over, these stories are just the beginning. Before the Longest Day, the world record was eleven days without sleep. It turns out most of us can go much longer.

Full cast of narrators includes Neil Shah, Susan Ericksen, Prentice Onayemi, Andrea Emmes, and Braden Wright.

©2017 H. G. Bells (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

It's alright.

While it may be an end of the world story it should not be compared so closely to World War Z in my opinion.

WWZ is a powerhouse in the genre. Sleep over is alright on it's own merit but does not approach WWZ.

Often times it is hard to follow what is happening and when. Mixing semi science and unreliable narrator's (due to sleep deprivation) gets murky. I also had issue with the lack of solid time frame for the event in question. After completing the story I still don't know if it was weeks or months. If months it is hard to believe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Starts out interesting but..

Starts out interesting, but I was ready to sleep too by the end. It only affected people? That doesn't ring true, I mean we are 98% the same DNA as chimpanzees. If only us and octopuses were affected that would be quite intriguing; they have a short life span, great problem solving capacity, solitary lifestyle and unusual brain circuitry. No cause was suggested, effect was instantaneous all over the world, and poof, it just ended. A good effort at a tale, but not great. Even the suggestion of some kind of prolonged cosmic storm would have made the story more satisfying. I'd have settled for a ferret in the LHC (my preferred explanation for the current POTUS).

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book needs to be "read" by everyone. Very goo

Narrator was amazing. The book was one of the greatest books I have read!! Good

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A really neat idea!

I really enjoyed the premise of this book - we all know what it's like to have a sleepless night and how much it affects us throughout the next day. But what if you couldn't sleep no matter how hard you tried even if you were dead tired?

Some of the accounts were great with excellent narration, but others were tough to get into and a couple narrators had an irritating voice and/or pace of delivery.

Overall, a good listen. #Audible1

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting Concept, Failure to deliver

Poorly-researched, derivative and a thoroughly unsatisfied ending. This book didn't really deliver on anything and ends up feeling like a series of loosely-connected short stories; none of which feel authentic. Each story is billed as part of a collection of Oral History, but ends up feeling very inconsistent in tone and structure. The book explores some interesting concepts, but the execution feels flimsy and hackneyed; and not in a way that feels even intentionally mysterious. I wouldn't recommend this book to anybody. Borrow it from your local library if you feel compelled to give it a shot.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling, evocative, and thoughtful

I really enjoyed this book. It was heart wrenching and uplifting in its examination of how we face uncertainty, fear, and impending doom.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Keith
  • 2019-06-06

Great Premise, Poor Book

Spoiler free review:
Sleep Over boasts a great premise but the story, a series of vignettes told through various characters, never moves forward or reaches any conclusion. Themes are all over the place and the book can’t decide what to focus on. The experiences of the characters essentially amount to series of repetitive suspense scenes with no importance because we quickly learn that the author is less interested on building on previous chapters and advancing plot than simply rehashing information stated in the previous character interview.

The characters all have the same snarky, hip, internet savvy, late 20’s/early 30’s voice despite the fact that they all come from different cultures. There’s only so much you can hear a character rave about video games or TV shows or internet forums before you realize that it’s the author talking and not the characters. Also, the characters’ dialogue sounds nothing like dialogue. It’s too melodramatic, too introspective.

This is not to say that the book is not entertaining. Most of it is, even if mildly. Had the book’s second half built on the first and proposed answers and some type of conclusion, I could possibly recommend it. There are two very good chapters towards the early middle of the book, one focusing on a cab driver that decides to capitalize on the tragedy, and another about a night club owner that decides to... capitalize on the tragedy. Had the book used these two chapters to build an entire novel around, I think the result could be something unique and great. Another bright spot are the brief snippets between chapters. Some of these are just quotes from newspapers or graffiti, but they do a fantastic job of world building and were more interesting than the majority of the chapters. More of these would have been a great addition.

Instead, we are treated to a depressing, slow, repetitive novel that leads to a shockingly bad ending.

As for the performances, some were better than others, and some did as much as they could given the dialogue, which was wildly melodramatic at times and seldom felt like actual dialogue.





Full Review (Spoiler warning):
The book held my interest for the majority of its run time. It wasn’t until the end that the entire story fell apart. There were times at the end that I sat at my desk, my jaw hanging open, shocked at what I was hearing. The book goes from being a self serious tale of death and suffering, to a 1980’s-esque adventure romp where it’s up to teenage gamers to save the world. If this sounds silly to you, it’s even sillier in context and pushes the book in an almost so-bad-it’s-good direction. Following the Gamers-Save-the-World, chapter we get a heavy dose of preaching. I agree with some of the political views presented, but they feel wildly out of place in this novel, a clear sign that this chapter, which sounded as if it had been lifted from the author’s unused writings, should have been edited out. The focus of the book was already erratic at best.

After reading American Psycho, Stephen King described the book as “A bad book written by a good writer.” I think that’s the case here. The two good chapters, the one about the cab driver selling snake oil and the club owner gassing people, are the ingredients of a terrific horror novel with a focus on both the apocalypse and moral corruption.Those chapters said something about the people involved. They had a quality where, though we detested the characters actions, it was hard to fully blame them. Conversely, a chapter about college students having an “epic adventure” and descriptions of the shows they binge watch to pass the time is not in the least bit interesting, especially as a way to close the novel.

Worst of all, the ending is a cop-out. Instead of coming to some sort of resolution, or at the very least, having the characters discuss reasons that everyone was able to suddenly fall asleep, the book simply glosses over this fact. I can’t help but imagine the author struggling to come up with an ending and simply abandoning the story, deciding to just leave any explanation up in the air and reaching for a pile of unpublished stories to fill in the last three chapters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joshua
  • 2018-09-19

Great Story

This is a wonderful addition to the Apocalypse oral history genre. I enjoyed the different perspectives from people of all walks of life. The only thing I wished was that we got more character interaction. Each sub-story is a one off so you don't get attached be to any characters, but it is still very well written. A slight addition of more post sleep over rebuilding would have been nice. (Hoping for a sequel!) Overall a fantastic book that I will keep with me for a long time. Oh, and sleep well tonight

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 2019-04-24

Holy Moly! The truth is ‘out there’!

What a fantastically enjoyable and also enlightening book! I totally recommend it if you you are a fan of smart humour and know anything about sleep...or the lack of it!
Thank you H. G. Bells!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jeffrey veals
  • 2018-01-30

DNF!

Just a warning, I DID NOT FINISH THIS BOOK. However, I did get pretty far (about 1/3) and so I think I can make a pretty good guess on how this book will turn out. I'm bored. I do like the idea of the "Oral History..." like World War Z and my personal favorite oral history, Fantasticland, by Mike Bockoven (About the aftermath of a hurricane and the skeleton crew left inside an amusement park).

I do love the concept of this book: lack of sleep kills. It's not a tired idea, but it is something that we don't think about that is part of our daily life. So, while I won't say it's something new or revolutionary, I will say it's definitely got its uniqueness about it. The voice acting was great and I will say that SOME of the stories were very interesting, but, for the most part, the execution was horrendous. There is a teeny, tiny, minute chance that I will finish this book, but it's highly unlikely. I'm just too bored.

So, based on the storyline, this book gets a D- from me, but that's only because I don't feel right about giving it an F without finishing the entire thing. Voice acting/ narration was a B+. So, get this book if you think you can put up with some super boring stories peppered in with some really interesting ones.

**Only read the following if you want to read my rant about people thinking Arizonans are hicks:

As an added note, let me say something that has NOTHING to do with the book or the narration (for the most part). You can see that I gave the narration a very good score. There was one man in particular who was supposed to be from Phoenix, Arizona. It was a very short part and didn't affect too much. I just HAVE to say this: ARIZONA IS NOT TEXAS, ARKANSAS, or any other state from Texas going east. This guy put on the biggest East Texas (I've lived there, so I know what it sounds like), or Arkansas accent I've ever heard. Yes, in Phoenix, there are some people who have a bit of an accent. Usually they're implants from other states, but there are areas in very small towns that have, what you may call a hick accent. If you live in Phoenix, though, you WILL NOT have an accent. I'm sick of people thinking it's the wild west over here. Did you know we, in Phoenix, fight yearly with PHILADELPHIA to be the fifth and sixth largest city in the United States? We aren't some crazy hick state! We just have small hick areas, but we are not in the South (as in Georgia, South Carolina, etc. or wild west. Think of Arizona like a mixture of California (obviously with no beaches), Colorado, and maybe Utah, with a little bit of New Mexico mixed in there to account for the high Hispanic population. None of those states are hick states, are they?

2 of 6 people found this review helpful