Nothing, A Portrait of Insomnia
Oct 29, 2011
A Portrait of Insomnia
Author: Blake Butler
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (October 11, 2011)
(Author of the very original "There is No Year")
What the Publisher Says:
One of the most acclaimed young voices of his generation, Blake Butler now offers his first work of nonfiction: a deeply candid and wildly original look at the phenomenon of insomnia.
Invoking scientific data, historical anecdote, Internet obsession, and figures as diverse as Andy Warhol, Gilles Deleuze, John Cage, Anton LaVey, Jorge Luis Borges, Brian Eno, and Stephen King, Butler traces the tension between sleeping and conscious life. And he reaches deep into his own experience—from disturbing waking dreams, to his father’s struggles with dementia, to his own epic 129-hour bout of insomnia—to reveal the effect of sleeplessness on his imaginative landscape.
The result is an exhilarating exploration of dream and awareness, desperation and relief, consciousness and conscience—a fascinating maze-map of the borders between sleep and the waking world by one of today’s most talked-about writers.
What Idgie Says:
Blake came out with a very interesting - and what I could call Abstract - book a short while ago. While this newest non-fiction tome is a completely different animal, you can definitely recognize the pattern of writing and identify the book as belonging to Blake immediately. That being said, if you like his style of writing, you'll probably like this book.
It is a non-fiction chronicling his struggle with insomnia, but told in a story-telling style to make for a more interesting read. After reading how much of an issue his insomnia is, and how it affected his life so dramatically, I can now understand his writing style so much more than I did before.
This is an interesting journal of his own path to help, but it also shares hard facts and anecdotes on famous insomnia sufferers, making it more than a straight memoir of someone's crisis in life.
I will say, while I often suffer from lack of sleep - it's nothing compared to what he's dealing with.