Excerpt from The Sleeping Father by Matthew Sharpe, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Sleeping Father

By Matthew Sharpe

The Sleeping Father
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback: Oct 2003,
    290 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Chris really couldn't get past the whole pact aspect of the suicide pact. How did that work? Was it like, "Mark honey, want to go see that new movie about Picasso tonight?" "How about let's slit our wrists instead?" "Okay hon." Really, what was in it for the Mrs.? Did she love Mark so much that if he died, she would die? Was that the ultimate expression of love? Chris hoped not. In fact, he hoped that a lot of what went by the name of love in this world was not what love was.

The sound of Chris's father's Honda Civic's horn intruded upon Chris's morbid thoughts. Bernie let the car drift toward the shoulder of the road. Chris saw it and opened the door and got in. "You looked like you were lost in thought," Bernie said.

"I guess."

"What were you thinking about?"

"What I'll be when I'm older."

"I knew it! What will you be?"

"Dead."

"That's nice, Son."

"How's your face, Dad?"

"Okay. Better, maybe. Any thoughts about what you're going to be for the Halloween party tonight?"

"A giant penis."

"That's funny, because I was thinking of going as a pair of testicles."

"Oh Dad, I love your special boyish sense of humor. I guess that's why I was conceived by you instead of someone else's dad. Do you think our family's fucked up?"

"In what sense?"

"I don't know."

"Like your mother and I are divorced, your sister's a religious fanatic, your father's depressed and his face is numb, sort of thing?"

"Yeah."

"Did something happen today? Something happened today, didn't it? Do you want to tell me about it?"

"No."

Chris wished his dad were one of those dads who give advice. He wished the advice came in numbered lists and started with words like "Always," or "Never," or "Remember," or "Son." "Son, now that you're leaving home, I want you to remember three important things. One, always bring a woman a bouquet of lilies before you make love to her. Two, look a man in the eye when you shake his hand. Three, never buy a house that doesn't have a basement."

"Anything I can do?" Bernie said.

"Couldn't you be more dadlike?"

"In what sense?"

"Like when I say the word fuck, hit me across the face.

"So, be more authoritative?"

"Yeah."

"I'll try."

"Oh, you'll have to do better than that."

"Don't you talk to me that way, young man. I've had just about enough of your backsass."

"Yeah, good. Like that."

"I mean it. Shut up or you'll be sorry you were ever born."

Chris pressed his head against his father's shoulder, wrapped the fingers of both hands around his father's upper arm, and was overcome by a great, intense, sorrowful feeling of loving affection that would last for the rest of his life.

From The Sleeping Father by Matthew Sharpe - pages 3 to 16 and 22-30. Copyright Matthew Sharpe 2004. All rights reserved. No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Soft Skull Press.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois
  2.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin

All Discussions

Who Said...

It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.