Sleepwalk: Book summary and reviews of Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon

Sleepwalk

A Novel

by Dan Chaon

Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon X
Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon
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  • Published May 2022
    320 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

A high speed and darkly comic road trip through a near future America with a big hearted mercenary, from beloved and acclaimed novelist Dan Chaon.

Sleepwalk's hero, Will Bear, is a man with so many aliases that he simply thinks of himself as the Barely Blur. At fifty years old, he's been living off the grid for over half his life. He's never had a real job, never paid taxes, never been in a committed relationship. A good-natured henchman with a complicated and lonely past and a passion for LSD microdosing, he spends his time hopscotching across state lines in his beloved camper van, running sometimes shady often dangerous errands for a powerful and ruthless operation he's never troubled himself to learn too much about. He has lots of connections, but no true ties. His longest relationships are with an old rescue dog that has post-traumatic stress and a childhood friend as deeply entrenched in the underworld as he is, who, lately, he's less and less sure he can trust.

Out of the blue, one of Will's many burner phones heralds a call from a twenty-year-old woman claiming to be his biological daughter. She says she's the product of one of his long-ago sperm donations; he's half certain she's AI. She needs his help. She's entrenched in a widespread and nefarious plot involving Will's employers, and for Will to continue to have any contact with her increasingly fuzzes the line between the people he is working for and the people he's running from.

With his signature blend of haunting emotional realism and fast-paced intrigue, Dan Chaon populates his fractured America with characters who ring all too true. Gazing both back to the past and forward to an inevitable-enough-seeming future, Sleepwalk examines where we've been and where we're going and the connections that bind us, no matter how far we travel to dodge them or how cleverly we hide.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[T]hrilling and funny...As ever, Chaon expertly fuses the dystopian nightmares of technology and crime with fascinating characters who cross a hellscape to find each other. This is his best one yet." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This strange and compelling plot features Chaon's signature imaginative flair and brilliant pacing to create an ominous tension infused with sly wit. Chaon expertly provides vague science fictional notes that imply a slightly futuristic, dystopian setting that further amplifies intrigue. Will Bear is a tender mercenary, a microdosing Big Lebowski whose off-the-grid life parallels his disconnection from humanity. A consummate storyteller, Chaon imbues the darkly comic with colossal heart." - Booklist (starred review)

"A fast-paced dystopian thriller and a touching exploration of the power of familial love." - BookPage (starred review)

"Despite the sordidness of his life and past, Will is a highly likable protagonist as he seeks a degree of redemption through his growing love for his possible daughter. A dark but appealing adventure of a man coming into himself after a lifetime avoiding identity." - Library Journal

"All the ingredients of a dark speculative tale imperfectly assembled." - Kirkus Reviews

"To say this is one of the best novels I've read in years is almost not enough. Dan Chaon's Sleepwalk is a thrilling and often hilarious road trip across America in the very near future, told by a winning and murderous narrator. But beneath the zigzag adventure tale is a poignant reminder of the fragile nature of our humanity, an appreciation of the tricky balancing act of living. It's a beautiful, unsettling, and thoughtful novel — told by one of America's great storytellers." - Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

"Sleepwalk is an addictive dystopian picaresque, by turns darkly funny, deeply harrowing, and surprisingly poignant. Dan Chaon's vision of our future will give you chills of dread and recognition." - Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers

This information about Sleepwalk was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Dan Chaon Author Biography

Dan Chaon is the author of six previous books, including Ill Will, a national bestseller, named one of the ten best books of 2017 by Publishers Weekly. Other works include the short story collection Stay Awake (2012), a finalist for the Story Prize; the national bestseller Await Your Reply; and Among the Missing, a finalist for the National Book Award. Chaon's fiction has appeared in the Best American Short Stories, the Pushcart Prize anthologies, and the O. Henry Collection. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction and the Shirley Jackson Award, and he was the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland.

Link to Dan Chaon's Website

Name Pronunciation
Dan Chaon: shawn

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