BookBrowse Reviews Slumberland by Paul Beatty

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Slumberland

A Novel

by Paul Beatty

Slumberland
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2008, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2009, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

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Ferocious, bombastic, and laugh-out-loud funny - about a disaffected Los Angeles DJ who travels to post-Wall Berlin in search of his transatlantic doppelganger

Ferguson Sowell is a man on a mission to transcend himself. In his guise as DJ Darky, he's looking to lay down the perfect beat, "the confluence of melody and groove that transcends mood and time." But his quest is motivated as much by a need to obliterate sound as to create it. DJ Darky has a phonographic memory. "I remember everything I've ever heard. Every dropped nickel, raindrop drip-drop, sneaker squeak, and sheep bleat," he tells us. "It's like my entire life is a song I can't get out of my head." And so he painstakingly composes a two-minute-and-forty-seven-second piece, a song to pause sound and broadcast his individuality, made up out of "Brando's creaking leather jacket in The Wild One, a shopping cart tumbling down the concrete banks of the L.A. River, Mothers of Invention, a stone skimming across Diamond Lake, the flutter of Paul Newman's eyelashes ...

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