When All the World Sleeps

When All the World Sleeps - Lisa Henry;J.A. Rock **** "bravest motherfucker in Logan" stars ****

Phew, this was a rough one.

Lisa Henry and JA Rock's writing and story telling is phenomenal. Again.

Christ, it is so good, but also very emotional, twisted and dark with this one. It left me drained. But I'm not sorry I read this book at all. It definitely wasn't easy, and there were plenty of scenes that squeezed that familiar emotional ball I get in my stomach when I read Lisa and JA's books, and pushed my limits.

The story is about Daniel Whitlock who has been sleepwalking ever since he was a boy. He walks around and talks as if he was awake, and does all kinds of things that he has no recollection of when he does finally wake. He has no control over what he does or say and it has landed him in trouble over the years, from painting his parents living room green to peaking into a neighbor's bedroom window catching him as a peeping Tom. The people in town don't know he sleepwalks and think of him as a freak. During one of his sleepwalks he makes a crude comment to another guy in town, Kenny Cooper. Kenny then attacks Daniel at a later date (when Daniel is awake), and brutally beats him to an inch of his life. No charges is filed even though "everyone" knows Kenny and his friends did it. Small town, you know. After Daniel recovers, one night he sleepwalks and sets fire to Kenny's house with Kenny still inside and Kenny burns to death. 

The story takes place several years after Kenny's death. Daniel did his time for it. His defense was sleepwalking, and the whole town feels he got off too easy and think the sleepwalking is bullshit. Everyone in town hates him, harass him, especially Kenny Cooper's friends. Daniel lives alone in his cabin out of town. Hiding in a way. But at the same time struggling with lots of guilt for the stuff he has done and put people through all his life. He does whatever he can to stop himself from sleepwalking. He chains himself to his bed, but normal locks with keys won't do because his sleeping self finds it and unlock them when sleepwalking. He puts the locks into his freezer so they freeze and are unable to get up until the ice melts. He has to turn on his alarm to wake up when they've melt to prevent himself from getting loose.

Daniel is depressed, struggles with huge amount of guilt, he feel he deserves the towns judgement of him, and most of all sleep deprived. He fears sleeping. He's trapped.

"Do you know what you do, when all the world sleeps?"
I fuck everything. I kill people. I'm crazy.

Joe "Bel" Belman, a local cop, who has had a crush on "the weird Whitlock kid" since he was young, takes an interest in him after some incidents. He starts seeing the real Daniel. Daniel who hasn't had anyone looking or talking to him kindly in years, doesn't think he deserves to be happy. But Bel wants Daniel, even though he's fucked up.

This is their story. It is not easy. It's not pretty. It's dark and emotional. There is love, though, and moments. So worth it to read their story.

Recommended! But brace yourself.