By Nino Ricci
David Pace is a man who has it all – a successful career as an almost-famous academic, a wife blessed with both beauty and brains, a young son and a lovely home. But David’s brain has begun to misfire. It shuts off when David’s meant to be awake–when he’s writing, when he’s lecturing, when he’s driving – but otherwise denies him any rest at all. Popping a variety of pills at an increasingly alarming rate David struggles to remain alert, but his efforts become less and less effective, leaving his family in tatters and his career on the brink. Then, almost by accident, David finds himself with a loaded gun in his hands, and all of a sudden he feels tantalizingly, gloriously awake. The sensation, fuelled by a steady mix of pharmaceuticals, launches David towards the extremes of human behaviour, and as his choices become more and more abhorrent and the risks he is willing take more and more dangerous, David’s sense of what is real, who he is, what he is capable of slips terrifyingly out of reach.
“Seven years after the publication of his Governor General’s Literary-Award-winning novel, The Origin of Species, Nino Ricci hits readers hard with a scorched-black account of a tormented man’s decline into sleeplessness and self-destruction. Sleep [is]Ricci’s darkest and most thematically daring novel yet… Ricci’s willingness to deeply scrutinize these [violent] urges, in potent, perfectly chiseled language, makes Sleep a frightening and essential addition to the oeuvre of one of this country’s best and most important writers.” – Quill and Quire
Nino Ricci revisits The Trial – National Post feature
Doubleday, Canada, September 2015
A 2015 Globe and Mail Best Book