Item description for The Sleeping Father (Today Show Book Club #20) by Matthew Sharpe...
A divorced dad of two teenagers inadvertently combines two incompatible antidepressant medications, goes into a coma, has a stroke, and emerges with brain damage. His teenage son and daughter, Chris and Cathy, inherit some money and decide to rehabilitate their father on their own. The Sleeping Father is about the shift in the way Americans think about mental health --- from regarding personality as being shaped by one's upbringing to its being shaped by the bloodstream's hormone levels. In focusing on one family in crisis, Sharpe addresses the larger crisis in faith and authority in contemporary American life. Ultimately, this is a weird but wonderful story about two children who, not having an adequate father, decide to make one.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 10.5" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Sep 26, 2003
Publisher Soft Skull Press
ISBN 193236000X ISBN13 9781932360004
Availability 0 units.
More About Matthew Sharpe
MATTHEW SHARPE is the author of the novels "The Sleeping Father "and "Nothing Is Terrible, "as well as the short-story collection "Stories from the Tube," He teaches creative writing at Wesleyan University. His stories and essays have appeared in "Harper's Magazine, Zoetrope, BOMB, McSweeney's, American Letters & Commentary, Southwest Review," and "Teachers & Writers," He lives in New York City.
Matthew Sharpe currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York. Matthew Sharpe was born in 1962.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Sleeping Father (Today Show Book Club #20)?
A laugh out-loud, modern day Shakespearian comedy Aug 13, 2007
This book is a modern day Shakespearian comedy, and the bard would be proud of Mr. Sharpe. This is not a tragic novel in the least - it is a beautifully written, laugh-out-loud romp that reminds us that a love is more powerful (and funny) when it is shared with the community.
Sharpe creates a liminal world filled with the beauties and mysteries of life, love, happiness, and teenage angst. More importantly, he follows Shakespeare's lead. This book has it all: the beauty (and mysteries) of father/daughter relationships, the beautiful guide, the mentor, and the Iago villian. Furthermore, this book is sprinkled with monologues, dream worlds, reliance on faith and God, and the promises of heartaches and new beginnings. I have not been this amazed with a modern day book in a long time.
A good youth reader May 9, 2007
A better youth reader than Catcher in the Rye. The young people in this book are finding their way through adolescence. The adults seem like relatively real people. Plot is stretched a little beyond the reasonable for dramatic effect. Often what the boy, Chris, says and reflects about things is too verbal and penetrating for his age, like he says stuff that only years later would one realize might have been just the right reaction in the moment. But that prescience, that spot on, delicious riposte made the book delightful to me.
Few highlights May 2, 2005
The novel was recommended in a Swiss newspaper and it sounded like an interesting book. However, I found it rather disappointing. The plot is weak and the ending contrived and implausible. To my mind Sharpe didn't succeed in mixing satire, social realism, psychological insight and fantasy into a literary satisfying text. There are some real highlights, individual scenes and descriptions and dialogues, in which the author shows talent. But there are not enough to create a great novel.
sometimes improbable, but overall a moving story Apr 26, 2005
Despite all I'm about to say, I loved this book and think of all my remarks as minor things compared to the originality of the story and the feelings it provided. Sharpe is talented, indeed, everyone should appreciate his writing. So, I liked the book, but I have some complaints, reason for which I didn't give it a 5. At times it seemed that the ramblings of the teenage characters were a bit improbable, at least so it seemed in the begin. Then I entered more in the story and I appreciated quite much the girl's evolution of thoughts and all those little paradoxes that mark the path to catholicism, all those unnatural guilts and on and on. I recognized myself in this girl regarding a pretty obscure period of my life while I was searching for spirituality, thinking that I might have found it in all those "rules" and "do not" which stood between me and my real self. This part was quite instructive, I wish I had read it before that period which costed me much pain. I think the actions of Chris resulted too unnerving and autodestructive at times, not meaning that I couldn't bear it, but that I think it quite improbable that one would sabotage oneself this much, but also, weirder things happen. Also, there were too many times in which people talked to each other too frankly/rudely to be true, without any real accident/arguing happening. I mean, it's unlikely that one could stand this boldness, both who does it and receives it. Apart from all these improbable little things which at times made you think "yeah, right!" that brought you back to the notion that you're reading fiction, the story evolves in a heartly and moving way, especially regarding the father, which one can't help but love. I particularly liked that thing of the "mind eye" in him that instead didn't seem a bit surreal, compared to all the other things mentioned above, as it fit lovely in the story and added that quid of fatherly love and humanity which touched me. The story is a quick read and makes you appreciate what you've got. Despite all my complaints I didn't get bored one bit reading it, instead it catched my attention remarkably. I'd recomend this book!
really dreadful Feb 19, 2005
I am rather confused that there are people who enjoyed this book. The reviews criticizing the plot are a bit off I think - sure, it is wildly implausible and not always coherently organized, but it does have elements of originality. The huge, massive problem that is so difficult to overlook is that the writing is dreadful. By the sixth or seventh page, I was already appalled that this was a national book club selection. Lots of cliches. Lots of rambling, useless passages. Frequently obvious and shallow in descriptions. Attempts to introduce novel turns of phrase are usually gaudy and awkward. Note that the book is from a minor press. Note that the book is already heavily discounted by this site. These are important signals that I shouldn't have looked over. The book might have been salvagable, had the author tried to rewrite and if the editor had exerted any sort of influence over the dismal writing. As currently written, it reads like a draft of a novel from someone's weekend writing group.