Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Man Who Never Sleeps

by Levin Diatschenko
Wolfty and Cliff Publishing

This is Diatschenko's first book and I was expecting a fun read (the cover led me to think it might be about a vampire speed freak). Unfortunately I didn't like it as much as I was hoping.

The first third of the novel is set in Adelaide. An elite race of businessmen are controlling the world from luxury apartments above the skyscrapers. They can teleport from place to place via photocopiers and occasionally experiment by playing computer games and smoking bongs with common people. I liked this part of the novel because there was more I could relate to. Needless to say the second part of the novel gets very strange indeed...

The majority of the book is set in a fantasy world called Gamonville. This is a dream-like place where wizards compete to earn hats in a school and have their memories erased once a week. There's a lot of action in Gamonville and the description is very sparse. There's a lot of metaphysics and not much in the way of traditional themes like love, sex or death. This part of the story follows the tribulations of the lost Yenin. He starts a gardening business and fights wars in South Gamania. Other characters deal with clocks that are set into the face of the moon, turn into owls and play computer games until they fade right out of existence.

There's some good ideas here, but reading through the whole thing is discombobulating. I didn't make it through the last fifty pages or so (out of 300). The Man Who Never Sleeps is quite possibly the strangest novel ever written in the history of mankind. It should be compuslory reading for very conservative people. Hopefully it will make their brains melt.

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