Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties

A Novel

Book - 2017
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In this father-son collaboration, the authors tell the story of what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men. Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women's prison, in a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep. They become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent. While they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2017.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781501163401
Characteristics: x, 702 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: King, Owen - Author

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StephanieOne Jun 28, 2019

I can't believe how many negative reviews this book is getting! This doesn't read like King's more classic books, that's true. And it was a collaborative effort with his son Owen, so there's going to be a new voice in there along with King. But it was still a fantastic book. I couldn't put it down!
Basically, as women fall asleep they're wrapped in cocoons. Not only does the book explore what life is like for the men they leave behind in this time, it examines the lives of the women trying to stay awake out of fear or a sense of duty to others around them. The men have no idea what is happening to the women, while later the women can fully understand everything happening both in their world and the one they left behind. It's a fantastic look at moral panic, at how fake news can spread like wildfires, at basic human nature in the face of disaster. Some accuse King of being a "social justice warrior", of pandering to feminists with the female characters he writes. There is such a wide and varied cast of characters in this book, I can't figure out what these people are talking about though. Yes, he does have some misogynistic male characters, but that's not all the men in the book. His characterization of men and women from all walks of life, from all political and social leanings. He has characters who come off as inherently evil, purely good, trying to be good but having everything come out wrong. Basically, they're all human, and you can feel that in the writing.
This book is very different from much of King's past work. There's no jump-scares, or scary monsters. But it is a fantastic book, and a great direction for his writing. I look forward to more collaborations between father and son.

i
iujigga2003
May 08, 2019

The first half of the book was really good as the women and girls of the town kept falling asleep and turning into cocoons. They were all trying to stay awake like in Nightmare on Elm Street. However, the middle of the book tended to drag on and got a little far fetched. Also, the dialogue among the characters fell off as the book progressed as well.

s
samsue
Apr 16, 2019

People write off Stephen King as a writer of horror only. No longer true. In the early 90s, Philip Wylie wrote a science fiction book called "The Disappearance". It dealt with the sudden disappearance of all the women in the world. One day they simply vanished and the story of how society developed without women was quite a new idea. King's novel, which deals with the same issue, shows you how the males of all ages in their world, and the females of all ages in their world, develop societies very different and yet very similar. This is an intriguing story and well worth reading. It will get you thinking and would be great for a book club to review.

m
Melibean2012
Nov 04, 2018

I have to say I really enjoyed this book, for it being my first ever read by Stephen King. It seemed more like an apocalyptic story more than horror. Had me really thinking what the world would be like without women. Also thumbs up to Owen King as well. Liked that it was a son and father collaboration as well. Definitely will be reading more Stephen King books!

d
deebitner
Apr 19, 2018

I am delighted to say that, by and large with a few exceptions, this is not a gory and gross book. King has said that if he can't terrify, he'll horrify, and if not he'll go for the gross-out. It's wonderful to see a book where I wasn't personally grossed out too much by blood and guts, but terror and horror are everywhere. I don't know how much of this is due to his co-author Owen King, but I really had a great time with this one.
What if every woman of every age in the world, as soon as she fell asleep, was covered by a cocoon? And if you tried to get them out of it, Bad Things happened? A small town, site of a women's prison, is the focal point of King's and King's novel and that's exactly what's happening. To make matters more complicated, the local law enforcement is headed by a woman, but the local animal control gentleman is completely maddened by his daughter being affected. And then it turns out a woman taken to the prison just before the events started is completely unaffected... and seems to have odd powers.
It's a King novel. It won't have many surprises for people who like his style - it's very much comfort food. But there's a freshness there that I think is from bouncing ideas off King the younger and then trusting each other to take the ideas to completion. I really hope they work together again. It's the best King novel I've read in a while, and while it's not completely free of ick - trigger warning for violence against women in all forms, including sexual! - it's really good. Five of five stars.

t
talk2terih
Apr 18, 2018

Had this book been about 350 pages, it would have been far above average. Sadly, it was bloated and to be honest, a bit preachy. Certainly not what I expected from the Messrs. King.

The last 300 pages are far better than the first 400, so if you are struggling in the first half, hang in there and you will be rewarded.

I wonder if the premise of the story might have been the brainchild of the junior King. It has the feel of a millennial idea, which is not a criticism, merely an observation. I can detect which King is writing in several places, but only because I know the senior King's storycraft so well. I don't think a casual reader would notice.

While not the finest work in the King repertoire, it has some fine moments and some memorable characters.

r
roysdgtr
Apr 09, 2018

Lots of negative reviews here. I found it captivating though it is so long that I doubted I would bother to finish it. I am so glad that I did. A lot of current social developments are subtly underlying the weird story: How men deal with problems vs. how women deal with them and the "Me-too" movement.

p
Pokey333
Mar 17, 2018

Not impressed at all! Found the opening pages very dragged out and very uninspiring. Not at all up to the Stephen King writing that I have enjoyed over the years. Could not get through more than the first 75 pages as the book totally failed to draw me and and keep me reading it.

a
akrafter
Mar 05, 2018

It was....lacklustre. A reasonably good plot, but it really waffles on. Decent read if you have several spare days and nothing else to do.

d
dollface_1
Feb 07, 2018

Not impressed. Like someone else here, I had a hard time getting through the first 50 pages or so. Something was missing, or maybe I should say, something was there that was better left out. I have read practically every Stephen King book, and was anxious to see how his son would do. The snap and humour of King Sr. was missing. The writing was not as cohesive. I gave it three stars because the storyline was basically good, but the characters were not filled out enough. I powered through, and the last 300 pages or so were better. I hate it when I am relieved to finish a book.

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scifiid
Mar 15, 2018

“Mothers were naturals for law enforcement, because toddlers, like criminals, were often belligerent and destructive.”

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scifiid
Mar 15, 2018

“Sometimes you get what you want, but mostly you get what you get.”

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scifiid
Mar 15, 2018

“Another part of getting older: you forgot what you wanted to remember, and remembered what you wanted to forget.”

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