Cover Image: Sleepwalk


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Member Reviews

I really, really, really wanted to enjoy the audio version of this but the narrator’s accent would come through as very coastal west coast, and I truly found it hard to focus. 

This is completely just my opinion on the audio edition of this title though. Overall I found this story to be yet another great addition to Dan Chaon’s catalog. It didn’t know my favorite out of the running (Await Your Reply) but it was a engaging and fast paced story, and I was happy to have taken the time to check out the physical copy at my local library.
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3 1/2 stars rounded up to 4.

What the heck did I just listen to?? I'm not really sure, but I also kind of liked it?? I typically don't like audiobooks as much as I do physically reading a book, but I kind of feel like the narrator was essential to my enjoyment of this novel. 

Will Bear is a very interesting character. He's about 50 years old and has been living off the grid half his life. He does some drugs and drives around running sketchy jobs for random people. But he seems relatively happy with his life. Then he suddenly gets a call from a 20-year-old girl named Cammie who claims she's his biological daughter. It turns out he donated sperm long ago and may actually have a lot (and I mean A LOT) of biological children out there. But is Cammie real or is she some form of AI? Or a scammer?

This book is a wild ride, but I have a feeling you'll want to keep reading or listening and soon enough you'll be saying, "right on!"
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I really did not know what I was getting myself into when picking up this book. The themes were so unbelievable, I had to keep reading so I knew what was going on. While it was not my style of book, I thought the author was very creative and the narrator (I listened to the audiobook) was excellent. If you are looking for an off the wall book, I would recommend this one.
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Broad, gritty, and thought-provoking. The narrator added to the experience of the story. 

I DNF this story but enjoyed the parts I read. It was simply a bit too gritty for my tastes but nothing wrong with the story or style.
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SLEEPWALK by talented bestselling author Dan Chaon is darkly funny, wild, crazy, and utterly entertaining!

It will be one of the weirdest and wildest audiobooks (books) you will ever read. The audio narrator, John Pirhalla (was exceptional) and a perfect voice for mercenary Will Bear (Mad Max), among other aliases. You will find yourself rewinding parts again and again.  Fascinating! 

I enjoyed reading Chaon's previous book, Ill Will, and was excited to read his latest and he does not disappoint! The narrator of this well-written tale is Will Bear ("Barely Blur"), a 50-year-old fixer/courier who lives off the grid and was hired to perform specific duties, not many of them legal. He kills people.

He is working off some kind of debt incurred by his deplorable mother, he eventually murders as a contract killer and cleanup man. We get some funny flashbacks. She taught him to never trust anyone. He will have to put this one to the test.

On the road traveling cross country from one project to another, with his sidekick dog 60-pound pit bull named Flip- a former fighting dog (with PTSD) he also does plenty of daily micro-dosing of LSD, among other things to keep himself occupied.

In between all the adventures, he receives an intriguing call on one of his many old burner phones. Who has this number?

Her name is Cammie, a young woman claiming that she's his daughter via a sperm donation made in his youth and that he has many more offspring. She is curious and wants to know more about her father. They seem to enjoy their phone calls and he finds himself looking forward to her calls.

His boss, a shadowy organization called Value Standard Enterprises is worried about a security breach; how did she find him? Is she really who she claims to be? Is she an AI bot built to lure him into the open? OR artificial intelligence?

We also get a glimpse into the near future dominated by billionaires and their corporations, white Christian nationalists, religious cults, environmentalist and animal welfare communes, anarchists, computer hacker collectives, and other identity groups.

Billy has a complicated backstory which is slowly revealed with flashbacks from present to past. A quintessentially American journey, Will reflects on his past and why his sperm was used so often and the prices people paid to get it. This exploration involves bigger questions, about the obligations he has to his offspring, the meaning of family, and genetic identity.

Beneath the rough exterior, there is humor, tenderness, and human connection. Will is charming, and we can see this shine through when he starts speaking with his daughter on the phone.

If you love quirky road trip adventures, near-future dystopia meets literary fiction with a leading man who is a laid-back contract killer with a big heart—this one is for you!  

What an imagination! The author dazzles.

A special thank you to #MacmillanAudio and #Netgalley for an advanced audiobook copy.

I read (listened) to the audiobook when it came out and realized I failed to post my review.

Review Posted @
@JudithDCollins |  #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 4.5 Stars rounded to 5 ✨✨✨✨✨
Pub Date: May 24, 2022
May 2022 Must-Read Books
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This had an interesting premise but i think it was slow paced and i wasn’t sure where it was going. A large bit was about a biological daughter and them trying to convince themselves or each other of their relation. I wanted more world building and to understand what made this futuristic
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Telling the story first-person from what should become an iconic voice, Dan Chaon knocks this one out of the park.  A thriller that deserves to have nothing spoiled, Sleepwalk tells the story of an enigma in the shape of a man.  A man of many names who one should not trust, not even a little.
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Did not finish :( I found the narrator fairly irritating, though the story was intriguing. Might try to finish as a physical book.
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With some authors, I know exactly what to expect before I read the first page of their book. That isn't to say that it is a bad thing. In fact, sometimes I read a specific author because I know what I will get with their writing. Some authors, though, are more chameleon-like in their work. Each book marks a new exploration of genre, character, and style. Author Dan Chaon is one of those authors. His 2017 novel Ill Will left me craving even more from the inventive author, and I was happy to accept his latest Sleepwalk from his publisher. 

Who is Will Bear? It is hard to describe precisely who he is or what he does, and that's exactly the way Will wants it to be. He's a man of mystery, the kind of guy who prefers to live his life under the radar. Will has countless aliases that help him maintain his anonymity. At fifty years old, he's perfectly content traveling around the county in his camper van, accompanied by his rescue dog, the only living thing he can truly trust. He makes money by completing dangerous, legally questionable tasks for an underground agency that he's perfectly content with knowing nothing about. In his line of work, connections can be dangerous, so he stays off the grid. Will is troubled when his numerous burner phones begin ringing and the person on the line asks for him by name. Even more troubling, the person on the phone is claiming to be his biological daughter. This is not the kind of baggage a man like Will needs. 

Only an author as adept and courageous as Dan Chaon could write a book like Sleepwalk. I've learned to expect the unexpected with his writing, and this newest novel is no exception. It reads like an epic journey akin to The Odyssey or Don Quixote twisted up with a mind-bending Hunter S. Thompson-like slant. There are many stops along the way that allow the main character Will to reckon with his past and determine which direction his future will take. It isn't always clear that there is a defined endpoint to the expedition, but it is to Chaon's credit that the reader doesn't really care. The fun is in the discovery of this masterfully written character and the various elements that have brought him to this point in his life. Setting the work in the not-too-distant future only enhances the hallucinatory, familiar yet unfamiliar quality of the writing. Sleepwalk is perhaps the most satisfyingly original novel I've read this year and a worthy addition to your summer reading list.
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Thank you Netgalley for this audio edition of Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon.

First off, and I rarely complain about this, I wasn't a fan of the narration.  I don't doubt that the narrator is talented, but his "Bill and Ted" California beach bum accent, in my opinion, did not fit the character.  It made him seem unintelligent and vapid, when I knew that's not what the author was going for.

This book is simultaneously too much, and not enough, all the at the same time.  It's set in a dystopian society, but one that takes a while to really reveal itself.  The main character is completely unattached to anyone or anything, making it difficult to invest in him.  It moves slowly, while at the same time, throwing a lot of different info at you, most of which, as I explained earlier, I didn't care much about.  

Two stars.  The potential was there, I appreciated what the author was trying to do, but ultimately I was relieved to be done with this.
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This book was something different than what I typically read. It was interesting seeing the main character evolve, and how he interacted with a young woman who may or may not be his daughter. Everything he has believed comes into question, and he has to decide which direction to go. I liked the story and the humor, and I also liked the narrator overall. I would recommend to anyone who wants to try something different and genre bending.
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Will, Willy, Billy, Blur… he is all of these and none of these at the same time.  We float along the story of the main character as his entire barely there life is shaken up beyond his wildest hallucination.  He’s cruising along in his haven on four wheels, taking care of odd jobs he’s indebted to complete when his phones start ringing.  His burner phones.  Turns out, he’s a father!  Uh, many many times over.
Eyebrow raising, comical, harsh, heart wrenching, and endearing, this is a read you won’t soon forget: unless you wake up on a deserted island, say, with amnesia?

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by John Pirhalla.  Not only did the narrator nail the voice of Barely Blur, it was a good overall performance.

Thank you to NetGalley, Dan Chaon, and Macmillian Audio for the advanced listening copy.  Opinions are my own.
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Sleepwalk is a wild ride through an almost unbelievable world full of vivid characters who make you second guess everything about the story at times and yet also add a certain validity to the story. 

Part dystopian, part crime novel, part character study, and all completely unique and original is the best description I can give for Dan Chaon's new novel. Will Bear is a great character and going on this journey with him was an adventure that I would recommend to others.
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First off, the narrator of this book is amazing. His voice is soothing and he puts the right emotion in it. As for the story, I had a hard time getting into it. There was a ton of inner monologue and the only real conversation he was having up to this point was over the phone. The way this story was put together was so confusing to me and I’m still not even really sure what time frame this takes place or what was going on. Ultimately I sadly put this one in my dnf pile.

Thank you to #netgalley and Macmillan Audio for an ALC in exchange for an honest review!
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Part thriller. Part dystopian future. Very dark and very weird but it works very well. If you look unique and dark thrillers set in the bleak dystopian futures you will enjoy this. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan audio for providing me an audiobook arc of this title.
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The synopsis sounded great, but the execution just didn't work for me personally.  With this being a "road trip" book, Will was travelling and thinking a lot and the audio flowed like a stream of consciousness most of the time.  I never got a true sense of why the world got to be the way that it was or for his job and employer. Didn't much care for the MC. Just too much of a dark, confusing, and trippy book for me.

2 stars - It was okay.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Henry Holt & Company and Macmillan Audio for gifting me both a digital and audio ARC of the latest book by Dan Chaon - 4.5 stars!

We meet Will Bear (one of many aliases) on his road trip for his job, a murky underworld job, that takes him across the country, flanked by his trusty rescue dog, Flip.  At 50 years old, Billy lives totally off the grid - or so he thought, until a supposed daughter born from a sperm donation somehow contacts him on of his burner phones.  And she needs his help.  Not really trusting her or himself, the cat-and-mouse game of his life continues.

I started reading the digital copy but when I switched to the audio, I never went back.  The narration by John Pirhalla is spot on - he sounds like the burnout stoner that Billy is and the somewhat stream-of-consciousness narrative is portrayed perfectly.  This is a dark and dark comedic tale that touches on practically every aspect of modern politics and life, while taking place in an obscure near future world as well.  I loved hearing Billy narrate his road trip through places I've lived.  This probably won't be for everyone but I loved the dark humor.
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SLEEPWALK by Dan Chaon was just okay for me. I find these kinds of futuristic stories hit or miss for me. This novel is about Will Bear, a fifty year old white man who lives off the grid, and is contacted by his unknown to him daughter. He has to find out if his daughter is real or AI trying to capture him. I liked the strong bond shown right away between Will and his rescue dog Flip. Along this wild ride we meet some more characters who are connected to Will even though he’s a loner type and we learn about his past. It can get kinda confusing what’s going on. One the one hand I can understand Will’s desire to connect with his daughter but it seemed in opposition to his entire past. I didn’t find his motivations believable so I wasn’t endeared to this character. This future world wasn’t clearly defined enough for me. I listened to the audiobook and I felt the narrator was a good fit for the character but the story wasn’t compelling. By the end I didn’t care what happened to Will or his daughter.
Thank you to Henry Holt for my advance review copy and Macmillan Audio via NetGalley for my ALC!
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At fifty years old, Will Bear has been living off the grid for over half of his life as a henchman and LSD microdosing enthuaist. When he gets a call on a burner phone out of the blue from a twenty-year old woman claiming to be his biological daughter, he’ll follow her down a rabbit hole of conspiracy that will rock his whole existence.

I toggled back and forth between print and audio for this one, which helped me stay on track, because it’s a wild and weird ride. My kind of weird, for sure, but bizarre for sure. I recommend it if you can step out of your normal, boring life and embrace the possibility of conspiracies, and not these fun ruiners we’ve been faced with the last few years.

It’s the strangest book I’ve read in a minute, and that’s a compliment. It’s out next week wherever you get your books and audiobooks.
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This was a very different story, and I was quite back and forth about how I felt while reading it. There were interesting things happening. It's a thriller/mystery set in an alternative timeline from ours. I really struggled to get into this narrative. I didn't love the characters, and I think that's where my struggle was.
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