Book Review – Stay Awake

Stay AwakeStay Awake by Dan Chaon

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Recently my friends told me I should be reading happy books right now. This is definitely not a happy book, but it made me feel better anyway.

This is a sad, creepy, sometimes scary, sometimes makes your skin crawl, sometimes makes you want to cry book. The characters are infinitely human and infinitely suffering and they make poor choices and handle things badly and tear themselves up with guilt and shame and I could totally relate.

Not everyone will like these stories. They aren’t about happy endings or redemption or really even about characters learning lessons from their mistakes. They are just about bad stuff that happens and how humans handle it. Sometimes there isn’t really even an “ending” to a story, and you’re left wondering… and I was ok with that, because often that’s how life works as well; there isn’t a clear-cut end to things, as much as we like to chase closure as a society, and we have to wonder what ever happened to that friend of ours we had the argument with in a bar and never saw again. At least, I do.

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