Paul Tremblay's The Little Sleep

Released this past month, Paul Tremblay's The Little Sleep already had a wonderful pedigree, with such heavy hitters as Joe R. Lansdale and Stewart O'Nan praising the debut novel for its unique take on the private detective genre. Advance reviews, including a starred review in Library Journal, also indicated Tremblay had written a keeper.

What's the premise? PI Mark Genevich has narcolepsy, a condition that in its most severe forms includes hallucinations. Despite this, Genevich keeps trying to make a living. In The Little Sleep, he's drawn into a case involving missing fingers and risque photographs. The novel introduces a character who has a lot to prove, "if only he can stay awake long enough to do it."

As the Los Angeles Times wrote, "The fact that Mark can’t trust his own perceptions gives The Little Sleep an edge of existential crisis, as if he’s trying not just to solve a case but also the key to his consciousness. Tremblay does a fine job of developing this tension, describing the incidents in Mark’s hallucinations as if they are really happening, blurring the lines between interior and exterior until, like the character, we are looking at everything with a kind of double vision, sussing out the clues that will tell us what is true...The Little Sleep offers up an interesting gloss on the detective genre, in which the deepest and most profound mystery has less to do with any crime per se than with the enduring enigma of the self.”

With The Little Sleep picking up momentum, I thought I'd drop in on Tremblay and ask him for his take on what's happened since the novel came out...


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