Book Talk II…4/10/18
Sleeping Beauties Stephen and Owen King. Scribner 2017.
Amazon blurb: In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?
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. And while they sleep they go to another place, a better place, where harmony prevails and conflict is rare.
One woman, the mysterious “Eve Black,” is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Eve a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain? Abandoned, left to their increasingly primal urges, the men divide into warring factions, some wanting to kill Eve, some to save her. Others exploit the chaos to wreak their own vengeance on new enemies. All turn to violence in a suddenly all-male world.
Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is a wildly provocative, gloriously dramatic father-son collaboration that feels particularly urgent and relevant today.
My review: When a woman calling herself “Eve Black,” shows up in a small town it sets off catastrophic events, plunging the majority of women into sleeping cocoons. If you try to wake them, they kill you. The distraught men range from joining fire brigades that burn the women to trying to get to Eve to determine why she’s awake. Right now, she’s in a prison and has told Clint that if he wants to save the women he has to keep her alive for three days. The more she talks, the more he sees there’s something supernatural going on here and he begins to enlist other helpers to keep her safe. Eve says that men always bring war, that that’s how they settle everything. The women have awakened in another world they call Our Place. If they want to stay, Eve says, they can. This world has little conflict between the women, but one woman decides that she will close the option to returning to their former world.
I felt as though they were trying to say there were no good men in this world. I don’t believe that. I’ve met many good men. Of course, I’ve also met bad ones. I think the majority are good men. And it wasn’t like the women didn’t have conflict among themselves either or weren’t capable of violence. Maybe it’s the small corner of the world I live in, but I think most people are good and will help their neighbors if there’s trouble. I’m not saying that everyone’s perfect or that violent people like this don’t exist, I’m just saying in my viewpoint, I haven’t seen things as excessive as this. To me, there’s still hope.