Sleep is a much sought-after prize in this novel. Bonnie Saks is a 39 year old woman whose life has spiraled out of control. Already divorced and the mother of two young boys, she is tormented by insomnia. Her life is further complicated when she discovers she is pregnant and struggles to complete her unfinished dissertation on American literature.

Ian Ogelvie is a 29 year old psychiatrist and sleep researcher experimenting with a breakthrough drug known as Dodabulax that greatly enhances REM sleep. While Ian helps Bonnie sleep, she in turn provides him with a wake up call of sorts. Ultimately, Bonnie becomes uneasy with the changes triggered by her blue pills. Despite suffering a miscarriage, her life becomes more tolerable and her insight much clearer.


Why must we sleep? Why do some individuals lose the knack for sleeping? Why is sleep necessary for practically all aspects of our physical and mental well-being? Instead of answering these questions, this novel poses many additional ones. Is there a need to fix everything? Are we becoming a society dependent upon antidepressant and hypnotic medications just to cope with life? Does psychopharmacology provide drugs to help people find themselves or escape from themselves? What are the limits of what people will do to succeed? Do individuals fail more from lack of energy or lack of willpower?

Inspired Sleep tackles the pharmaceutical industry, medical ethics, and drug therapy but seems most genuinely inspired when it probes the nature of human relationships, fate, dreams (both the nocturnal kind as well as the great American type), loss, and the quest for happiness. The "lust to know" is counter-balanced by the "sadness of science." Misery is portrayed as infectious. Uncertainty appears rampant throughout society. At the end of the novel, Bonnie does not seem to care whether her enhanced sleep is the result of the experimental drug, the placebo effect, or heightened levels of hormones like prolactin due to her pregnancy.



Place Published

New York



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