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Publisher's Summary

A haunting novella from the uncannily imaginative author of the national best sellers Swamplandia! and Orange World: the story of a deadly insomnia epidemic and the lengths one woman will go to to fight it.

Trish Edgewater is the Slumber Corps' top recruiter. On the phone, at a specially organized Sleep Drive, even in a supermarket parking lot: Trish can get even the most reluctant healthy dreamer to donate sleep to an insomniac in crisis - one of hundreds of thousands of people who have totally lost the ability to sleep. Trish cries, she shakes, she shows potential donors a picture of her deceased sister, Dori: one of the first victims of the lethal insomnia plague that has swept the globe. 

Run by the wealthy and enigmatic Storch brothers, the Slumber Corps is at the forefront of the fight against this deadly new disease. But when Trish is confronted by "Baby A", the first universal sleep donor, and the mysterious "Donor Y", whose horrific, infectious nightmares are threatening to sweep through the precious sleep supply, her faith in the organization and in her own motives begins to falter. 

Featuring a brand-new "Nightmare Appendix", Sleep Donation will keep listeners up long into the night and long after haunt their dreams. 

This audiobook includes a bonus PDF of a Slumber Corps Alert booklet outlining Active Nightmare Outbreaks in the US. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Karen Russell (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Sleep Donation has a dreamlike beauty while remaining ominous and off-kilter. Parts of it gave me nightmares - and I'm case-hardened." (Stephen King)

"[Written] with Twilight Zone-like inventiveness and the energy and brio of a natural fantasist with a proclivity for blending the real and surreal, the psychological and the sci-fi....[Russell] creates a fully imagined world with its own rituals and rules, and deftly satirizes the media and governmental responses to the plague of sleeplessness....Another testament to her fertile powers of invention." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Book Review

"A starkly dystopian novella reminiscent of George Saunders in its bleak humor, the directness of its prose." (Los Angeles Times

What listeners say about Sleep Donation

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Haunting, eerie and beautiful

Haunting and beautiful story. A good social commentary about how our society has poised us to commercialize everything, including our pain, our guilt. Lots of folks say there is no plot. The plot is not the point here.

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The writing is fantastic but it didn’t resonate

I enjoyed it very much but when baby a’s dad and the protagonist wander around the sleep ghetto I got weary.

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Timely

The power of listening to this insomnia pandemic story during Covid-19 is that it reiterates the levels of desperation and suffering that occurs when a basic but integral part of daily life is curtailed--in the story, it's sleep, in daily life, it's human touch, intimacy, and freedom of movement. I appreciate the razor edge the heroine walks between ethics, compassion, brutal capitalism, and her personal experience. The situation and what we are navigating today are far more complex than we admit, and every decision sounds multivalent consequences. Great, thoughtful storytelling.

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struggled with this...skipped several chapters

I like odd books but skipped chapters to get to the ending on this one. didn't care much for it, story line too dry and narrator was too robotic. I got bored.