In Roy Freirich’s latest novel, a mysterious wave of insomnia descends on a New England island community, denying its residents and vacationers the ability to dream and rest. This page-turning yarn is told chronologically over the course of eight days, starting with a boy found mute, disoriented, and abandoned on a beach while clutching a handheld video game. From there, a widespread epidemic of sleep deprivation begins claiming the island residents, propelling inhabitants in their exhaustion and desperation to blame one another. The shared misery plunges the entire community into isolation and chaos. Told from multiple perspectives, including that of the island doctor, this psychological thriller is cinematic and fast-paced.
This is Freirich’s second novel. He adapted his first book, Winged Creatures, into the film Fragments, which was released in 2009 and starred Dakota Fanning and Forest Whitaker. He’s also written screenplays for Fox Searchlight, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, and Sony.