Middletown is nothing special, just a little town in the UK where not thing much happens. You even consider it a sleepy town, and you would not be wrong. Middletown is even a little sleepier than it used to be. Students have always fallen asleep in class, but now lecturers have begun to do so as well. Then a young woman falls asleep while walking down stairs, breaking her neck when she hits the bottom, and the people of Middletown realises something very, very wrong is going on.
Sleeper(s) is my first book from this author, and doing a quick search on him it is a real wonder that I had never crossed paths with his work before. He has quite a catalogue, with some titles I would be very interested in reading in the future, and after listening to the audiobook of Sleeper(s), performed by Christian Francis, I think I’m very likely to seek them out.
Sleeper(s) is not great art. It’s a competent classic piece of cheesy horror entertainment that plays a great many of the familiar themes. It reads a great deal like early James Herbert, with an emphasis on action and speed of delivery. There’s atmosphere, and character development, but the author is frugal in such areas, knowing that a little goes a long way. We don’t need the township described in minute detail, nor do we need a complex character analysis with every character. All we need is a few people we can believe in, a town, and an evil to defeat.
With Sleeper(s) Paul Kane manages to write a tale that’s original while somewhat familiar. There’s a deft creation of story where the author seems to know how little he actually needs to do in order to get the reader involved. Then the story is fleshed out with some great character interactions, some of them genuinely amusing, and a few moments of horror that may not be hugely original but are used to great effect.
I have read better written stories, I have read far better books, but I have rarely read a book that I have consumed so easily and enjoyed quite to much. It’s a horror fast food meal that you’ll enjoy a great deal, but it may not be something from which to create a well rounded diet.
If you even have the slightest interest in this title, then I urge you to give it a go. I am very pleased I’ve finally discovered Paul Kane, and I hope I enjoy the titles I’ll certainly read from him in the future. One warning however; if you have an allergy to movie references, be careful, this book may leave you permanently damaged.