Caleb J. Ross' booklikes

The official booklikes blog of author Caleb J. Ross.


Slumber - Pablo D'Stair Slumber reads like a contemporary extraction of the author’s current mental state—of all Pablo’s work, this one seems the most autobiographical. From the talk of forcing bourbon shots on bar-mates to writing as a subconscious evocation, Slumber is, for those not lucky enough to have shared bar-space with Mr. D’Stair, a window into the man unlike any of his other writings. He’d force you to swim in bourbon if given the chance.Jose Saramago’s influence on D’Stair’s work is apparent with everything he writes, but Slumber reflects perhaps the most direct type of influence: concept extracted beyond the implied limitations of the form. With The Double (which seems to have inspired Slumber more directly than other Saramago work) the idea of a man seeing a duplicate version of himself on TV, is explored well beyond the handful of pages that such a simple concept would imply. In the hands of lesser writers, duplicity—especially when set amid a relatively unchanging context (compared to much commercial writing) is a clever conceit at worst and an average Michael Keaton comedy at best. But for The Double’s 336 pages, the idea remains incredibly engaging. I credit Saramago’s linguistic skill and his unmatched ability to extrapolate questions that never before seemed worth asking. That’s the germ with a Saramago novel: one idea seeds hundreds more.Similar with D’Stair, Slumber takes a simple concept—a man discovers that another man has been breaking into his home to use his typewriter—and nurtures it into seemingly endless dimensions, never straying too far from the core concept, but never saturating the page with monotony and unnecessary girth. Slumber follows the protagonist as he discovers the mysterious apartment-dwelling writing, as he meets a convenience store employee/ fan of his own writing, as the should-he-or-shouldn’t-he materializes during subsequent meetings with the fan , as the narrator follows the mysterious writer to his own apartment, each node laying new paths to follow, new questions never thought to be asked. D’Stair always delivers. Slumber may be the best introduction to his work (or Man Standing Behind).