The Sleeping Father


Book Review by Willard Manus

Mathew Sharpe's THE SLEEPING FATHER (Soft Skull, is a bitingly funny comic novel whose hero, 17-year-old Chris Schwartz, is a 21st-century Holden Caulfield, only more so. By turns ironic, bratty, hyper-intelligent and endearing, Chris has the weight of the world thrust on him when his father suffers a stroke that puts him in a coma. By the time he recaptures some speech and cogency, Chris has had to cope with his moony younger sister (a nice Jewish girl who wants to become a Catholic nun); his cold-blooded, self-absorbed, divorced mother; his frighteningly brainy and competitive black friend, Frank Dial; and assorted other oddball and/or violent Americans. A coming-of-age story with a vengeance, THE SLEEPING FATHER has been optioned by Warner Bros. for a movie starring Michael London.