Sleeping Beauties: Part 2

In this part, I see the Stephen King style of writing come forward.  There’s a little bit of movement with the plot, but what the book lacks in speed it makes up for in detail. We hear a bit more about Lila’s arrest of Evie. Lila suspects that Evie is high, but she can’t tell on what. Evie speaks for the first time in the book, and she has some really interesting things to say. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,  but I can’t tell if she’s just trying to annoy Lila or if it’ll be important later on.

Anyway, we see that women across America are forming a sort of cocoon when they fall asleep. It’s a combination of earwax, sebum, and some unknown protien. Again, there’s a lot of detail describing every aspect of this phenomonon. Tiffany Jones had fallen asleep in the back of a squad car, and the reader gets to explore the infestation with as much vivid detail as the officers that discover her. It’s scary and gruesome, but it sucked me in. I really do appreciate that King seems to realize that some readers really like to get into the gritty details of how the universe works in these sorts of stories. That’s probably why this volume is so thick.

Now, once again, there are bits that I havent’s seen converge onto the main plot, but we’ve still got 600 or so pages to go, so I’m holding off my judgement. But this is turning into one of those “life without xyz” stories. It’s going to be interesting to see two men writing about life without any women. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t agree with King on quite a few issues lately, at least the opinions he puts on his twitter. The book mentioned Donald Trump, so it implies that it takes place during the present day. It makes me wonder how this book is really going to age. Here and now in 2017, the book seems pretty timely. However, there is the risk of it being kind of…sexist. Now, it may seem like implying that without women, society would be worse off would be anything but sexist. It’s true, absolutely, but there’s a fine line. Implying men would starve or live in squalor without women implies women belong in the kitchen or at home cleaning. Now, it’s possible to emphasize the importance of one group or another can also have good implications, but I’m going to hold off judgement until I get deeper into the book.

One thing I’m really curious about is how the book will define a woman. It does mention anyone with the XX chromesome, and that has some interesting implications. Now, this is from a section from the perspective of a single person’s thoughts, so that’s not necessarily what this universe defines as a woman. But is every stealth trans person in America going to be outed? A trans man that falls victim to the cocoon, or a trans woman who doesn’t would be an interesting storytelling opportunity. How great a story would that be, exploring the implications of a mass outing and sudden visibility of trans people, coupled with a national crisis? Unfortunately, the synopsis on the flap of the dust cover seems to be saying that only a single woman escapes the cocoons. So, it doesn’t look like that would be the case. I mean, I can still dream.

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