Book Jacket

 

rank 5921
word count 15406
date submitted 28.09.2009
date updated 25.10.2009
genres: Fiction, Comedy, Other
classification: adult
incomplete

Long Distance Sleepwalker

Andrew Syers

Unsuccessful temp Peter Papapanos sleepwalks non-stop along the streets of London for several days until he finds the thing that has ruined his life.

 

Near future. One recession ends. Another begins. Life is just about tolerable for Peter Papapanos, unsuccessful temp by day and artist by night, until the Harlem Corporation uses him as a guinea pig. Without informing him, they place product placements in his dreams using a brainwave machine called the ‘Message Facilitator’– turning him into a shopaholic. Unable to earn enough to support his habit, he ends up a criminal.

While mugging someone, he is captured by a group of guerrilla journalists. They reveal the cause of his metamorphosis and tell him that the next victim will be the rest of the world if he doesn’t help them track down the ‘Facilitator’.

Tutored in ‘Lucid Dreaming’ and hypnotized, Peter, in a series of dreams, rejects products that would supposedly save his life. With each refusal, the dreamt scene disintegrates until all there is left is a blinding whiteness and the stench of burnt toast. His physical body (hypnotically released from the paralysis of sleep) follows the trail of the smell.

For days, the journalists accompany him through the streets of London to smooth his hazardous path and ring strangers' doorbells so he can walk through their homes and find the ‘Facilitator’.

 
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tags

alternative, anarchic, aspirations, contemporary, dark humour, dreams, globalization, humour, london, lucid dreaming, modern, mystery, neurosis, paran...

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33 comments

 

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mikegilli wrote 1597 days ago

This is great...Instantly shelved. Thanks for
cheering up my evening.
From the pitch it's not quite clear that this is a howler.
Okay mad consumption is a serious theme. In fact
it's all irreverent and subversive...
and SO funny..poor old Papapanose..
It''s a classic..it needs publishing....mikey...The Free

Kolro wrote 1600 days ago

Excellent nuggets of wit thrown into an already fascinating story. The drying paint, the hoity toity Jesus- this is just a masterpiece of small touches binding into a web of hilarity. I think you can now disregard everything I've just written because I used the phrase 'web of hilarity'. I'm a cretin.

This story was brilliant though. Backed with pleasure.

mikegilli wrote 1605 days ago

perfect for me........can you remind me?
cheers..........mikey

jfreedan wrote 1613 days ago

I enjoyed reading this. I do think you could probably condense your pitch though. Rather than name the machine, you could just say he was brainwashed. I would also simplify the plot down into one central idea. That would make it more likely for an agent to read the query since many of their blogs profess they stop reading if the plot sounds too complicated.

Backed.

Andrew W. wrote 1613 days ago

Long Distance Sleepwalker

Hi Andrew,

Why has this got a read arrow? It’s a brilliant concept, but it would all be down to the writing for me once I’d imbibed your excellent pitch and this is great stuff. For someone with the attention span of a gnat if I am not hooked early this book is fantastic, quick, short chapters, loads of dialogue and a fizzing intelligence behind the words that demands our attention as a reader in case we miss something.

Perfect storytelling, turning the red arrow green right now – Alacazam!

Best wishes and good luck
Andrew W
(Sanctuary’s Loss) –all help gratefully received


T.L Tyson wrote 1613 days ago

Really delighted in this!
Was drawn by the pitch and cover.
I love the opening. This is simple, clear and concise writing but really there is a very vivid voice behind it.
Then on to chapter two.
There is a humor here, at times laugh out loud and at times driy and witty.
Happy that I stumbled upon this.
Backed
T.L Tyson-Seeking Eleanor

Simon Swift wrote 1621 days ago

Couldn't wait for a reply Andrew, sorry! Got drawn in by your excellent pitch and am still reading! This book really should be much much higher and I cannot understand why it isnt! I am gonna back it right now and I will be reading on!
Simon

lynn clayton wrote 1626 days ago

Andrew, a suggestion of Sidney carton in A Tale of Two Cities in Peter hating everyone and assuming everyone hates him. It's natural to want to know more about someone so defiant. There's a rhythm to your prose - perhaps that's why it's so easy to read. And your mad imagination, vivid description and humour where humour never normally goes make it unusually, well, brilliant.Shelved. Lynn

Jane Alexander wrote 1626 days ago

Andrew, you have a very clear and unusual voice, one that I really enjoy. Comedic yes, but bloody dark humour (my favourite type). Very few nits for me (though I'm not great at picking up grammar etc as I tend to read for the story and only note down things that slowed my read)...Hoodie stuck out (as think it needs lower case H).
Think that was it really.
Other than that I read and winced, and went yeeuch (at the asylum scenes and the shit on the shoes being wiped on the bed above all) and laughed (at the 65-year old model's waving erection) and was just wide-eyed at where this was going and wished I could find out. I read the first four parts posted (ie the two prologue type bits and hte first two chapters - second VERY short!) and really did enjoy it very much indeed.
Oh, the underling was a little intrusive - presumably to signify italics?
It's hugely different and I really do wish you well with getting it out into print.
Backed with pleasure and a big smile and a shudder! (checking shoes too)
Jane
WALKER

Evan M wrote 1628 days ago

I enjoyed your opening, Andrew and I'm happy to shelve.

The prose is cool and stylised and very original - immediately allows the reader to get a feel for the tone of the book. The plot sounds well thought-out with plenty of scope for unusual almost absurdist adventure. I note that it's not listed as sci-fi which surprised me. In terms of style and themes, it reminds me a little of William Gibson's stuff?? No bad thing in my book!!

In short, a stylish, ambitious opening.

Thanks and best of luck with this. E

Comments on Ch1:
No semi-colon after Oxford Street. Just a comma. (In general, the punctuation feels a bit 'loose' with semi-colons/commas almost randomly inserted into the text??)

I quite like using 'dashes' but two sets in one sentence is a bit confusing??

Is Hoodie a proper noun? If not, no caps.

Does he really snarl? Seems an odd thing to do? If you mean, he tells her to f**k off, sneers, stares aggressively etc I think you need to spell it out?

Watch out for cliches/stock phrases (how right he was, washed their hands of him, showed him the door etc) They undermine the realism of the fiction?

...they said of him [full-stop] 'What a git!'

Do people really say 'Why,' at the beginning of sentences in this way? Seems very dated?

I don't think the venom/poison analogy quite works? Maybe something more 'numbing'? Tranquilizer? Anaesthetic?

Do 'sophisticated' and multi-coloured Afro/eye patch naturally go together?

KW wrote 1629 days ago

“He hated everyone and assumed everyone hated him. And how right he was.” That is a good way to start, I think. I’ve warmed up to the MC immediately. “You’re the victim of a terrible experiment!” Now, I’m warmed and intrigued. That’s a very nice hook, so I turn the page.

Now, the Cincinnati Tigers were beaten in the game “we” played last night. I love the way you convey what so many “fans” bark about some professional ball team they are convinced they belong to. Donuts, pills, ropes tied to beds and “Why has everyone forsaken me?” a Christ figure whispers from his bed that was next to a one holding a patient who thought he was Judas.

Yes, “wipe your shoes on his bed. Don’t want to spread it everywhere.” What language is that anyway? By the way, “shit’s worse than vomit.” Then there ends up being an ambulance stolen by a mental patient, not to mention the driver’s cell phone.

I really like this wild romp of a story. Yes, “call him!”

Next chapter, there’s a naked sixty-five-year-old man modeling in a studio who falls asleep and his penis starts to bob up and down. This breaks the ice between Peter and Helen. Of course, it would.

Simply, this is a very entertaining piece of writing. The Zack Contemporary Show is a hoot. “Go Zack! Go! . . . The public has a right to know!” Well, I want to know what happens next, so you are shelved.

Adrian.A.Moore wrote 1629 days ago

‘Bill had been working there since the paint had dried and now felt almost as flaky’ – this made me laugh. ‘He Bill liked’ maybe ‘Bill, he liked’
I think this is well written and quite witty. I liked the comments of the policemen ‘Try Piccadilly’. The problem with the old man in the art class, well, I think most of us would laugh. I am happy to back your book. Good luck with it.

Adrian

DMC wrote 1631 days ago

Andrew
This is a wacky and original premise. I particularly enjoy your irony and slightly darker humour. There is a real exuberance to your prose making this quite addictive along with the dizzy pace set by fast forward // rewind etc. I’d suggest extending your prologue though and going deeper into the protagonist’s head letting us know a little more about the ‘addiction’ – maybe he can justify it to himself more? Just a thought. But I have no real complaints. This is strong writing with more than your average helping of unique creativity - a pleasure to encounter.
Shelved with my best wishes
David
Green Ore

andyroo wrote 1633 days ago

Crazy! This is so wacky I have to like it... if only to see what the hell your mind concocts next! Very easy to read, a real joy in fact. It skips along with such ease, I may as well be hearing someone speak it. My favourite aspect is definitely your sparkling imagination, and you plot leads the way, dragging me along with it and showing no mercy. Great, exciting, fun stuff, and wonderfully quirky.

Andrew

Jed Oliver wrote 1642 days ago

Wonderful! Oh my, this is a genuine riot! Congratulations on a very creative imagination
and the ability to convey it to others. A definite winner! Backed with pleasure. Jedward (Brünnhilde)

Andrew Syers wrote 1643 days ago

Hi, Freddie, thanks for your feedback and for evidently reading all of my chapters which I find very flattering. I will think about the actors. An aspect of Peter is that he does revere long dead actors like 'Alistair Sim' and old TV programmes like 'Dads Army', but I take your point. The novel is meant to be set in the near future (mainly in London but also in USA) so that the malaise exhibited is mainly recognisable, but there are still some good things in Peter's life to be lost unlike in the dystopic novel where practically everything seems to be lost already. All the Best.

"it's easy to be paranoid, he thought, when the whole world's against you" very true, that . .

this is a study of a society's malaise as seen through peter's eyes . his art, and the scene where the life model falls asleep and displays grotesque tumescence, is perhaps symbolic of it . peter and helen find each other laughing about this .

when he wonders which actor's died, i wondered why he was thinking of actors already very old or even dead . i didn't clock when this is set - but it gave off a sense of being more in the past than the future . . why not try actors now slightly younger - pitt or clooney, or even ones new on the scene now?? just a thought, but the time setting is pretty important for this to really hit home . .

but that's a minor detail . overal i enjoyed this, the sense of weary cynicism and the satire of some of your descriptions .

happy to back this and wish you well with it .

freddie
("honour")

Freddie Omm wrote 1643 days ago

"it's easy to be paranoid, he thought, when the whole world's against you" very true, that . .

this is a study of a society's malaise as seen through peter's eyes . his art, and the scene where the life model falls asleep and displays grotesque tumescence, is perhaps symbolic of it . peter and helen find each other laughing about this .

when he wonders which actor's died, i wondered why he was thinking of actors already very old or even dead . i didn't clock when this is set - but it gave off a sense of being more in the past than the future . . why not try actors now slightly younger - pitt or clooney, or even ones new on the scene now?? just a thought, but the time setting is pretty important for this to really hit home . .

but that's a minor detail . overal i enjoyed this, the sense of weary cynicism and the satire of some of your descriptions .

happy to back this and wish you well with it .

freddie
("honour")

Charley Warady wrote 1645 days ago

Hi Andrew,

I like this one! The dialog is great and the action is definitely there. I'm going to read more, but I wanted to get this on my shelf. Very well done.

Charley
"5ive Speed"

Andrew Syers wrote 1646 days ago

Thanks for your feedback and thanks for backing me! I'll review your chapters tomorrow! All the Best!

C.P. wrote 1649 days ago

Long Distance Sleepwalker

I thought it was women who shopped when they were upset. What do I know? This was a well paced fun read. Characters that make you raise your eyebrows and make you want to delve deeper. Find out why they are the way they are. Nice work. On my shelf. C.P

Steve Ward wrote 1649 days ago

Andrew.
Excellent writing, a lightning fast pace and a fun read, very funny stuff. Sixty-five year old model with an erection? heh heh. Okay Peter is a loser, but a lovable one. The opening scene in the asylum is also very entertaining. Your dialogue is spot on and from my editor's eye I couldn't find a thing to suggest. Well written and edited. Well done. You have a very compelling story here, good luck with it.
Steve Ward
Test Pilot's Daughter: Revenge

scarletjg wrote 1650 days ago

I love the pace you set. The chaos of this man's mind is beautifully written. It's not my usual genre but I was pulled in by the frenetic pulse of it all. Shelved.

Janice

Bob Steele wrote 1651 days ago

The pitch for Long Distance Sleepwalker is excellent, setting out an interesting and apparently action- packed storyline that whets the appetite for the book. The prologue is reasonably short and tightly written with a good hook at the end to keep the pages turning. The following chapters are equally well -written and I'm happy to back this.
The only downside for me was the unceremonious way new characters pop up into lead roles in C2 and C3 with little or no introduction - I continually had to stop and figure out who they were, whether they were heroes or villains - and how they fitted into the story. Nothing to add to previous detailed editing points, which I broadly agree with Good luck.

Urania wrote 1655 days ago

Andrew, this isn't usually my genre, but I thought I'd take a look because I liked your slightly weird pitch. The writing is original, you have a quirky idea here, and the pace and dialogue are superb. It flows - although I'd personally remove most of those pesky exclamation marks. Shelved.

Pia wrote 1656 days ago

Dear Andrew,

I like stubborn fools, especially if they persist long enough to turn wise. So I took to your MC
A tragic comedy, I think.
Bill had been working there since the paint had dried and felt almost as flaky.
Surreal routine in the mental ward - the trouble patient - the escape ...
This a prelude then. Unsure at this point how things hang together. Peter is a single child, I take it.
They are generally either geniuses or go under. My MC is a single child too.
What will become of Peter. The premise is original, funny and also sinister.
In places your text reads like a script, maybe worth changing the fomatting and also take those underlined words out, they stop the flow of reading. But I'm curious how Peter rejects the treatment coming, and how he finds the 'facilitator.'

Pia (Course of Mirrors)

Kim Jewell wrote 1659 days ago

Hi Andrew!

You do a great job of displaying Peter's chaotic frame of mind, not only in your short, choppy descriptive prose, but also in the edgy dialogue you write. This is definitely a unique piece of work to this site, and I find it refreshing and challenging (that's a good thing!)

Back to your pitch, I think it's well written - it clearly defines the storyline, which you need to do in this type of piece - where you plunge the reader right into the eye of Peter's frenzy. Good balance, between the clarity of the pitch and the following storyline. Nicely delivered. Backed!

Kim
Invisible Justice

sperber1 wrote 1659 days ago

I am a big believer in dialogue and that is clearly your strong suit, too. It's so important in terms of defining character, relationships and moving a story forward. You use it well here for all those, but also for humor, which I like very much.

Your prologue, thought, which has much less dialogue, is also quite good. In fact, in reading it (and knowing what is to come from your pitch), I think you have more than a comic novel here. There is a real plot with a great concept behind it. So don't sell it short on that score.

I've never read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" because it struck me as something I wouldn't like. But if this is close in spirit to that book, you've just done the author a favor and should ask him for a percentage of his royalty on his next sale. Because it will probably be me. Shelved.

Professor Iwik wrote 1660 days ago

Hey,
Fast forward: was an excellent opening chapter for a book. Though it was very short, it managed to convey just what was needed about the character. Rewind: was just as good. I read until the end of chapter three, and i must say you have a fairly original style of writing: one that is a joy to read. Your use of language and the break up of certain sentences gives this a good pace for which the reader's eyes cannot wait to scan to the next word.
I think this has a lot of potential, therefore i am placing you on my Shelf. Backed.

Regards,

Mark H

Sweet Empress wrote 1660 days ago

Love the short chapters. What I have read so fare I like.
KC
The Mysterious Legend of Vladimir

JustinSirois wrote 1662 days ago

Backed.

soutexmex wrote 1663 days ago

I liked this up to Chapter 3 where I stopped at the end. You had me until those BIG paragraphs popped up like icebergs in the North Atlantic. Do not allow this good writing to be killed by slow pacing. Think you have a worthy addition to the site here with this terrific read.

Normally I would complain about the long pitch but I think in this regard it's necessary. The short pitch is brilliant.

Because I don't read this genre, your writing did keep me interested and that shows you how well you did practicing your craft. SHELVED!

I do look forward to your comments if you have not done so already. Cheers!

JC
The Obergemau File

LittleDevil wrote 1669 days ago

This is funny and at times totally random. I like it. He moved back to his mothers and then (random) his hair fell out. This is dry and witty. I've read three chapters and it passed the test. Poor Peter, waiting for his date - he is trying to make up excuses for Susan - maybe the two observers had embarrassed her into turning around and going home. But more likely, she just didn't turn up.
Happy to shelve this
Best wishes
Sue

cavicante wrote 1669 days ago

Hello---welcome to Authonomy ---- Liked your book --- You need to break up your pitch into smaller paragraphs (too jumbled) --- and your title should just say "Sleepwalker" --- as I think that alone, is powerful enough to get the readers attention versus your current title --- The reader will know by reading your book that the sleepwalker, walks long distances, so no need to describe that in the title --- I will back the book to get you going here --- Take care - Michael

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