Bedtime Story

Bedtime Story

A Novel

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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Following his bestselling debut, Before I Wake , Robert J. Wiersema returns with this exquisitely plotted blend of supernatural thriller and domestic drama.
 
For novelist Christopher Knox, getting up early every morning to write isn't bringing him the sense of fulfillment it once did. It's been ten years since his first novel was published, to some acclaim, and he's hit a wall in trying to write his next. His marriage to Jacqui isn't doing much better, and it's been months since he's slept anywhere but his office above the detached garage.
 
The part of Chris's life that is going well, and brings him easy joy, is his relationship with his eleven-year-old son, David. While Chris may not make it to all of his son's ball games, their nightly ritual of reading together at bedtime not only helps David overcome his struggles with reading, but is a calm within the storm for them both, when their days are so full of challenges. And what better way for a novelist to connect with his child than through their mutual love of books, and a bedtime story routine as unwavering as Chris's love for his son.
 
When Chris comes across a book by one of his favourite childhood authors in a local used bookstore, he knows it will be the perfect gift for David's birthday. To the Four Directions is not one Chris has read before, but he knows that Lazarus Took's adventurous, magical stories of young heroes and other realms would be just the thing for David, as they were for him. David is less than thrilled to receive a book he's never heard of before, however - he'd been hoping for The Lord of the Rings - and Jacqui is quick to see it as yet another sign of Chris's detachment from David's life.
 
But once they start reading the novel together, David is completely enthralled, to the extent that he truly cannot put the book down. The story, of a young peasant boy who is plucked from his home by castle guards and sent on a quest for a mysterious Sunstone, makes David feel like he is right there, in the action. Even after his parents have to take the book away from him, he can't help but sneak it back to his room. As David is reading alone that night, he suffers an inexplicable seizure and falls into a state of unconsciousness. Doctors perform a barrage of tests, but cannot determine what's wrong. And as David's seizure recurs every night, his father learns that only one thing will calm it: being read to from his strange new book.
 
True to his nature, as someone with an inherent belief in the power of words, Chris becomes convinced that the secret of David's collapse lies within the pages of To the Four Directions . After failed attempts to find out more about Lazarus Took from his estate, Chris traverses the continent in search of the truth. Meanwhile, David wakes up within the story he has been reading - as the boy he has been reading about - and finds himself facing perils unimaginable, in a world that he soon realizes was created to capture the hearts and souls of children like him. Because he's not alone as he takes over the hunt for the Sunstone, but accompanied by those boys who have come before him. And as the quests of father and son lead them toward a fateful collision of worlds, David realizes that while he's not the first to fall victim to the book's horrific spell, perhaps he can prove himself strong enough to be the last.

ISBN: 9780679313755
Characteristics: 483 pages ;,24 cm.

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This story is neither fish nor fowl. The relationship struggles between the parents; their sexual tension and his writer's block and drinking indiscretions might be of intereste to an older readership but the pueril search for the evil wizard who put a spell on his 11 year old son through a bed time story is so simplistic I could hardly take the time to read the plot line. I don't know why they bothered to publish this book and I will avoid this author in future. Just because it is Canadiana does not guarantee good reading.

s
sportsbookspce
Apr 06, 2013

I loved this book. It seems long but once you start reading it is captivating. I liked how it alternated between the real world and the story world. There were alot of surprises and I absolutely loved the ending. Great book.

2
21221011804819
Jan 29, 2013

This novel is honestly one of the best I've ever read. It was very engaging and lifts the reader away, I could not put it down! I think Robert J Wiersema is a brilliant, inspiring genius. You will not regret reading this book!

m
mack1729
Dec 04, 2012

Loved this book - very engaging, didn't want to put it down.

a
andreareads
Nov 15, 2012

The first section was great, a real pageturner. Then the story got bogged down. I wanted more of the fantasy storyline (and possibly some flashbacks to the life of Lazarus Took), less of the modern day, more of the son's story, less of the father's. There were some interesting supporting characters who got dropped along the way, and an unconvincing, power-hungry evil villain. The confluence of events at the end seemed messy and certainly didn't answer all of my questions. For all that, it was still a good read. I just wish the whole book had lived up to the opening.

a
azor
Jul 11, 2012

Started off with promise but became juvenile. Disappointing. I soldiered through and was not rewarded.

mayfairlady Apr 12, 2012

I found the concept to be a bit of a stretch at the beginning and yet the writing draws you into the story. I was captivated.

k
KatVonA
Nov 05, 2011

Once I started this book, I devoured it. Very well writen and the story moves along quite quickly.

BPLNextBestAdults Jul 06, 2011

I was quickly drawn into the trying life of Christopher Knox, a one-time successful author, columnist, and father. Christopher is struggling with work obligations, and separated from his wife Jacqui. He decides to give his son David a fantasy novel for his eleventh birthday. With David being a reluctant reader, Christopher makes a habit of reading part of the book to his son every night. David looks forward to their nighttime ritual and is quite enjoying the story. Then he begins to suffer from mysterious seizures and has to be hospitalized when he slips into a coma. Devastated, Christopher is determined to continue to read to David every night until he realizes that there is a connection between the novel and his son’s seizures. It would seem that David has become trapped in the story.
Christopher’s family must work together to uncover the secrets of the novel and defeat their enemies if they are to regain their life and survive the Bedtime Story. They must save David before the story ends.
Definitely a late night page turner for fantasy readers.

8
8217549
Jun 24, 2011

little bit slow at the beginning but then the story grabs you. very hard to put down.

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a
andreareads
Nov 15, 2012

My routine demanded that the writing come first, that everything else – e-mail, websites, online writers’ forums – wait until the day’s words were down. Avoiding temptation was the only way I knew that I would actually get the work done.

a
andreareads
Nov 15, 2012

Jacqui had been my first reader almost since the day we met. She would give my English papers a quick once-over, but when it came to those early short stories, she was tireless. I would hand her fresh pages and she would hand them back to me so covered in red ink they seemed to be bleeding.
I became a better writer, writing for her.

a
andreareads
Nov 15, 2012

“It always amazes me,” she said thoughtfully, “just how much passes most people unaware. It’s like they’re living in a black and white world, completely unaware of the colours all around them.”

Age Suitability

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DanglingConversations thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 18

b
becker
Jun 23, 2011

becker thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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