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On Order

Summary

Summary

In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep: they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent. And while they sleep they go to another place, a better place, where harmony prevails and conflict is rare.

One woman, the mysterious "Eve Black," is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Eve a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain? Abandoned, left to their increasingly primal urges, the men divide into warring factions, some wanting to kill Eve, some to save her. Others exploit the chaos to wreak their own vengeance on new enemies. All turn to violence in a suddenly all-male world.

Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women's prison, Sleeping Beauties is a wildly provocative, gloriously dramatic father-son collaboration that feels particularly urgent and relevant today.


Author Notes

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maine at Orono in 1970, he became a teacher. His spare time was spent writing short stories and novels.

King's first novel would never have been published if not for his wife. She removed the first few chapters from the garbage after King had thrown them away in frustration. Three months later, he received a $2,500 advance from Doubleday Publishing for the book that went on to sell a modest 13,000 hardcover copies. That book, Carrie, was about a girl with telekinetic powers who is tormented by bullies at school. She uses her power, in turn, to torment and eventually destroy her mean-spirited classmates. When United Artists released the film version in 1976, it was a critical and commercial success. The paperback version of the book, released after the movie, went on to sell more than two-and-a-half million copies.

Many of King's other horror novels have been adapted into movies, including The Shining, Firestarter, Pet Semetary, Cujo, Misery, The Stand, and The Tommyknockers. Under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King has written the books The Running Man, The Regulators, Thinner, The Long Walk, Roadwork, Rage, and It. He is number 2 on the Hollywood Reporter's '25 Most Powerful Authors' 2016 list.

King is one of the world's most successful writers, with more than 100 million copies of his works in print. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages, and he writes new books at a rate of about one per year. In 2003, he received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2012 his title, The Wind Through the Keyhole made The New York Times Best Seller List. King's title's Mr. Mercedes and Revival made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014. He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2015 for Best Novel with Mr. Mercedes. King's title Finders Keepers made the New York Times bestseller list in 2015. Sleeping Beauties is his latest 2017 New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography) Stephen King is the author of more than thirty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are "Hearts in Atlantis", "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon", "Bag of Bones", & "The Green Mile". "On Writing" is his first book of nonfiction since "Danse Macabre", published in 1981. He served as a judge for Prize Stories: The Best of 1999, The O. Henry Awards. He lives in Bangor, Maine with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

King's book, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories, made the 2015 New York Times bestseller list.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A sleeping sickness quickly takes over the world, affecting only females. As they drift off (and enter a different dimension, the reader soon learns), a white, mossy substance covers them, leaving them in a sort of cocoon. No one knows why or how this is happening, but it soon becomes clear that trying to wake any of these sleeping beauties results in deadly, horrifying acts. Evie appears in town out of nowhere and seems to be the only female unaffected by this event but she's got supernatural powers, natch. The Kings set their tale in a small Appalachian town, home to a women's prison. Dr. Clinton Norcross, the staff psychiatrist, finds himself in charge as all of the female leadership falls asleep. It might not seem so hard to run a prison of sleeping women, right? Well, it's not so easy when Evie is there, still awake and doing strange things, and Norcross' wife, Lila the town sheriff succumbs despite her best efforts. This allegorical fantasy has a rich premise but is overly long, which may put off readers who aren't already King fans. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Two Kings in one, father and son, are bound to attract readers.--Vnuk, Rebecca Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

This delicious first collaboration between Stephen King (Doctor Sleep) and his son Owen (Intro to Alien Invasion) is a horror-tinged realistic fantasy that imagines what could happen if most of the women of the world fall asleep, leaving men on their own. No one in Dooling County figures the sickness will affect their rural Appalachian life, but TV images of women asleep and unable to be woken, with white membranous stuff wrapped around their heads, makes residents undeniably distraught. Dr. Clinton Norcross of the Dooling Women's Correctional Facility finds himself unexpectedly in charge of 114 female prisoners when an unhappy guard slips a bunch of Xanax into the coffee of warden Janice Coates, causing her to fall asleep and succumb to the sickness. Clinton's wife, county sheriff Lila Norcross, is called to the scene of a double murder and explosion; en route, she nearly runs down a half-naked woman standing in the middle of the highway. That woman, Evie, seems to have some connection to the peculiar goings-on, though no one knows what it might be. The authors' writing is seamless and naturally flowing. The book gets off to a slow start because of the amount of setup needed, but once the action begins, it barrels along like a freight train. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill Literary; Amy Williams, Williams Company. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Women worldwide are falling prey to an unusual sleeping sickness that shrouds them in a white cocoon. Anyone who tries to interrupt their otherworldly slumber are killed, as the somnambulic women turn murderous. In a small, economically depressed Appalachian town, Evie emerges half-naked from a trailer park to smite an abusive drug dealer before she's arrested and put in the local women's prison just as the outbreak reaches a fever pitch. While the males ponder a world without women, the enigmatic Evie remains unaffected. Meanwhile, the sleeping women are in an alternate dimension, a near-postapocalyptic version of their hometown. Following the renewed interest in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and an increasing climate of wolf-whistle politics, this examination of gender stereotypes, systems of oppression, and pervasive misogyny within American culture feels especially timely, though the exploration is centered in a cisgender, fairly heteronormative experience. VERDICT Violent, subversive, and compulsively readable, this latest novel from King (Mr. Mercedes), collaborating here with son Owen (Double Feature), derives more horror from its realistic depiction of violence against women than from the supernatural elements.-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal and Library Journal © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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