October 01, 2003
Wake Up by Tim Pears

Wake Up by Tim Pears: surreal novel that never could hold my interest as much as I would have hoped it would.

The novel starts out with John, co-owner of a very successful potato company in England, driving out to see his brother (and business partner) to tell him about two fatalities that occured in an experiment to give people vaccines administered by genetically altered potatoes. John is frightened to what these deaths are going to mean to his company and he can’t quite get himself to take the exit he’s supposed to. Almost all of this short novel takes place on that Monday in John’s car as he thinks to himself about his life and what is going to happen now.

John’s thoughts wander all over the place and he frequently changes them ("Did I say (I met my wife this way, etc.) earlier? Oh no, that’s not what happened at all; it was like this..."), which kept annoying me.

Listening to John prattle on about his life never quite could get me as interested in him as I wanted to be, so the book’s events never really mattered much to me. I will admit, however, that I wasn’t expecting the surprise revealed at the end of the book.

Would I recommend this book to others? Probably not. I didn’t really like it and ultimately, that’s what I read for - enjoyment. No enjoyment out of the book means it wasn’t worth my time. Good thing it was short.