I think I love John Little! Seriously, I think I do. Plus, I love this cover. Check it out. See that little 442 under the black and white picture? Now, I don't know about you, but when I hear 442 I think of this bad-ass Oldsmobile.
After reading this book though, I will probably think of this story whenever I hear 442 in the future.
Charlie is a photographer by trade. He is also a man with severe sleep deprivation problems. He's been to the sleep center where they cannot seem to find anything to help him. Since then, he has a new problem. He can't figure out why when he wakes from his 1-2 hours of sleep, it is always 4:42 a.m.
All of a sudden Charlie begins to get 5-6 hours of sleep a night. He doesn't know what to make of it. He also doesn't know what to make of the dreams he is now having. The dreams show accidents and deaths, over and over again. Finally, one of the dreams gives him the date of a car accident. Since Charlie is a photographer, he places himself at the spot where the accident happened, according to his dream, and he waits there. Something does happen, but not exactly what Charlie expected.
That's all I will say about the plot. If you are familiar with John Little's body of work, you already know that his novels and novellas pack a serious punch. He is very good at bringing a real humanity to his characters and this story is no exception. Charlie is exceptionally drawn, truly human and has many faults. However, you cannot help but feel for him as this story delves more into these black and white dreams.
I think that The Memory Tree is still my favorite Little book, but this one comes in at second place, (of what I have read of his work so far). This story, ultimately (in my mind), is a tragedy. It also carries a life lesson within. It's up to the reader to find it. I highly recommend this first class novella to any fans of dark fiction. You won't be disappointed.