“The Sinking of the Houston”
by Joseph O’Neill
from the October 30, 2017 issue of The New Yorker

I haven’t really enjoyed anything he’s put out there since I loved his novel Netherland. Will this be the Joseph O’Neill story I’ve been waiting for? He certainly has me pegged in this opening paragraph:

Whhen I became a parent of young children I also became a purposeful and relentless opportunist of sleep. In fact, sleep functioned as that period’s subtle denominator. I found myself capable of taking a nap just about anywhere, even when standing in a subway car or riding an escalator. I wasn’t the only one. Out and about, I spotted drowsy or dozing people everywhere; and I realized that a kind of mechanized mass somnambulism is an essential component of modern life; and I gained a better understanding of the siesta and the snooze and the death wish.

 

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