"Intelligent, compassionate and unsettling."—The New York Times
“Devlin twists and breaks the typical zombie narrative without spoiling one of the cleverest conceits in recent horror. Suffice to say that the author takes a scalpel to the post-truth era.”—Esquire
In the tradition of Mira Grant and Stephen Graham Jones, Malcolm Devlin’s And Then I Woke Up is a creepy, layered, literary story about false narratives and their ability to divide us.
In a world reeling from an unusual plague, monsters lurk in the streets while terrified survivors arm themselves and roam the countryside in packs. Or perhaps something very different is happening. When a disease affects how reality is perceived, it’s hard to be certain of anything…
Spence is one of the “cured” living at the Ironside rehabilitation facility. Haunted by guilt, he refuses to face the changed world until a new inmate challenges him to help her find her old crew. But if he can’t tell the truth from the lies, how will he know if he has earned the redemption he dreams of? How will he know he hasn’t just made things worse?
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
A prescient premise drives this stunning weird tale from Devlin (Unexpected Places to Fall from, Unexpected Places to Land): a disease renders the infected vulnerable to perceptions of relative realities, making them susceptible to "the fiction between the real and the perceived," or what they refer to as "the narrative." Two years prior to the start of the novella, the narrator, Lewis "Spence" Spencer, was infected, and, believing that patrons at the restaurant where he worked had turned into a pack of cannibalistic monsters, he and fellow believer Macey killed more than 30 people. Macey's death helped to break Spence from his delusions, leaving him "cured" but still living in the Ironside medical facility. Now, he meets new patient Leila and together they escape from Ironside. On the outside, Spence seeks redemption for the atrocities he committed as he tries to determine which narrative is true. Devlin does a superb job showing how his afflicted characters are compelled to accept outrageous beliefs that contradict the objective realities before them. The result is an unsettling cautionary tale for the age of alternative facts.
Certainly a reflection on the attitudes tearing America apart. Quick read. I am passing it along because it makes for a great discussion.