An instant New York Times bestseller
The new standalone novel from bestselling author Jasper Fforde
Every Winter, the human population hibernates.
During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, devoid of human activity.
Well, not quite.
Your name is Charlie Worthing and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.
You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact born of the sleeping mind.
When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling.
When you get the dreams too, it's weird.
When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.
But teasing truth from the Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting; ensure you aren't eaten by Nightwalkers, whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food; and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.
But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine.
In this richly detailed, dystopic novel from Fforde (the Thursday Next series), most of the population of Wales hibernates in huge Dormitoria through the unbearable Winter. The poor hope not to end up Dead in Sleep, while the elite, benefiting from the designer drug Morphenox, fare better but also risk becoming barely functional nightwalkers, used for manual labor and spare body parts. Charlie Worthing, awake as the newest member of the order-maintaining team of Winter Consuls, is thrown into chasing the mystery of a killer viral dream in opposition to government and business forces alike. The sprightly characters, such as the murderous Villains maintaining the habits of English sophisticates, and the intimately feuding pair of Chief Consul Toccata and Aurora, the head of HiberTech security, bring absurdity into the ambiance, but behave understandably enough to be credible. Charlie's confused but determined mundanity is a relatable anchor in this wild winter world, leavened by Fforde's surrealistic humor. Douglas Adams fans will enjoy the vibe. Author tour.