Bedtime Story

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

Bedtime Story

by Robert J. Wiersema

Random House of Canada | August 2, 2011 | Trade Paperback

Bedtime Story is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.

Following his bestselling debut, Before I Wake, Robert J. Wiersema returns with this exquisitely plotted blend of supernatural thriller and domestic drama.
 
For novelist Christopher Knox, getting up early every morning to write isn’t bringing him the sense of fulfillment it once did. It’s been ten years since his first novel was published, to some acclaim, and he’s hit a wall in trying to write his next. His marriage to Jacqui isn’t doing much better, and it’s been months since he’s slept anywhere but his office above the detached garage.
 
The part of Chris’s life that is going well, and brings him easy joy, is his relationship with his eleven-year-old son, David. While Chris may not make it to all of his son’s ball games, their nightly ritual of reading together at bedtime not only helps David overcome his struggles with reading, but is a calm within the storm for them both, when their days are so full of challenges. And what better way for a novelist to connect with his child than through their mutual love of books, and a bedtime story routine as unwavering as Chris’s love for his son.
 
When Chris comes across a book by one of his favourite childhood authors in a local used bookstore, he knows it will be the perfect gift for David’s birthday. To the Four Directions is not one Chris has read before, but he knows that Lazarus Took’s adventurous, magical stories of young heroes and other realms would be just the thing for David, as they were for him. David is less than thrilled to receive a book he’s never heard of before, however – he’d been hoping for The Lord of the Rings – and Jacqui is quick to see it as yet another sign of Chris’s detachment from David’s life.
 
But once they start reading the novel together, David is completely enthralled, to the extent that he truly cannot put the book down. The story, of a young peasant boy who is plucked from his home by castle guards and sent on a quest for a mysterious Sunstone, makes David feel like he is right there, in the action. Even after his parents have to take the book away from him, he can’t help but sneak it back to his room. As David is reading alone that night, he suffers an inexplicable seizure and falls into a state of unconsciousness. Doctors perform a barrage of tests, but cannot determine what’s wrong. And as David’s seizure recurs every night, his father learns that only one thing will calm it: being read to from his strange new book.
 
True to his nature, as someone with an inherent belief in the power of words, Chris becomes convinced that the secret of David’s collapse lies within the pages of To the Four Directions. After failed attempts to find out more about Lazarus Took from his estate, Chris traverses the continent in search of the truth. Meanwhile, David wakes up within the story he has been reading – as the boy he has been reading about – and finds himself facing perils unimaginable, in a world that he soon realizes was created to capture the hearts and souls of children like him. Because he’s not alone as he takes over the hunt for the Sunstone, but accompanied by those boys who have come before him. And as the quests of father and son lead them toward a fateful collision of worlds, David realizes that while he’s not the first to fall victim to the book’s horrific spell, perhaps he can prove himself strong enough to be the last.




From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 496 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 1 in

Published: August 2, 2011

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679313761

ISBN - 13: 9780679313762

Found in: Fiction and Literature

save 27%

  • In stock online

$15.96  ea

Online Price

$21.00 List Price

or, Used from $5.04

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Check store inventory (prices may vary)

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Family struggle, suspense, adventure, intrigue and magic...you won't be able to put the book down! This is an Amazing book! Without giving to much away..it starts with a struggling writer, Chris Knox who's relationship with his wife is falling apart. Thankfully, he has his son David who he loves and adores. On David's eleventh birthday, Chris buys him a book written by a writer, Chris loved as a Child. However, he had never read or heard of this book before he found it in a Second Hand shop. Chris's favourite time with David is reading to him each night before bed. David becomes so fascinated with the story which is set in medieval times, that he starts to read the book alone and suddenly things start to happen.. David becomes part of the story in the book entilted "To The Four Directions". There were so many twists and turns and surprises in the book it was very exciting and hard to put down. It was full of intrigue, suspense and magic. I found I became absorbed in the book, it never faltered and was full of action and suspense right to the end of the book. Even though this book is listed as Fiction General, (I think it has more of a leaning towards Fantasy or Paranormal), I feel this book would interest most teens and adults alike, male or female even though the bottom line in this book is the connection between a father and son. I look forward to more from this author.
Date published: 2011-09-19

– More About This Product –

Bedtime Story

by Robert J. Wiersema

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 496 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 1 in

Published: August 2, 2011

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679313761

ISBN - 13: 9780679313762

Read from the Book

1     David’s eyes gleamed as I set the package on the coffee table in front of him. I had wrapped it in the comics pages from last Sunday’s paper, the way my mother used to wrap all my birthday presents.   “I wonder what this could be,” he said, bouncing the package in his hand, teasing me.   “Only one way to find out.”   Jacqui was clearing the far end of the table, stacking the cake plates, crushing the torn wrapping paper into a Thrifty Foods bag.   “It feels like a book,” he said, running his fingers around the edges of the package.   “From your father?” Jacqui asked. “How odd.”   David giggled as he tore at the paper. He looked up at me when he saw the leather cover and a corner of a faded, silver-embossed seal, and I smiled. He pulled the rest of the paper off with a flourish, no longer able to bear the excitement.   Then his face fell.   “Oh,” he said, turning the book over in his hands. “ To the Four Directions ,” he read, furrowing his brow. “By Lazarus Took.”   I forced myself to keep smiling. Jacqui shook her head and plucked the comics in which I’d wrapped the book to tuck them away.   “He’s a good writer,” I said, leaning toward him. “I haven’t read this one, but I used to read his books when I was your age.”   He looked down at the book, then back at
read more read less

From the Publisher

Following his bestselling debut, Before I Wake, Robert J. Wiersema returns with this exquisitely plotted blend of supernatural thriller and domestic drama.
 
For novelist Christopher Knox, getting up early every morning to write isn’t bringing him the sense of fulfillment it once did. It’s been ten years since his first novel was published, to some acclaim, and he’s hit a wall in trying to write his next. His marriage to Jacqui isn’t doing much better, and it’s been months since he’s slept anywhere but his office above the detached garage.
 
The part of Chris’s life that is going well, and brings him easy joy, is his relationship with his eleven-year-old son, David. While Chris may not make it to all of his son’s ball games, their nightly ritual of reading together at bedtime not only helps David overcome his struggles with reading, but is a calm within the storm for them both, when their days are so full of challenges. And what better way for a novelist to connect with his child than through their mutual love of books, and a bedtime story routine as unwavering as Chris’s love for his son.
 
When Chris comes across a book by one of his favourite childhood authors in a local used bookstore, he knows it will be the perfect gift for David’s birthday. To the Four Directions is not one Chris has read before, but he knows that Lazarus Took’s adventurous, magical stories of young heroes and other realms would be just the thing for David, as they were for him. David is less than thrilled to receive a book he’s never heard of before, however – he’d been hoping for The Lord of the Rings – and Jacqui is quick to see it as yet another sign of Chris’s detachment from David’s life.
 
But once they start reading the novel together, David is completely enthralled, to the extent that he truly cannot put the book down. The story, of a young peasant boy who is plucked from his home by castle guards and sent on a quest for a mysterious Sunstone, makes David feel like he is right there, in the action. Even after his parents have to take the book away from him, he can’t help but sneak it back to his room. As David is reading alone that night, he suffers an inexplicable seizure and falls into a state of unconsciousness. Doctors perform a barrage of tests, but cannot determine what’s wrong. And as David’s seizure recurs every night, his father learns that only one thing will calm it: being read to from his strange new book.
 
True to his nature, as someone with an inherent belief in the power of words, Chris becomes convinced that the secret of David’s collapse lies within the pages of To the Four Directions. After failed attempts to find out more about Lazarus Took from his estate, Chris traverses the continent in search of the truth. Meanwhile, David wakes up within the story he has been reading – as the boy he has been reading about – and finds himself facing perils unimaginable, in a world that he soon realizes was created to capture the hearts and souls of children like him. Because he’s not alone as he takes over the hunt for the Sunstone, but accompanied by those boys who have come before him. And as the quests of father and son lead them toward a fateful collision of worlds, David realizes that while he’s not the first to fall victim to the book’s horrific spell, perhaps he can prove himself strong enough to be the last.




From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Robert J. Wiersema was born in Agassiz, British Columbia, in 1970, and has spent his life immersed in books. He attended the University of Victoria, where he earned an honours degree in English literature. He has worked in bookstores for the last twenty years, and is currently the event coordinator at Bolen Books in Victoria, where he curates one of Canada’s most highly regarded literary events series.   In 1999, Wiersema began reviewing books for Quill & Quire magazine; today, he is one of Canada’s most recognized and respected book reviewers, with his work appearing regularly in the Globe and Mail , the National Post , the Edmonton Journal , the Vancouver Sun and numerous other publications.   Before I Wake , Wiersema’s first novel, was published in the summer of 2006 to exceptional reviews, went on to become a national bestseller and was named a Globe and Mail Best Book for 2006. In 2007, it was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Before I Wake has been published in more than a dozen countries. The World More Full of Weeping , a novella, was published in 2009, and was shortlisted for the Aurora Award. His second novel, Bedtime Story , was published in 2010, and was also a national bestseller. Wiersema’s first work of non-fiction, Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen , will be published in fall 2011.   Despite the success of his books, Wiersema remains dedicated
read more read less

Editorial Reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Powerful… Bedtime Story is all that it should be. More. It is frightening. It is fabulous entertainment. It is intensely thought-provoking. Above all, it is a hint and a tickle of things to come."  — January Magazine "About a good book, we say we ''devoured it.'' But what if a book devoured us?… In Robert Wiersema''ss Bedtime Story , it does."  — The Vancouver Sun “Un-put-downable. . . . Wiersema advances his story not through any lyrical flourishes but through masterful storytelling and intricate plotting. The narrative clips along perfectly in tune with the events of the novel, weaving seamlessly back and forth between worlds and times, and drawing the reader deeper and deeper into the mystery and suspense. . . . Bedtime Story is immensely enjoyable.”  — Edmonton Journal     “Serpentine and clever in structure, . . . rich in weird, surprising characters. . . . Enchanting.”  — The Globe and Mail   “Creative and well-written.”  — Winnipeg Free Press   “Fascinating and transformative. . . . The ‘supernatural thriller’ aspect of the novel is well-oiled and keeps the pages turning.”   — Philip Marchand, National Post   “An absorbing excursion. . . . [ Bedtime Story ] . . . is a genre unto itself, a hybrid of supernatural thriller and sword-and-sorcery fantasy.”   &
read more read less

Bookclub Guide

1. Discuss how Wiersema weaves together the two storylines in this novel. How did alternating between the two affect your reading? What are some differences between the two narrative styles?

2. Share your thoughts on Chris and Jacqui’s relationship, and the things that have brought them to the brink of separation. What sort of resolution, if any, do they come to by the end of the novel? What do you think the future holds in store?

3. What does Matthias’s presence mean to David as he fulfills his quest in To the Four Directions?

4. Talk about how selflessness, and self-sacrifice, are exhibited in this novel.

5. Some reviewers have characterized Bedtime Story as a horror novel – the story of a parent’s worst nightmare – while others would consider it a work of fantasy, or straight-up literary fiction. How useful are genre labels when you are discussing the novels you read? Would one label or another ever deter you from trying a book?

6. Explore the many parallels between the tale of the king and queen and Dafyd’s quest at the heart of To the Four Directions, and the “real-life” story of Lazarus and Cora Took and Chris’s search for answers.

7. Chris’s search for information about Lazarus Took turns into a crash course in Victorian and twentieth-century occultism. Talk about how Wiersema uses historical details about ritualistic societies like Took’s to ramp up the tension in Bedtime Story.

8. How has David changed by the end of the novel? What do you think his return to everyday life will be like?

9. E-mail, newspaper accounts and columns, journal entries . . . In addition to the novel within this novel, the written word plays a major role in the unfolding of this story. And the fact that David, who is struggling with dyslexia in real life, can in fact read is something he hides from Captain Bream. Talk about the importance of writing – and being able to read – in Bedtime Story.

Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart