Thoughts on the book Sleeping Beauties

15 02 2018


Concepts from the book Sleeping Beauties reviewed

*Spoilers Ahead*
I spent the last ten days of my life reading Steven King and Owen King’s co-authored book Sleeping Beauties, all 700 pages. As someone who has read all 700 pages I’ll let you know right now that you could skip from about 530 to 650 and be just fine.

The premise of the book is pretty simple. Women fall asleep and as they sleep a cocoon wraps around them, if any dude tries to cut the cocoon off, the women violently attack them. Men freak out. Basically fuck up the planet even more. While the women sleep, they’re transported to a different world where they can start the whole thing over from scratch.

The men battle over the one woman who has all these magic powers and can wake back up after falling asleep. If they choose the right course of action, the women in the other world have the chance to vote on whether or not they want to come back to the world of men or start anew.

Okay, maybe the premise isn’t that simple.

But I must say I was quite disappointed by the end of the book.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Maybe because I have no husband or sons but I found it rather odd that every woman chose to go back to the land of men. There wasn’t one woman in the entire new world that wanted to argue to stay, wanted to make a new world that had less violence and pain in it. I get that the authors were trying to show that women as a whole have more empathy, patience, strength. I get that a child-less woman would understand why another woman would want to go back to a world where her male children were.

Yet, women are also known to make sacrifices for the greater good. One could argue that the greater good of the planet would be to start over fresh. It was strange that not one woman would at least bring up the option. It was almost as if the authors got tired by the end of it and gave up.

What if women had to start over without men?

Would new patterns of behavior emerge? Would old ones quickly return? Is this a nature v. nurture debate? This was almost a Herland in reverse, where there once was an island of only women, then men came along and ruined everything.

It’s mostly annoying though, that there is still so much of a divide. Like, do we really need to pit women against men? Can’t traits like empathy, confidence, assertiveness, be traits on their own without assuming they’re gendered? Can we imagine a future where people are generally decent regardless of their sex? I know that’s a hard one.

It was an interesting concept for these authors to take on, considering. Of course it’s a trendy topic, but at least it’s finally trending. It’s good to get people thinking about these ideas who maybe have never before, though admittedly, 700 pages was a bit much, particularly for such an anti-climatic ending.




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