Broken Sleep




Broken Sleep “is about a man, Moses, who makes two life changing discoveries that lead him on a journey that is funny, heartbreaking and beautiful.”
—Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW’s Bookworm

“The novel, rife with hidden secrets and fatal family ties, unfolds on both coasts — against the twin settings of New York and Los Angeles. Weaving together multiple perspectives and timelines, Bauman succeeds at unleashing an intergenerational story, lyrical, tormenting, and fiercely relatable, much like the Bellow generation of Jewish writers…. Bauman’s novel is also identifiably feminist, in a way that separates the text from its predecessors. ”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“[A] plangent tour de force of epic proportions… [Broken Sleep’s] amalgam of distinct perspectives creates an incoherent coherence that challenges and rewards in turn. Both a nightmare and a dream, this work successfully engages with eternal questions of truth and evil to form a solid and captivating literary experience.”
—Library Journal, starred review

“Through the eyes of such different people — the schizophrenic mother, the rock-star son, the abandoned brother, and the faithful friend, we see that man has always dreamed, endured until a breaking point, and then fought. Bauman manages to capture both the insatiable drive for fame and success, and the harsh reality of unrealized dreams that seem distinctly American.”
Electric Lit

“A literary novel with a great plot…. [Broken Sleep] is a funny novel, but it’s also an incredibly serious emotional novel in a way we don’t get nowadays so much.”
—David Kipen, book critic on KPCC’s Take Two

“Bauman [has] the virtue of writing well in multiple registers. Salome’s perspective is free-wheeling and dreamlike, Moses’ sagely, and Alchemy is seen largely via tough-talking band mate Ambitious Mindswallow, who rises from a Queens street kid to member of the world’s biggest band. He’s a key allegorical figure in Bauman’s lament for a lost American dream where once upon a time anything was possible. A big-thinking…postmodern epic.”

“In this mind-bending work of fiction that entwines generations and continents, each character represents contemporary life’s most existential crises…Although Moses Teumer loses his way among a swelling cast of characters, Bauman never loses his authorial way. As the plot spins out of control, Bauman is always, somehow, bringing his characters back home again.”
Shelf Awareness

“Calling all fans of Pynchon and/or giant novels that will make your brain bubble in your skull! Bauman has written a mind-bending postmodern novel…. An ambitious, epic book.”

“[H]ilarious and sad, often at the same time. [Broken Sleep] is a novel of many layers, and it is quite fun to peel them

A “sweeping portrait of postmodern America… Along the way are cameos by Greta Garbo and Marcel Duchamp, generous rewritings of biblical history, suicides, shootings, institutionalizations, orgies, and much, much more. Above all, Broken Sleep entertains.”
—Los Angeles Review

Gone with the Wind meets Infinite Jest meets Lust for Life meets Off the Grid meets Great Expectations meets The Corrections in this sweeping novel of epic human flaws and unwieldy intergenerational destiny set against the paradisiacal dystopia of the late-20th century American art world…”
Whitehot Magazine

Broken Sleep is a Pynchon-esque shaggy dog of a novel spanning nearly eight decades of American history, from World War II to the not-too-distant future.  Often funny, occasionally heartbreaking, and always revelatory, Bauman puts deep character-driven narratives through their proverbial paces, playing with conventions of form, genre, and conceptions of history.”
The Rumpus

Broken Sleep, a story which gathers an eclectic band of characters, each involved in their own personal quests and forming a sort of modern day Wizard of Oz. … It provides a portrait of an era in a way that only great fiction can do as opposed to standard works of non-fiction.”
New Pages

Broken Sleep‘s “heartfelt scenario, complex characters, and fascinating structure keep it engrossing, relatable, and subtly earnest and beautiful from beginning to end.”

Broken Sleep is what happens when a writer bridges the magic between their pen and their mind. It’s innovative, it’s heartbreaking, it’s beautiful, it’s emotional—it opens with a bang.”

“Bruce Bauman’s Broken Sleep is a titanic, post-punk mosaic of history, art, philosophy, myth, family, politics, war, peace, illness, sports and, of course, rock and roll. Oh, and the Nazis. Let’s not forget the Nazis. Aside from that, it’s also the only book in the history of literature to open with an assisted suicide presented as a public art installation…”

“His work in Broken Sleep is unlike anything I can remember reading. Its multi-layered plot, titles, character names, discography and puns operate on a level unlike most contemporary fiction.”
The Coachella Review

“Bauman is a modern master and his control, his pace and his compassion are things to marvel at. Broken Sleep is rich, hilarious and shot through with the kind of winning velocity whose aural equivalent is a pop song that comes with the kind of massive chorus that will bring you to your knees and make you feel like the world will never end.”
Stereo Embers

“Broken Sleep is sprawling, complex, wildly imaginative and unflaggingly emotional. It has an astonishing range, not only in theme but structure…”
Huffington Post

Broken Sleep: out of nightmares, daymares and the genius of Bruce Bauman.”

“This book is so complexly structured. It’s a kaleidoscope. A  deep dive into the New York art world and a very deep dive into rock ‘n roll. This is a rock ‘n roll novel.”
LARB Radio Hour

“The result is a novel that impressed me not only for its scope, but its exuberant style…. Broken Sleep contains numerous thoughts about politics and art, it’s the personal story that creates the greatest connection. To discuss the most interesting plot twists would ruin the surprises and the fun.”
The Reporter Group

“Readers who like their fiction on the wacky side will appreciate the rollicking energy.”

“Bruce Bauman is a creator of two exceptional novels beginning with And The Word Was, a panoramic examination of grief and loss. Bauman’s second novel, Broken Sleep, published late in 2015, depicts mourning and loss on a different scale. In this way, Bauman’s two novels intertwine as they juxtapose feelings of loss for what was and wasn’t.”
Full Stop

“…Broken Sleep is a dreamlike tome… a four course meal, to be savored: every bite, every word, was spectacular…. It is one of the most engrossing, thought-provoking and entertaining books I have ever read….”

“[A] beautifully heartbreaking book about family, love, loyalty, sickness, and secrets…. This is by far one of the best books that I have read in 2015 because it touches on so many aspects, but it touches the reader, too. This is a novel that sticks with you for months to come. It’s a literary experience that will not be forgotten….”
The Book Ramblings

“Such a pleasure to plunge into this joyous kaleidoscope of a novel, a multi-voiced tumbling chorus of outrageous characters, hidden parenthood, secrets and discoveries, the gritty outré art world of the 1970s, rockers and mad visionaries and a man named Moses who just wants to live his life when illness forces him to open up the closed door of his family’s mysterious past. I haven’t seen a book with such energy and joy and sweeping delights since The World According to Garp. Bauman’s novel is a tour de force.”
—Janet Fitch, author of Paint It Black and White Oleander

“A synesthetic and unfettered book that cascades between a quartet of voices to depict a family not so much broken as fractured over several generations, and shifts in art and politics from the 60s and, prophetically, into our future. A stunning, lively and funny evisceration of American art, culture, and politics, and of the links connecting them.”
—Brian Evenson, author of The Open Curtain

“Consuming multitudes of novels before it and after, Bruce Bauman’s flipbook-epic spectacularly shuffles voice and memory—a careening travelogue on psychic terrains of fate, art, sex, madness, history, philosophy, rock ’n’ roll, the personal political, and laws of identity for which no statute of limitations can exist. This is raging, inspiration-jacked literary insomnia at the deepest hour of our brilliant dreaming.”
—Steve Erickson, author of These Dreams of You and Zeroville

Broken Sleep is a stunning, original, unpredictable novel, with a mix of wild voices and riveting, driving stories. I love all the characters—the rebel Salome, sad Moses fighting for his life, the incredibly charismatic Alchemy, the much-abused Absurda, and that troublesome Mindswallow. The world that Bauman imagines is chilling and vivid, and there is an abundance of wisdom throughout the book, with startling insights on every page. The novel is a brilliant success—brave, wonderfully eccentric, utterly confident, and engrossing.”
—Joanna Scott, author of De Potter’s Grand Tour

“Bruce Bauman’s Broken Sleep is a rare bird: a sprawling, encyclopedic narrative, partly a meditation on the nature of art and storytelling, partly a family saga, and perhaps rarest of all an experimental novel that’s also very readable. A high-risk enterprise with a similarly high pay off.”
—Geoff Nicholson, author of The City Under the Skin

Broken Sleep is an unabashedly Big Think book that refuses to be categorized. On the surface it’s a roller coaster, jetting forward with ideas/observations on everything from avant-garde art to rock ’n’ roll renown to history and philosophy. Yet beneath the surface it is also a warm-hearted exploration of the deep messiness of families. Of parents, present and absent, and their children. Of siblings and spouses and volitional families of friends and bandmates. It’s a simultaneously poignant and exhilarating ride.”
—Melvin Jules Bukiet, author of After