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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Insomnia is on the rise. More than a third of all adults report experiencing it, with the figure climbing steeply among those over sixty-five. Marina Benjamin takes on her personal experience of the condition--her struggles with it, her insomniac highs, and her dawning awareness that states of sleeplessness grant us valuable insights into the workings of our unconscious mi ...more
Hardcover, 122 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by Catapult
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
"When I think of insomnia's wayward rhythms what I picture is this: gaudy insomnia with its wide lapels and toothy grin is the last groover on the dance floor, still going at it after everyone has collapsed in a heap or gone home...."

This brilliant mix of memoir, mythology, literature and science is a meditation on too many sleepless nights. Plus the cover sparkles!

I spoke about my first experience with this book on Episode 135 of the Reading Envy Podcast

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a
Eric Anderson
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We’ve all had those nights when we wake up in some dark hour and can’t get back to sleep no matter what method we use to try to trick ourselves back into unconsciousness. I’ve found watching a good nature or outer space programme can often lull me, but sometimes nothing works. Although I occasionally go through periods when sleeplessness plagues me night after night leaving me exhausted and bleary-eyed throughout the workday, I’ve never considered it to be a serious or chronic problem. But other ...more
Vincent Scarpa
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“When you cannot get sleep you fall in love with sleep, because desire (thank you, Lacan) is born out of lack. Perhaps there is an inverse relationship here, between the degree of lack and the corresponding degree of love. How much do I love sleep, I wonder. And can sleep love me back? The medieval Islamic poet Rumi seemed to think the relationship might be reciprocal. In ‘The Milk of Millennia’ he wrote: ‘every human being streams at night into the loving nowhere.’ I find it comforting to think ...more
Apr 03, 2018 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
'She adds new dimensions to both our understanding of sleep (and going without it) and of night, of how we perceive darkness.'

Behold, a book written for me
C.M. Arnold
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
In 2014 I had my absolute worst bout of insomnia. It lasted months. In that time I tried pretty much every "this will help you sleep" routine/supplement/drug known to man. I also read a lot of books about it. I hadn't read a book about insomnia in over four years. And with that pretty cover...I couldn't resist temptation.

I want to start by saying this middle of the road rating has a lot to do with my aversion towards purple prose. Am I guilty of it from time to time? Probably. I just can't stan
Marina Benjamin's book is meditation on the inability to sleep, a collection of lyrical paragraphs that explore the unexpected pleasures and isolating frustration of insomnia. Though my bouts with insomnia tend to only last a couple of days (thanks, full moon), I can identify with so much of she writes.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: october-2018
Marina Benjamin's Insomnia, published by Scribe in November 2018, is described as an 'intense, lyrical, witty, and humane exploration of a state we too often consider only superficially.'  In her memoir, Benjamin has 'produced an unsettling account of an unsettling condition that treats our inability to sleep not as a disorder, but as an existential experience that can electrify our understanding of ourselves, and of creativity and love.'  

Its blurb points to the way in which Insomnia crosses ge
Karen Mace
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This isn't a book that will help you solve your insomnia, but it does go someway in helping you understand it and know that you aren't alone as the author does a beautiful job of describing how she feels when she is suffering insomnia, and all the rational and irrational thoughts that go through your head while the rest of the world (so it seems!) is sleeping with no problems.

It's only a short book but contains so many different thoughts, perspectives and attitudes towards the different stages o
Diane Hernandez
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Stream-of-consciousness on the topic of Insomnia.

Most people, like me, occasionally have trouble sleeping. When lying awake in bed, strange and varied thoughts run willy-nilly through your brain. If those thoughts were put on paper, it would be this book. It contains science, art, philosophy and even mythology related to the sleeping process. Plus it’s meta fun to read about insomnia while suffering from it. However, there is no true conclusion. It’s as if the author finally fell asleep herself.
Marc Nash
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully and poetically written but impressionistic which ultimately draws no conclusions but provides a ton of images to set you thinking. But if you want answers or cures, this won't provide them.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I am not alone :)
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author beautifully describes her relationship with sleep and the lack of it. Literary, art, and cultural examples add to Benjamin’s unique perspective and thoughtful commentary on Insomnia.
Marc Nash
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
beautiful & poetic but very impressionistic. ie plenty of things to fire your imagination but no answers or cures!
Lorri Steinbacher
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Beautifully written. If you are an insomniac you can take some solace in knowing that someone has written about the affliction with such grace and insight.
Rhonda Lomazow
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So well written so lyrical in an odd way an ode to Insomnia to the gifts the quiet the dark can bring.As a fellow insomniac I felt an immediate friendship with the author as we travel down the sleepless path,Thanks @edelweiss @catapultpress.
Scribe Publications
Every insomniac knows how sleeplessness warps and deforms reality. Marina Benjamin anatomises its endless nights and red-eyed mornings, finding a sublime language for this strange state of lack. Her writing is often reminiscent of Anne Carson: beautiful, jagged and precise.
Olivia Laing, Author of The Lonely City

An exquisite meditation on time, the dark hours, and the complexities of longtime love, Insomnia is a poetic journey into the wide-awake, generous, exciting mind of Marina Benjamin. I cou
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, self-research
This is a must read for anyone who struggles to sleep and loves lyrical writing. The structure of this is in bits and pieces with larger threads running through that the author expertly pucks up and drops at the right moments. I found myself relating deeply to so many of her insomniac descriptions that this very solitary thing did indeed feel shared.

It’s short and darts here and there throughout making it quick but sometimes requiring me to double back to make sure I didn’t lose my place. Not un
Jared Day
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It took me a bit to get through Insomnia for how short it is. Marina’s writing style and pacing drove me insane, in all of the best ways. The entire book felt like I was going through a full night of lying awake with my racing thoughts. Each page, each new idea another thought for me to hyper fixate on. The book ended with a sense of relief, finally falling asleep knowing you will be unrested in the morning, yet satisfied nonetheless. I will most likely be visiting Marina in the land of sleeples ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’d give this 2 1/2 stars. There are some interesting points for sure. I appreciated how Benjamin tells the stories of various literary characters through the lens of insomnia. There are some very unique things she does within the book; it just didn’t grab me personally. Still, it was easy to read and enjoyable.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was interesting to read books that have words I don't quite understand but it was also very exciting. The amount of vivid imagery is very enchanting; I can feel the author's thoughts and soul pouring out into this book of hers. As someone who struggled with sleep, this was a very refreshing look into the mind of another insomniac.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
As someone who has suffered from insomnia for nine years I really wanted a story that focused more on the authors reality and not on so many other elements. It’s an interesting read but the Greek mythology was just not my favorite and it did nothing to help move the memoir along.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I LOVE the cover. Unfortunately I didn’t care too much for the writing, a lot of it was more artsy and..
I can’t think of the word I want. It’s not bad, it’s just not what I was looking for.

Sophie Smith
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I would have liked more about her experiences but it’s a good read.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Perhaps better reading for someone who wants to understand insomnia than someone who lives with it.
Kristie Schmidt
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Nov 24, 2018
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Dec 08, 2018
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Jan 13, 2019
Andrew Queisser
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Jan 01, 2019
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Dec 04, 2018
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Mar 26, 2018
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“Insomnia, then, is not just a state of sleeplessness, a matter of negatives. It involves the active pursuit of sleep. It is a state of longing.” 2 likes
“In insomnia we encounter the very heart of love’s darkness: the essential otherness of the beloved.” 2 likes
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