Old Praise

FLOATING BOY AND THE GIRL WHO COULDN’T FLY (by PT Jones; Stephen Graham Jones and Paul Tremblay)

“Thrilling, heartfelt, and charmingly snarky, P. T. Jones’s first novel is a terrific debut! I didn’t want it to end. I’m handing my copy off to my daughter right now, and you’ll want to do the same.”–New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden

“As written by Stephen Graham Jones and Paul Tremblay (under a pseudonym), Mary’s narration is a slightly bratty conversation with the reader: sarcastic, defensive, moody, candid and sweet. Odd and fun.”–Globe and Mail


“How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve read Paul Tremblay’s hysterical comic dystopia, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye? Great characters, sharp dialogue, and a story crazy enough to tell the truth.”—Jeffrey Ford, author of The Shadow Year
“Paul Tremblay’s Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye is a powerful statement, both a scathingly funny black comedy and an unflinching view of a very possible American future.”—Lucius Shepard, author of A Handbook for American Prayer
“Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye is fine, ribald work. There’s a futuristic wackiness and bitterness that reminds me of the best of George Saunders’ longer stories. It’s brutal and hilarious, and Tremblay’s narrator holds it all together with an ironic grimace.”—Stewart O’Nan, author of Emily, Alone and Last Night at the Lobster
“Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye follows the lines of Animal Farm, yes, but it’s a much more complex, subtle and layered novel that, unlike its inspiration material, addresses a wide array of issues about the zeitgeist, while remaining pleasant and accessible.”—Dead End Follies


“[Tremblay] tells the kinds of stories that reveal the truths nesting inside the things that scare us the most. If ever I find myself wandering through an apocalyptic darkness, I would trust Paul Tremblay to hold my flashlight.”—Strange Horizons
“These deliciously imaginative stories are grounded in reality but have fantastic sci-fi twists that amplify the anxiety and loneliness felt by humankind.”—The Hipster Book Club 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
“When you enter the world of Paul Tremblay most anything can happen, and usually does.”—Richard Thomas, The Nervous Breakdown
“Paul Tremblay’s In The Mean Time is a dark, heart-twisting collection of short fiction which defies categorization and requires your complete attention. The children, parents, and teachers who inhabit these stories exist in the ways we all exist-through those old historical longings which are rarely answered. Tremblay offers no solutions, but in the end, somehow, we walk away with a greater understanding of ourselves. Or, at the very least, the kind of selves we are but rarely see.”—Jessica Anthony, author of The Convalesent
“In The Mean Time is a miscellany of voices-witty, wise, weird, assured. These stories push at boundaries, not just within genre; they play alongside the uneasy undercurrents of lives we’d usually call ordinary. Stories to read and read again.”
—Helen Oyeyemi, author of The Opposite House and White is for Witching
“In The Mean Time is a formidable collection, as disquieting as it is beautiful. They shock and they gleam, these stories, and the moods they provoke linger powerfully in the imagination: the dread of those who see the trouble coming and the strange relief of those upon whom it has already fallen.”—Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead
“Rumor has it that the world will end in fire and ice, but then again, if Paul Tremblay is to be believed, it may conclude in preternaturally active plants, amusement parks, sudden brain aneurisms, and silence. In Mean Time, end of the world scenarios brush up against the traumas of more personal apocalypses. The resulting stories are as stressful and quietly traumatic as they are fluidly and lucidly written.”—Brian Evenson, author of Last Days and Fugue State


“Like The Little Sleep, this one plays it straight. There’s no gimmickry with Genevich’s narcolepsy, and there’s no condescension with his character. The writing sings with all these wonderful weird free associations. As much as I liked The Little Sleep, I liked No Sleep till Wonderland even more. Nobody right now is writing more original or better PI novels than Tremblay.” –Dave Zeltserman, author of Pariah and Killer

“the clever writing will keep readers turning the pages.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“Paul Tremblay somehow manages to channel Franz Kafka, write like Raymond Chandler, and whip up a completely original, utterly whack-a-doodle reinvention of the detective novel. This book rocks.”–Mark Haskell Smith, author of Salty and Moist

“No Sleep till Wonderland delivers on the tremendous promise of The Little Sleep, simultaneously paying homage to classic noir fiction while creating a damaged and irrevocably lost anti-hero in PI Mark Genevich, who is always on the verge of emotional and physical collapse. This is a novel filled with black humor but an even blacker subtext that makes the reader question the nature of reality and self; heady stuff for a crime novel, for sure, but Paul Tremblay is a fearless writer and No Sleep till Wonderland is positively magnetic fiction.”—Tod Goldberg, author of Other Resort Cities and Simplify

“Snappy prose, a brilliantly original detective and a cast of sharply drawn low lifes—Paul Tremblay mixes it up with style. In the end, No Sleep till Wonderland is much more than just a crime book—it’s all about the narrator’s unique take on the world. Thoroughly recommended.”—Simon Lewis, author of Bad Traffic


“Rejoice, Chandler fans. The Little Sleep is as bitingly sardonic as it is hardboiled. Like Jonathan Lethem in Motherless Brooklyn, Paul Tremblay slices, dices and spins the neo-noir his own strange way and delivers a fast, smart, and completely satisfying read.”—Stewart O’Nan, author of A Night at the Lobster. A Prayer for the Dying, and The Speed Queen

“I picked up The Little Sleep, planning to just read a few pages, knowing full well I didn’t have time to dip into it. Several hours later I was closing the book with a satisfied grin. The best thing I can say about this is the classic ‘I couldn’t put it down’ and mean it. It’s original and different, and yet somehow good kin folk to what has gone before in the tradition of Raymond Chandler.”—Joe R. Lansdale, author of Lost Echoes and The Bottoms

“The fact that Mark can’t trust his own perceptions gives The Little Sleep an edge of existential crisis, as if he’s trying not just to solve a case but also the key to his consciousness…. Tremblay does a fine job of developing this tension, describing the incidents in Mark’s hallucinations as if they are really happening, blurring the lines between interior and exterior until, like the character, we are looking at everything with a kind of double vision, sussing out the clues that will tell us what is true…. The Little Sleep offers up an interesting gloss on the detective genre, in which the deepest and most profound mystery has less to do with any crime per se than with the enduring enigma of the self.”–The Los Angeles Times, David Ulin

“The Little Sleep is one of the most engaging reads I’ve come across in a good long while. Tremblay does the near-impossible by giving us a new take on the traditional PI tale. Tremblay writes in clear prose that is by turns atmospheric, haunting, and sharply humorous. The mystery is layered but always forward-moving, taking us along on a unique journey that features most of the traditional elements of a PI novel, but skewed and twisted into a fresh perspective. You’ve never read a PI novel like this one before.”–Tom Piccirilli, author of The Coldest Mile and The Cold Spot

“If Philip K. Dick and Ross Macdonald had collaborated on a mystery novel, they might have come up with something like The Little Sleep. . . . I’ve never used the phrase “new noir” before, but I think I will now. The Little Sleep is new noir with panache. Check it out.”—Bill Crider, author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery series

“Mark Genevich faces more challenges than your average South Boston private detective. He’s narcoleptic, and his symptoms tend to interfere with hard-boiled investigation. One is automatic behavior—Mark goes to sleep, but his body acts like he’s awake. He takes in a client and has no memory of the meeting, even as the man calls, days later, in great distress, asking him “Have you found it yet?” Mark sometimes suffers from cataplexy: a conscious paralysis, often triggered by stress of the large-men-trying-to-kill-you kind. Then there are the hypnogogic hallucinations: ultravivid dreams experienced during a half-awake state. Mark can’t always tell hallucinations from reality as he pursues a case concerning a beautiful young woman, risqué photos, and her district attorney father. Well-crafted in a witty voice that doesn’t let go, Tremblay’s debut is part noir throwback, part medical mystery, part comedy, and thoroughly, wonderfully entertaining. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 11/1/08.]Starred Review, Library Journal

The Little Sleep, [Tremblay’s] first novel, is going to make him more widely known. . . . What makes Tremblay’s work compelling is the delicate detail work, how he grounds his stories in the domestic moments as a way of making the exotic seem somehow less exotic. In ways, Tremblay’s work has moments that are reminiscent of Stewart O’Nan or Glen Hirshberg, but, being weirdboiled, he’s really like anyone else at all.”—Geoffrey H. Goodwin, Bookslut

“Paul Tremblay’s The Little Sleep (Holt, Mar. 3) is both whimsical and razor sharp. This quirky jazz riff on Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep is also a fun read that stands on its own. South Boston PI Mark Genevich is both hard-boiled and scrambled—a narcoleptic detective prone to hallucinations and major blackouts. When a TV talent show contestant hires him to find her missing fingers (yes, missing fingers), Genevich isn’t sure if it’s a real case or a delusion. The somnambulistic gumshoe enters a dreamscape featuring a duplicitous DA, hired thugs, cryptic phone calls, double-dealings and murder. The pace is breakneck and while the humor is pointed, Tremblay never makes fun of Genevich’s infirmities; he’s a highly sympathetic character dealing with unreliable brainstorms. The Little Sleep is a funny and fresh recasting of the neo-noir hero, and it kick-starts what promises to be an addictive, oddball series.–Galley Talk: Publisher’s Weekly, David Lampe-Wilson, owner, Mystery on Main Street, Brattleboro, Vt:

“”The Little Sleep is an amazingly refreshing take on the standard hard-boiled crime novel. Whimsical and sardonic, fast-paced, and yet introspective and atmospheric. Impossible to put down. The crown jewel in the new noir.” Brian Keene, author of Castaways and Ghost Walk

“Paul Tremblay’s The Little Sleep is an homage, too, but a much more twisted one….Tremblay gives the detective story a wildly absurdist spin, and Genevich’s sardonic, self-deprecating voice complements it perfectly. The plot turns out to be a classic — all about those old sins we think we get away with, but don’t.”–The St. Petersburg Times

“Tremblay does a yeoman’s job of conveying his character’s internal world, constantly teetering on the verge of unconsciousness. This is a fine debut from a Massachusetts author.”–Hallie Ephron, The Boston Globe

Shelf life, the Boston Globe, ‘Pick of the Week’, 3/21/09