top of page

October Book Review

Updated: Oct 30, 2018

By Retta Karpinski

Insomniac City by Bill Hayes:

This memoir follows Hayes through a series of heartwarming and poignant vignettes detailing his journey through the streets of New York, his deep and tender romance with the brilliant neurologist Oliver Sacks, and his own perceptions of the world around him. The memoir is a masterpiece of language, skillfully wound into a web of experience and feeling. Delving into it unleashes a sea of revelations about the various samplings of humanity that are often randomly brought together.

Some quotes:

  • “My favorite time was early morning...The air was soft, as if unfinished dreams still emanated from everyone's skin.” -Pg. 29

  • “If you could take a drug to forget something, would you?...No, I never would. Yet not wanting to forget something is not the same as wishing to remember it better.” -Pg. 262

  • O: “The most we can do is to write--intelligently, creatively, critically, evocatively--about what it is like living in the world at this time.” -Pg. 254

A Playlist by Hayes

  • “Hyperballad” by Bjork

  • “There, There” by Radiohead

  • “Black Crow” by Joni Mitchell


bottom of page