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In 1954, at the start of the Cold War, the Soviet military offered four political prisoners their freedom if they participated in an experiment requiring them to remain awake for fourteen days while under the influence of a powerful stimulant gas. The prisoners ultimately reverted to murder, self-mutilation, and madness. None survived. In 2018, Dr. Roy Wallis, an esteemed p In 1954, at the start of the Cold War, the Soviet military offered four political prisoners their freedom if they participated in an experiment requiring them to remain awake for fourteen days while under the influence of a powerful stimulant gas. The prisoners ultimately reverted to murder, self-mutilation, and madness. None survived. In 2018, Dr. Roy Wallis, an esteemed psychology professor at UC Berkeley, is attempting to recreate the same experiment during the summer break in a soon-to-be demolished building on campus. He and two student assistants share an eight-hour rotational schedule to observe their young Australian test subjects around the clock. What begins innocently enough, however, morphs into a nightmare beyond description that no one could have imagined--with, perhaps, the exception of Dr. Roy Wallis himself.


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In 1954, at the start of the Cold War, the Soviet military offered four political prisoners their freedom if they participated in an experiment requiring them to remain awake for fourteen days while under the influence of a powerful stimulant gas. The prisoners ultimately reverted to murder, self-mutilation, and madness. None survived. In 2018, Dr. Roy Wallis, an esteemed p In 1954, at the start of the Cold War, the Soviet military offered four political prisoners their freedom if they participated in an experiment requiring them to remain awake for fourteen days while under the influence of a powerful stimulant gas. The prisoners ultimately reverted to murder, self-mutilation, and madness. None survived. In 2018, Dr. Roy Wallis, an esteemed psychology professor at UC Berkeley, is attempting to recreate the same experiment during the summer break in a soon-to-be demolished building on campus. He and two student assistants share an eight-hour rotational schedule to observe their young Australian test subjects around the clock. What begins innocently enough, however, morphs into a nightmare beyond description that no one could have imagined--with, perhaps, the exception of Dr. Roy Wallis himself.

30 review for The Sleep Experiment

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tom Lewis

    This is based extensively on the Creepypasta short horror story, “The Russian Sleep Experiment,” and if you haven’t read that short horror story, drop everything and go read it (https://www.creepypasta.com/the-russi...). But that aside, this time the story follows a psychology professor at Berkley who’s conducting a study on sleep deprivation. The test subjects are locked in a room for 21 days, and observed by the researchers as a stimulant gas is pumped into the room which forces them to remain This is based extensively on the Creepypasta short horror story, “The Russian Sleep Experiment,” and if you haven’t read that short horror story, drop everything and go read it (https://www.creepypasta.com/the-russi...). But that aside, this time the story follows a psychology professor at Berkley who’s conducting a study on sleep deprivation. The test subjects are locked in a room for 21 days, and observed by the researchers as a stimulant gas is pumped into the room which forces them to remain awake for the entire period. While not nearly as terrifying as the Creepypasta short, it’s still a fun read with some good scares and lots of gore. I’m docking it a star because there’s a lot of padding unnecessarily thrown in to increase the page count, but which eventually just drags on.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    The Sleep Experiment, a horror book, was a solid 4 stars. The book centers around main character Dr. Wallis, a charismatic and popular professor at Berkeley, who wants to attempt the same sleep experiment that the Soviets completed in the 1950s. After finding a place to conduct the study, two willing students to be his assistants (Penny and Guru) and most importantly-two paid subjects willing to stay awake for a long duration, the sleep experiment begins. Horrifying stuff will happen but no spoi The Sleep Experiment, a horror book, was a solid 4 stars. The book centers around main character Dr. Wallis, a charismatic and popular professor at Berkeley, who wants to attempt the same sleep experiment that the Soviets completed in the 1950s. After finding a place to conduct the study, two willing students to be his assistants (Penny and Guru) and most importantly-two paid subjects willing to stay awake for a long duration, the sleep experiment begins. Horrifying stuff will happen but no spoilers here. I’m always up for a creepy read and The Sleep Experiment was definitely a creepy book. Dr. Wallis goes to incredible lengths not to have his sleep experiment compromised and readers will learn soon enough that it borders on obsession. The characters are well-developed and though most were not particularly likable, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book. I’d highly recommend this to fans of horror/darker theme books.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shaina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ppl need their sleep, Yo! No way around it at this point .... and if you start messing with it like this professor ...whom is an egotistical, poopie faced sociopath ... What. An. Idiot. Gross. The end. Between 3.5-4 Warning :/ this story is kinda a mess, has some mess, and just is messy in every which way you can think to apply the word. 🤢

  4. 4 out of 5

    OutlawPoet

    Oh, I generally love this author. I buy his books sight unseen and usually rave about them. But this one - oh, this one...it failed for me rather spectacularly. Our diverse characters were shamefully stereotypical. Whether it was the Indian guy with the Elvis haircut or the horny Asian girl who kept confusing her Ls and Rs, I was simply cringing. Our main character was primarily concerned with girlfriends and never once felt like anyone with any authority or scientific knowledge. I expected things t Oh, I generally love this author. I buy his books sight unseen and usually rave about them. But this one - oh, this one...it failed for me rather spectacularly. Our diverse characters were shamefully stereotypical. Whether it was the Indian guy with the Elvis haircut or the horny Asian girl who kept confusing her Ls and Rs, I was simply cringing. Our main character was primarily concerned with girlfriends and never once felt like anyone with any authority or scientific knowledge. I expected things to get weird, but I didn't expect to just be completely stunned into disbelief. What one character manages to do to themselves was...unfortunate and unbelievable. Our basic plot was actually interesting. I was intrigued by what would happen with the experiment and was...disappointed by the end result. So, a misstep for me, but I will read the author again. I still like his work. Just not this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Oooh this is good, really good. I enjoyed it so much I’m a bit gutted it’s over now. We have an ethically dodgy psychology experiment called “The Sleep Experiment”. The idea is to keep two people awake for 21 days to see if humans actually need sleep and in the process we watch them fall apart and lose their minds. As a side story to this we also have the personal lives of those carrying out the experiment; the narcissistic professor and his students, one of which seems scary in their own right. R Oooh this is good, really good. I enjoyed it so much I’m a bit gutted it’s over now. We have an ethically dodgy psychology experiment called “The Sleep Experiment”. The idea is to keep two people awake for 21 days to see if humans actually need sleep and in the process we watch them fall apart and lose their minds. As a side story to this we also have the personal lives of those carrying out the experiment; the narcissistic professor and his students, one of which seems scary in their own right. Reading this you just know it is not going to end well for anyone. It was fabulously done, you know it’s coming but not quite what, there are twists and turns along the way which added a decent surprise element here and there as events took an unexpected turn even for this warped tale. I really enjoyed the characters (both good and bad) which were interesting and well written. The whole story flowed really well, and kept me wanting more, a real page turner this one for me. As things escalate on quite a drastic scale I found it impossible to look away. It’s dark yes, very much so and yes it does get gory - beautifully so! I liked the crazy scientist - or is he(?) element to this story, there is lots to keep you intrigued and on the edge of your seat here. If you like your stories dark with some quite unnerving gore then this is the book for you. I only have one issue with this; the ending. It wasn’t bad, honestly it wasn’t but personally I think it would have been even better without the epilogue. But even so this book deserves a 4.75*/5!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    You know how some movies are so bad, they're good? They're just fun to watch and laugh at. It's the whole premise of "Mystery Science Theater 3000," which is a lot of fun. Maybe there should be a similar concept for books because this one was completely, utterly, laughably bad. I realized fairly quickly that it was going to be a stinker but I found that I was hate-reading it, which I didn't know was a possibility until this book. The premise was fine. What happens when human beings are subjected You know how some movies are so bad, they're good? They're just fun to watch and laugh at. It's the whole premise of "Mystery Science Theater 3000," which is a lot of fun. Maybe there should be a similar concept for books because this one was completely, utterly, laughably bad. I realized fairly quickly that it was going to be a stinker but I found that I was hate-reading it, which I didn't know was a possibility until this book. The premise was fine. What happens when human beings are subjected to severe sleep deprivation? Intriguing, yes? But the characters were so poorly written, the Eeeville Scientist so cartoonishly Eeeville (and constantly referred to as "Dr. Roy Wallis"—yeah, we get it, it's the only scientist we're talking about in this shitshow), and the racial stereotypes so vile that this is Hall of Fame level bad. Then there was the weird focus on Dr. Roy Wallis's beard, which was of luxurious length. He strokes it a lot in this book. I am laughing out loud right now as I write this! As an extra added bonus, there is really bad writing and/or editing, and one character is described as a "motionless white statute." I kid you not. I'll provide one positive thing. It really was a good premise and what happened to the test subjects, while horrific, was very descriptive and creepily fascinating. But this is not enough to even come close to recommending this book. In fact, I would tell you that even if you get this for free (as I believe I did), run far, far away. Zero stars. Good grief, this was bad!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Etienne

    Taking a good old scary urban legend and putting it into a novel format might look like a good idea, but there is a reason why urban legend are short... they don't have much to provides for longer storyline and after a while reading you can't help but feel it felt stretch a lot. The author might have done a better job at adding perspective, depth to his characters and better background, but he didn't. I didn't like this book. I still would recommend you to read the original legend, which can eas Taking a good old scary urban legend and putting it into a novel format might look like a good idea, but there is a reason why urban legend are short... they don't have much to provides for longer storyline and after a while reading you can't help but feel it felt stretch a lot. The author might have done a better job at adding perspective, depth to his characters and better background, but he didn't. I didn't like this book. I still would recommend you to read the original legend, which can easily be fun on the Internet. I read it years ago, maybe 15 years ago or something..., but I remember it to be good, and it's very short, something like less then half and hour read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura Ruetz

    The Russian Sleep Experiment is one of my favorite internet horror stories. This is based upon that, treating it like an urban legend, but then a very real study based on sleep deprivation is done. What are the acceptable boundaries of science? What happens when we push for answers? This is a slow start, but it has a great build up to how the two test subjects breakdown, and then how the science itself goes off the rails. Great tension, some great horror here and it raises some really valid ques The Russian Sleep Experiment is one of my favorite internet horror stories. This is based upon that, treating it like an urban legend, but then a very real study based on sleep deprivation is done. What are the acceptable boundaries of science? What happens when we push for answers? This is a slow start, but it has a great build up to how the two test subjects breakdown, and then how the science itself goes off the rails. Great tension, some great horror here and it raises some really valid questions that make you think, or might make you want to sleep with a light on, depending.

  9. 4 out of 5

    grammarchick

    So he *did* read The Russian Sleep Experiment but he failed to check into the idea of writing a good story of his own. This was one of the worst books I've read all year. One of the most annoying aspects was referring to the main character by his full name over and over. "Dr Roy Wallis did (whatever)" "Dr Roy Wallis said (whatever)" - you get the gist. Instead of giving the characters depth and dimension, we are left with the literary equivalent of check-boxes ticked on a build-your-own-characte So he *did* read The Russian Sleep Experiment but he failed to check into the idea of writing a good story of his own. This was one of the worst books I've read all year. One of the most annoying aspects was referring to the main character by his full name over and over. "Dr Roy Wallis did (whatever)" "Dr Roy Wallis said (whatever)" - you get the gist. Instead of giving the characters depth and dimension, we are left with the literary equivalent of check-boxes ticked on a build-your-own-character form; I lost count of the times I was reminded that Dr Roy Wallis had a beard, Dr Roy Wallis could pull more tail than a kid at a petting zoo, someone told Dr Roy Wallis he was fashionable, etc. At several points, we are smacked with sudden key aspects of a character with zero warning or build-up. Random actions that were completely out of character didn't get any justification, they were simply abrupt and felt tacked-on. I think the writer got bored and just cobbled together some "shocking" ending scenes for Dr Roy Wallis and the Dr Roy Wallis fan club and gave up. Just go read Creepypasta and skip this whole travesty.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

    I wanted to love this. The premise was amazing, the beginning was solid, and I knew that this was going to follow in the footsteps of the sleep experiment legend. That said, this book got too demonic and weird at the end. It completely ruined the story and made it unbelievable. I would've been happy if people just... died. I didn't need all the extra stuff. I wanted to love this. The premise was amazing, the beginning was solid, and I knew that this was going to follow in the footsteps of the sleep experiment legend. That said, this book got too demonic and weird at the end. It completely ruined the story and made it unbelievable. I would've been happy if people just... died. I didn't need all the extra stuff.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cassi

    I sat here for a solid minute thinking of what to write, of what to say about this book. It's entertaining, unique, well written. The lack of a single star is only for a few cheesy, mild moments that made me roll my eyes and perhaps breath in a little sharper. This book has an interesting plot, and if you haven't read The Russian Sleep Experiment, I suggest you do, as this particular story stems from it. What happens when we simply don't sleep? That's what Doctor Roy Wallis is set to find out wit I sat here for a solid minute thinking of what to write, of what to say about this book. It's entertaining, unique, well written. The lack of a single star is only for a few cheesy, mild moments that made me roll my eyes and perhaps breath in a little sharper. This book has an interesting plot, and if you haven't read The Russian Sleep Experiment, I suggest you do, as this particular story stems from it. What happens when we simply don't sleep? That's what Doctor Roy Wallis is set to find out with his experiment. Two people stuck in a room pumped full of gas to keep them awake. As days bleed into nights and nights bleed into days we see the effects that a lack of sleep has on the human body and mind. I won't say the book is "action packed". There are a few slow moments that I wanted to skim, rather than read, but I chugged through it, searching for important information hidden within the fluff. The characters are not...charming. But you can understand them, you can follow their motives. Some motives might be...less sane than others. But they're clearly written out for us to judge. The story captures you and keeps hold as you move on through it, and some of the twists and turns will have you scratching your head. It did what I feel a book is supposed to do. It kept me pulled in until the end, and it made me WANT to finish it. I'm happy to have read it, it will have a home on my shelf. Jeremy Bates does a fantastic job of telling a chilling and thrilling story. I look forward to reading his other works. To read my other reviews feel free to visit my blog: https://cassisbooknook.blogspot.com/

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ray Palen

    At the start of the Cold War, there was purportedly a controversial sleep experiment that took place within the Soviet Union. Some call it an urban legend; others have chosen to dig deeper to uncover the alleged testing where several subjects were subjected to sleep deprivation for an extended period of time. What made things interesting about this story is that the five political prisoners ‘chosen’ for this experiment were kept inside a gas chamber while an untested stimulant gas was pumped in At the start of the Cold War, there was purportedly a controversial sleep experiment that took place within the Soviet Union. Some call it an urban legend; others have chosen to dig deeper to uncover the alleged testing where several subjects were subjected to sleep deprivation for an extended period of time. What made things interesting about this story is that the five political prisoners ‘chosen’ for this experiment were kept inside a gas chamber while an untested stimulant gas was pumped in that assisted the subjects in staying awake. They were monitored for a total of fifteen days, in which none of them slept a wink. On the fifteenth day, the scientists running the experiment entered the sealed gas chamber, and what they discovered was a horrific vision akin to what it might feel like stepping into hell. Feces-filled paper was torn from books and pasted on all the walls and two-way mirrors. There were several inches of blood and other fluids on the floor, most likely from the self-mutilation and disemboweling that took place. It is also alleged that the subjects had been talking to each other in ‘dark terminology’ completely unlike their own personalities. This oft-shared horrific legend has been passed down for years and made into short plays, short stories, and films. Now, in 2019, horror/thriller author Jeremy Bates has taken this story and updated it with a modern setting and characters. THE SLEEP EXPERIMENT is the second novel in Bates’ World’s Scariest Legends series. Bates has made a nice career and achieved best-seller and award-winning status with novels that have fictionalized some of the actual scariest places in the world like the Catacombs in Paris, France, and the Island of the Dolls in Mexico. THE SLEEP EXPERIMENT is set in the year 2018 at UC Berkeley in California. Prior to the prologue, we are treated to a statement from author Stephen King, the legend to whom Bates has frequently been compared. The start of it goes: ‘There’s something in us that is very much attracted to madness. Everyone who looks off the edge of a tall building has felt at least a faint, morbid urge to jump.’ That statement slices right to the heart of a secret fear held by most ‘sane’ people. The majority of us fear that we are just a little push away from snapping and taking that dive—either physically or psychologically. Dr. Roy Wallis, esteemed psychology professor at UC Berkeley, is behind the sleep experiment that is mostly secret and done in a basement location somewhere on campus. His two subjects, a male and female each from Australia, are kept in a contained living environment where they exist breathing air that includes a unique stimulant pumped through it. His goal is to keep the subjects sleepless for 21 days, and he posts an advertisement to hire two assistants for a three-week assignment in which he and the two hires work 8-hour shifts for the complete 21 days and share notes on what they observe. The two assistants are Penny, an Asian student with a big crush on Dr. Wallis, and Guru, a male Indian student who shaves his head completely bald as part of psyching himself up for this intense short-term job. The test subjects are Chad, a would-be actor, and Shaz, a well-read young woman still trying to find herself. When Dr. Wallis’s two assistants make reference to the Russian sleep experiment, he brushes it off as mere legend and nothing worth comparing to the work they are doing with Chad and Shaz. However, when the two subjects begin depicting signs of behavior similar to the alleged mental breakdowns the Russian subjects experienced, Penny and Guru begin to question their participation in the Sleep Experiment, as well as the moral implications of what they are putting their subjects through. Jeremy Bates infuses THE SLEEP EXPERIMENT with consistent suspense and a horrific finale that will leave readers reeling. Dr. Roy Wallis will stop at nothing to see that his experiment sees itself through to the 21-day finale at any cost—even if it means ‘silencing’ his own assistants or anyone that could potentially jeopardize his vision. This novel is another intriguing entry in Bates’ series that is must reading for horror fans who enjoy their thrills mixed with actual scary legends or locations that are wide open to authors with his fertile imagination.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    ‘The Sleep Experiment’ by Jeremy Bates promises a nightmare of a story, but unfortunately doesn’t deliver. . Copying the supposed 1954 Soviet military experiment, Dr. Roy Wallis enlists two participants to stay awake for 21 days by means of a stimulant gas as a way to study the brain when it lacks sleep. With his two research assistants, the trio watches the devastating effects and the experiment turns into something no one expects. . I was hoping this would be the book that scared me so much I’d ha ‘The Sleep Experiment’ by Jeremy Bates promises a nightmare of a story, but unfortunately doesn’t deliver. . Copying the supposed 1954 Soviet military experiment, Dr. Roy Wallis enlists two participants to stay awake for 21 days by means of a stimulant gas as a way to study the brain when it lacks sleep. With his two research assistants, the trio watches the devastating effects and the experiment turns into something no one expects. . I was hoping this would be the book that scared me so much I’d have to sleep with the lights on, but alas, it is not. It was a very disappointing read. . The first half played out more like a soap opera than a horror novel. This book is under 300 pages so I was hoping it would be packed with “the good stuff” but seriously half the book was character backstory. Some backstory is fine, but nothing even slightly scary happens until halfway through. . Even when the horror elements start to appear I wasn’t overly wowed. I was more grossed out than anything. There are definitely some strong and disturbing visuals depicted which made me a bit queasy though. . The premise sounds so promising, but I feel so much more could have been done with it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Fatimah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I know that this story will end badly-I mean, come on, it's a thriller- but I feel like the doctor’s turn from normal to crazy is a little too sudden?? Usually, you could sense that a certain character is not normal, but I didn’t saw it coming at all. And conveniently, after the reveal that the guy’s crazy, we’re suddenly told about his other behaviors which would have made me doubt him from the beginning—like his dreams, his deviant sexual behavior. I don’t know, maybe I’m the one who missed th I know that this story will end badly-I mean, come on, it's a thriller- but I feel like the doctor’s turn from normal to crazy is a little too sudden?? Usually, you could sense that a certain character is not normal, but I didn’t saw it coming at all. And conveniently, after the reveal that the guy’s crazy, we’re suddenly told about his other behaviors which would have made me doubt him from the beginning—like his dreams, his deviant sexual behavior. I don’t know, maybe I’m the one who missed the clues, the foreshadowing that the author gives, but I totally didn’t expect the doc to kill Penny.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Courtney McGhee

    Wowza! I’m not going to lie, when I got this book I thought it was like a true crime story. I quickly learned it is in fact not a true story. 😂 but man is it wicked! It definitely kept my attention. I was enjoying the storyline and as I neared the end, it just got even better!! Definitely recommend this quick and twisted read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    I got this baby from a crime junkie friend for Christmas as it was on my wishlist, and as much as I loved the fact that it was about the sleep experiment, which I think is awesome. I felt that we had Dr. Roy Wallis more worried about sleeping with folks and maintaining a relationship than truly trying to focus on the sleep experiment. I know that we have all heard of the Russian experiment and how it is an urban legend; I just assumed that if the author were going to write about this Dr. experim I got this baby from a crime junkie friend for Christmas as it was on my wishlist, and as much as I loved the fact that it was about the sleep experiment, which I think is awesome. I felt that we had Dr. Roy Wallis more worried about sleeping with folks and maintaining a relationship than truly trying to focus on the sleep experiment. I know that we have all heard of the Russian experiment and how it is an urban legend; I just assumed that if the author were going to write about this Dr. experimenting, we would have gotten more in-depth detail. I want the nitty-gritty; I want the horror feeling. I did not get this. I felt we got a bit of horror, mixed in with a whole lotta sleeping with folks and having crushes. Overall, a decent story makes you wonder if we have another consciousness within us that is hidden away, and can we as humans ever go without sleep?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    https://lovethevillain.wordpress.com/... Sleep is sleep. It's an essential part of our survival. It's been quite a while since I've read a decent horror story, and boy, this one did not disappoint! I had a great time reading this, and while the main horror elements are quite near the end of the book, the build up is good too! The anticipation is all worth it in the end. In fact, this book just might keep you awake at night, and trust me, that's not something you want to happen. What we're doing https://lovethevillain.wordpress.com/... Sleep is sleep. It's an essential part of our survival. It's been quite a while since I've read a decent horror story, and boy, this one did not disappoint! I had a great time reading this, and while the main horror elements are quite near the end of the book, the build up is good too! The anticipation is all worth it in the end. In fact, this book just might keep you awake at night, and trust me, that's not something you want to happen. What we're doing, stealing their sleep, it isn't right. If you ever read that creepypasta about the Russian Sleep Experiment, you might be familiar with the general plot for this book. The story follows Dr. Roy Wallis, a psychiatric professor who has an interesting experiment lined up for over the school holidays. He, and his two assistants, are going to monitor two people in a sleep lab. The people in the lab will have everything they could possibly need—food, entertainment, sports areas, hygiene, everything—but a gas (created by Roy himself) that prevents them from falling asleep will be pumped into the lab round the clock . The participants just have to stay awake for a couple of weeks, and they'll get a cash reward for their time at the end. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. As anyone who has ever skipped a nights sleep to get some extra studying (or drinking) done, you know that you start feeling wretched pretty soon. And the longer you stay awake, the worse it gets. Well, just how bad can it get? That's what Dr. Wallis wants to prove. He has a few hypotheses, but this will really put them to the test. He's hallucinating. This is not to be unexpected. I enjoyed the build up to the end so much. I knew it was going to be super creepy, but it was even better than I was expecting. This is a master horror writer, right here. I'd say Bates is a cross between King and Laymon in his writing style, there's all the detail and background stories of a good King novel, but all the gruesomeness you could expect from a Laymon. It's a good mix, and if horror is your thing, Bates is definitely one to watch. We're all chaos wrapped in order.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Furtheloveofallgmail.Com

    My boredom persisted for the first 100 pages. The characters have no depth to their personalities. Bates did a poor job developing Guru’s and Penny’s characters. The most lack of development is Penny’s and Brook’s characters. Horror is not known for in depth character development so I tried to look past that. However, the ending brought me back full circle to the first 100 pages of boredom. I read excellent reviews about Bates’ other books, and I will look forward to trying something else.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Roy is described as a devilishly handsome, well-dressed, devastatingly wealthy man (he inherited). Every woman seems to want him, even women half his age. Even Guru, who seems to be straight, fawns over his handsomeness and sense of style and comes to him for fashion advice. Penny is “in total freaking love” with him. He has an on-again off-again thing with Brandy, a former student, who despite his dumping her still keeps coming back to him. He also has something going with Brook, a waitress at Roy is described as a devilishly handsome, well-dressed, devastatingly wealthy man (he inherited). Every woman seems to want him, even women half his age. Even Guru, who seems to be straight, fawns over his handsomeness and sense of style and comes to him for fashion advice. Penny is “in total freaking love” with him. He has an on-again off-again thing with Brandy, a former student, who despite his dumping her still keeps coming back to him. He also has something going with Brook, a waitress at a café that he goes to. She forgives him after catching him with a half-naked Brandy in his penthouse. She even gaslights herself into believing that it was her own fault for disturbing his privacy by showing up unannounced at his penthouse, even though the two of them had a date planned for that night. Before Roy asked Brook out, he gave off some kind of vibe such that she believed “she was his waitress, his servant, and nothing more.” Is this supposed to be attractive or something? Because, gross. One of the things Roy seems to love about Brook is that she has no ambition. Which, it’s fine for someone to not have ambition, but men who prefer for their women to not have any ambition are skeevy. There seems to be almost nothing to any of the characters outside of the experiments except their sex lives. All we learn about Penny is her sexual exploits and a bizarre psychological theory for why she likes older men (daddy issues, naturally). We have a weird side-jaunt into Brook’s previous boyfriend for some reason. Sharon and Chad’s history seems to boil down to his having the hots for her, her holding him at arm’s length, and then them making out. I’m not really sure why Wallis hired Penny and Guru if he was just going to have to either tell them the experiment was over or whatever as soon as it became obvious that Sharon and Chad were not going to be okay. He obviously expected this, and was okay with the idea that he’d be the only observer for the latter part of the experiment, so why risk bringing two other people into the whole thing in the first place? It seems like a rather large blunder on the part of someone who is depicted as being intelligent. By this point you may be wondering why I gave this a three out of five instead of something less. It’s because roughly 2/3 of the way through the book, it takes a dramatic turn for the better. One single event turns Wallis into a much more interesting character who no longer reads like an authorial self-insert, and from there everything spirals into craziness. I still wish the author had not made every female character fall in love or lust with the professor, particularly with all of them being so much younger than him. It just wasn’t necessary, and was actually kind of disgusting. Content note for a lot of gore, because things eventually do get bloody. I wish the timeline had been moved up a little. Instead of hearing about Brook’s ex-boyfriend, I would rather that the bloody ending had been longer and more involved, with a bit more information from a certain source (sorry; I’m trying to be vague and avoid spoilers). This isn’t a great book, but it’s ultimately creative in its premise, and it winds up well. Original review posted on my blog: http://www.errantdreams.com/2020/01/r...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Reader Views

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wilson for Reader Views (10/19) “The Sleep Experiment” is the second book in the World’s Scariest Legends series by Jeremy Bates. It is a psychological thriller that shows the darkest side of the human psyche. Dr. Roy Wallis has dedicated his entire career to unfurling the mysteries of what happens when we sleep. Or, even more terrifying, when we don’t. The story is based on the legend of the “Russian Sleep Experiment,” believed by some to have taken place in the 1940’s. This Reviewed by Jennifer Wilson for Reader Views (10/19) “The Sleep Experiment” is the second book in the World’s Scariest Legends series by Jeremy Bates. It is a psychological thriller that shows the darkest side of the human psyche. Dr. Roy Wallis has dedicated his entire career to unfurling the mysteries of what happens when we sleep. Or, even more terrifying, when we don’t. The story is based on the legend of the “Russian Sleep Experiment,” believed by some to have taken place in the 1940’s. This experiment, performed by the government, was intended to engineer a super soldier that could operate without sleeping for weeks at a time. This story takes place in today’s time, with today’s technology, adding to the, “Could this really happen?” factor. Bates has spun a tale that is realistic and horrifying. Three scientists, Wallis and two of his top students, set out to recreate the sleep experiment using a stimulant gas perfected by Wallis, which will insure the test subjects cannot, under any circumstance, sleep. Wallis finds the perfect “guinea pigs” in Sharon and Chad, two Australian tourists who have been traveling the world together. They are enticed to volunteer largely because of the hefty monetary payoff they will earn at the end of the 21-day period. They agree to be sequestered and monitored twenty-four hours a day for three weeks inside a comfortable living space that is fully stocked with everything they may need. They are able to rest, exercise, read, watch television, cook, and even play basketball. They can communicate with the scientists at any time. Anything else they need or want is available to them at their request. Wallis’ students are excited to make history alongside the professor they respect so much. Penny Park and Guru Rampal are excellent students who appreciate the value in the work Dr. Wallis is doing. Not to mention their personal feelings for him. Park has always had a huge crush on the professor and Rampal would love to be just like him. Because of this, both are ecstatic to be chosen and trusted to embark on the 21-day journey alongside him. When things don’t quite go the way the students expect, Dr. Wallis must stay on his toes to keep them in his corner and involved in the experiment. Wallis also finds himself struggling to keep his personal life from coming unraveled in the process. Readers will simultaneously love and hate the characters and the plot twists. Bates does an excellent job developing his characters and the plot twists move the story along at a pace you will risk losing sleep over. While reading this book, I found I was both afraid to go to sleep and afraid not to, often staying up way past my bedtime, anxious to see what would happen next. Jeremy Bates has created a fast-paced read that will give you chills. You will strain to focus the blurred lines between what is ethical and what is not when using human test subjects for the furtherment of science. What is right and what is wrong? Where do we draw the line? I thoroughly enjoyed “The Sleep Experiment.” Any fan of horror will attest to Jeremy Bates’s ability to spin a tale that will both give you chills, and leave you wanting more.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Jones

    I want to thank Jeremy for the opportunity to read and review this story. A couple of things struck me on a personal level. First, many years ago, being a single mom and working two jobs, I also had to move to a new apartment. I went several days without sleep. It was one of the worse experiences of my life. Second, on a lighter side, I very much enjoyed that one of the characters was named Sharon. What a great coincidence or possibly an eerie omen?? This story is definitely one of Jeremy's best I want to thank Jeremy for the opportunity to read and review this story. A couple of things struck me on a personal level. First, many years ago, being a single mom and working two jobs, I also had to move to a new apartment. I went several days without sleep. It was one of the worse experiences of my life. Second, on a lighter side, I very much enjoyed that one of the characters was named Sharon. What a great coincidence or possibly an eerie omen?? This story is definitely one of Jeremy's best. The reader is given enough information about the characters to understand what led them to this point in their lives. The story and plot flowed rather nicely leaving you wondering what's going to happen next. However, be warned. Once you start reading, you will have a hard time stopping until the end. You may have to pull an all-nighter. This is yet another example solidifying Jeremy's place at the top of this genre.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I was lucky enough to get to be a beta reader for Jeremy Bates new/upcoming book The Sleep Experiment. I'm a fan of both horror and suspense novels and this is a good read with elements of both and enough twists and turns to keep you in suspense. I tore through it quickly. Based on the Russian Sleep Study legend, the book hooked me from the first page. It tells the story of researchers conducting a study on the effects of sleep deprivation and the two individuals who volunteer as paid research s I was lucky enough to get to be a beta reader for Jeremy Bates new/upcoming book The Sleep Experiment. I'm a fan of both horror and suspense novels and this is a good read with elements of both and enough twists and turns to keep you in suspense. I tore through it quickly. Based on the Russian Sleep Study legend, the book hooked me from the first page. It tells the story of researchers conducting a study on the effects of sleep deprivation and the two individuals who volunteer as paid research subjects. The characters and their motivations are well developed. The setting (an abandoned university building scheduled for demolition) adds an air of isolation and creepiness. I felt a sense of something-here-is-not-right early on and the tension built throughout the story. If you enjoy scary, atmospheric thrillers and appreciate characters that seem like real people full of very human flaws, give The Sleep Study a read. I think you will enjoy it!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ibjessjess

    ***Somewhat spoilers, but this book so bad it doesn't matter*** Where do I begin? I got about half way through the book before dropping it. I tried to give it a chance, I really did. I don't know what possessed me to buy this book, but it was a mistake. The writing is pretty bad. There's so much clunky dialogue and no detail, or the wrong detail. Instead of a story about two people slowly going insane, you get a mess of personal character details and interactions that have absolutely nothing to d ***Somewhat spoilers, but this book so bad it doesn't matter*** Where do I begin? I got about half way through the book before dropping it. I tried to give it a chance, I really did. I don't know what possessed me to buy this book, but it was a mistake. The writing is pretty bad. There's so much clunky dialogue and no detail, or the wrong detail. Instead of a story about two people slowly going insane, you get a mess of personal character details and interactions that have absolutely nothing to do with the plot, and still make the characters one-dimensional and boring. The synopsis mentions the original Russian sleep experiment and I was hoping the author would dive into the experiment from two distinct time periods and locations. Sadly, this didn't happen. The original experiment isn't even mentioned. There is so much embellishment in the already short book. It didn't focus nearly enough on Sharon and Chad who were the only interesting characters and were the ones in the experiment. The side characters Penny and Guru felt racially stereotyped, making me uncomfortable reading them. I also cannot express enough how irrelevant their personal lives are to the plot. The book focused more on what was happening outside the experiment and it felt like the author was just trying to get that word count up. I'm really disappointed in this book, because this could've been a great claustrophobic, psychological horror novella told from two different time periods if the author had just put more effort into the horror aspect and what the characters (Sharon and Chad) in the experiment were going through rather than the fact that the student was trying to bang the professor. The original creepypasta was much better so if you've never read it (or heard it on youtube like me) I highly recommend that instead.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lolapaige

    Bates is one of my favorite writers. Unfortunately this book was a complete miss for me. It wasn't interesting until over half of the way through and I was so tired of hearing about the doctors personal life as most of it didn't pertain to the plot. I honestly skimmed the trial part and by the end I was just disappointed in the entire book. Bates is one of my favorite writers. Unfortunately this book was a complete miss for me. It wasn't interesting until over half of the way through and I was so tired of hearing about the doctors personal life as most of it didn't pertain to the plot. I honestly skimmed the trial part and by the end I was just disappointed in the entire book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Books like this remind me why I've started avoiding thrillers written by white men. Longer review to come. Books like this remind me why I've started avoiding thrillers written by white men. Longer review to come.

  26. 4 out of 5

    G.B. Lindsey

    3.5 stars I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway, and it was a fun read! I'm a big fan of horror, especially psychological horror, especially especially stories where personhood is peeled down to instinctive, animal nature (which is why zombie horror is my favorite subgenre, which is a dissertation for another time, another venue, etc., etc...). Anyway, this book definitely delivered on that front. (Not zombies. Though a type of zombie could be argued.) The book has many genuinely c 3.5 stars I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway, and it was a fun read! I'm a big fan of horror, especially psychological horror, especially especially stories where personhood is peeled down to instinctive, animal nature (which is why zombie horror is my favorite subgenre, which is a dissertation for another time, another venue, etc., etc...). Anyway, this book definitely delivered on that front. (Not zombies. Though a type of zombie could be argued.) The book has many genuinely chilling moments, and (view spoiler)[the ultimate antagonist certainly proves he is as inhumane as what he's trying to create. His Demon Soul already has full sway, I say. (hide spoiler)] ... The pacing was great; I had major don't-want-to-put-it-down issues, so kudos kudos kudos. That said, gotta also say that the objectification of the female characters was really distracting. Hard to believe that all four of the significant women here are hot for doc in some way. (view spoiler)[I mean, one of them has to go crazy to get there, but still. The three non-crazy women's motivations seemed to circle existing relationships with the doc, future relationships with the doc, or jealousy over the doc's current relationship. It got tiresome, and by the time we got around to Wallis's murder groupies, any impact of that was all used up. I half expected the judge to start batting her eyelashes at the defendant. (hide spoiler)] ...Maybe a better study for Wallis would have been what kinds of pheromones he's giving off that bring all the girls to the yard. I lost some of my excitement for the story when (view spoiler)[the human element was completely removed from poor, dear Chad, but that's just a personal preference. That kind of monster is less scary to me because there's little that's recognizable at that point: there's no humanity anymore, even remotely; it's just a monster and monsters are obviously supposed to scare us. But the transformation of both Sharon and Chad in general was delightfully eerie in the build-up and horrifying at the end. (hide spoiler)] What a creepy outcome without going over-the-top in the gore or violence. Less is more in this case, and it worked very well in the story's favor.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I may never sleep again thanks to Jeremy Bates. I bought this book on a whim from Amazon. I was scrolling through my “Recommendations for You” section when this popped up. After reading the synopsis, I added it to my Wishlist. Then in another whim, I went ahead and ordered it. Thanks to COVID, I received the book 2 weeks ago and just now got around to reading it. While the book started out EXTREMELY SLOW, hence why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, it turned out to be a book I couldn’t put down! I I may never sleep again thanks to Jeremy Bates. I bought this book on a whim from Amazon. I was scrolling through my “Recommendations for You” section when this popped up. After reading the synopsis, I added it to my Wishlist. Then in another whim, I went ahead and ordered it. Thanks to COVID, I received the book 2 weeks ago and just now got around to reading it. While the book started out EXTREMELY SLOW, hence why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, it turned out to be a book I couldn’t put down! I understand now why the beginning was so slow and seemed so pointless. Introducing characters like Brook and Brandy for Dr. Roy’s pleasure? What’s the point? They are in no way involved with the experiment so why am I reading dialogue between them? And Penny. Gosh such an annoying character. I’ve never met a character I internally groaned at every time it switched to her perspective. But I think that was Mr. Bates plan because while I was upset about her death, it didn’t necessarily surprise me. The gore and complete horror of this book threw me for a loop. When Shaz pulled out her still beating heart, I had to keep myself from throwing up. Mr. Bates has a way of gripping onto your imagination and not letting go. It’s like he knows your deepest, darkest fears and exploits them. The idea of us having Demon Souls inside of each and everyone of us is an interesting concept. One that he backs up with an interesting book. I haven’t been able to stop reading since Day 4 of the experiment. Will definitely be reading more of his books! If you like Stephen King, you will love Jeremy Bates!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    How does this book have 5 stars (on Amazon where this review was originally posted)? Big warning this is going to be a very negative opinion on this book. It's terrible, it's awful! It reads like a script. A whole lot of bla bla (talking), with little to no description. I was excited to read a fully fleshed-out story inspired by the creepypasta and what I got was anything but! It was filler, filler, filler. Pointless conversations, with pointless, boring romantic side plot lines. And when it doe How does this book have 5 stars (on Amazon where this review was originally posted)? Big warning this is going to be a very negative opinion on this book. It's terrible, it's awful! It reads like a script. A whole lot of bla bla (talking), with little to no description. I was excited to read a fully fleshed-out story inspired by the creepypasta and what I got was anything but! It was filler, filler, filler. Pointless conversations, with pointless, boring romantic side plot lines. And when it does finally get around to the sleep experiment, there is no atmosphere, no tension build-up. This book is not scary, and it's not unnerving, not even a little bit. The only thing disturbing about it is that it masquerades as horror when it's comical in almost everything it tries to convey. Not to mention all of its characters are borderline racist stereotypes! Just plain bad writing. This should be labeled as a soap opera. I can't believe this guy got people to compare him to Stephen King. His writing reads more like a high schooler who hopes to grow up to be like Stephen King one day. I won't be trusting Amazon reviews anymore and will stick to GoodReads where the true rating of this book remains. Oh, and whatever publisher this guy uses for his paperback copies also sucks. I still like buying physicals. And this damn book's back and front cover permanently curls outward the very first time I opened it up to read. The corners are already fraying. Bad quality all around. Rant over.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn Hanvey

    I'm torn about this book. On the one hand the main character, sleep psychologist Dr. Roy Wallis, is one of the least likeable characters I've ever read - he's misogynistic, unethical, egotistical, and narcissistic, and that's just the tip of the iceberg! But, on the other hand, the story was compelling and well-written. Or rather, the last approximately fourth of the book was. It took a long time to establish the experiment and provide set up for a relatively short climax. This book was marketed I'm torn about this book. On the one hand the main character, sleep psychologist Dr. Roy Wallis, is one of the least likeable characters I've ever read - he's misogynistic, unethical, egotistical, and narcissistic, and that's just the tip of the iceberg! But, on the other hand, the story was compelling and well-written. Or rather, the last approximately fourth of the book was. It took a long time to establish the experiment and provide set up for a relatively short climax. This book was marketed as horror, but very little of it truly was. Most of it was just build-up, there was a bit of thriller-style suspense, and then just a tiny amount of real, actual, horror. But what horror there was, really was horrifying. I've read a lot of horror, suspense, and thriller type books and watched many of the same type of movies - I say that to say this: some of the descriptions in this book were so vivid and grotesque that I found myself gagging and struggling to push through. Ultimately, even though I struggled to reach the climax (and the ending was anticlimactic after the horrific results of sleep experiment), the 30 or so pages of real horror and the overall excellent writing resulted in my 4-star rating.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lolly Benford

    I was so excited to read The Sleep Experiment since I really enjoyed Suicide Forest. The Sleep Experiment did not disappoint. I flew through it, partly because it was only about 238 pages and because I was enjoying it. I totally misjudged Jeremy Bates and assumed his stories would be mediocre, but he's fast becoming a favourite of mine. Obviously this is based on the Creepypasta of the same name. This story is set in modern day and focuses on Dr Roy Wallis, a very flawed man, who decides to set I was so excited to read The Sleep Experiment since I really enjoyed Suicide Forest. The Sleep Experiment did not disappoint. I flew through it, partly because it was only about 238 pages and because I was enjoying it. I totally misjudged Jeremy Bates and assumed his stories would be mediocre, but he's fast becoming a favourite of mine. Obviously this is based on the Creepypasta of the same name. This story is set in modern day and focuses on Dr Roy Wallis, a very flawed man, who decides to set up an experiment. Dr Wallis believes that humans don't need sleep and he recruits two students to help him. They hire two Australian backpackers and set them up with food and tv and books. The catch is that an experimental gas is being used to keep the backpackers awake for 21 whole days. Obviously shit goes down because humans definitely do need sleep. This goes the way of the Creepypasta and I loved that. The characters were all flawed and I really liked that. I loved that Jeremy Bates included the famous line from the Creepypasta (if you've read it then you know the one). I have no hesitation in giving this 4.5 stars. I wish it had been longer. I will definitely be picking up more Jeremy Bates' books

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