The sleepwalkers

Scarlett Thomas


In stock

Tense, atmospheric and darkly funny, The Sleepwalkers is a a sublimely creepy contemporary gothic work about a relationship unravelling that asks urgent questions about a contemporary society where our basest selves are hidden in plain sight.

ISBN: 9781398528406 Category:


The scintillating new novel from the author of The End of Mr Y

Patricia Highsmith meets White Lotus in this compulsive and brilliant gothic thriller

‘Clever, emotionally resonant, packed with startling twists and dark turns and very funny indeed, this is fiction roaring on all cylinders.’ Guardian

‘Through her bold storytelling, “The Sleepwalkers” becomes a work of peculiar, gonzo genius. ? Thomas takes a glamorous late-capitalist setting, with rosé and catamarans, and shreds, twists and warps it into a story that is surprising, humane and political to its bones.’ New York Times

‘Thomas tells her story with the craft and cunning of an Aegean sorceress. ? [S]he can make metafiction not just smart but fun. Once more she earns her place in a postwar British canon of playfully serious mavericks that runs from Muriel Spark and Brigid Brophy to Nicola Barker and Ali Smith.’ Spectator

‘Like a darker, funnier The White Lotus, The Sleepwalkers is horrifying in the best possible way. I loved every moment of it.’ James Smythe
‘The Sleepwalkers is brilliant, savage and hilarious. The voice is so strong and so distinctive from the get-go, so bold and pitilessly funny. There is no whingeing here, just a fearless takedown which I read through in a single streak of pure delight. This is Scarlett’s best yet, and I don’t say that lightly.’ Bidisha Mamata

‘The Sleepwalkers is never-endingly surprising and full of keen observations on relationships, politics, and art. Thomas makes real life so fraught with meaning, it feels hauntingly supernatural. A twisty Gothic tale of vertiginous depths and haunting power.’ Sandra Newman, author of Julia

‘This original thriller has plenty of surprises.’ Good Housekeeping

 ‘An attractive summer holiday read’, Independent

Still reeling from the chaos of their wedding, Evelyn and Richard arrive on an idyllic Greek island for their honeymoon. It’s the end of the season and out at sea a storm is brewing.

They check in to an exclusive hotel, the Villa Rosa, where the proprietor Isabella - a strangely intense woman of indeterminate accent – flirts outrageously with Richard while treating Evelyn with a rudeness bordering on contempt. Isabella tells them the story of ‘the sleepwalkers’: a couple who stayed at the hotel the year before and drowned in a tragic and unexplained accident. It starts to feel like the entire island is obsessed with ‘the sleepwalkers’, but what at first seems like a fun tale to tell before bed quickly evolves into a living nightmare. 

Caught in a web of deception and intrigue, where nothing and nobody are quite what they seem, Evelyn and Richard discover that their island paradise may in fact be hell on earth and that their only means of escape is to confront dark truths about themselves and those they love. 

Exhilarating, suspenseful, and subversively funny, in The Sleepwalkers Thomas takes elements on Daphne Du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith and blends them with her own unique sensibility to create an unforgettable thriller of rare intelligence that cements her reputation as the most exciting and original author of her generation.

‘Muriel Spark’s disreputable niece.’ Spectator 

‘She’s a genius.’ Douglas Coupland
‘Thomas has the mesmerising power of a great story teller.’ Financial Times
‘One of the most startling, unpredictable writers of her generation.’ Scotsman

Additional information

Weight 0.416 kg
Dimensions 21.6 × 13.5 × 2.6 cm










Hardback original


823.92 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K

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