Length: 100 pages
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Henry Bins has Henry Bins, a condition that derives its name from him. He sleeps for twenty three hours a day – a sleep that is as heavy as a coma – and is awake for one hour, from 3 A.M. to 4 A.M. Understandably, every minute is precious and carefully allotted to reading, watching Game of Thrones, exercising, and eating. And with so little happening at such a dead of the night hour, little disrupts his happy routine. Until he hears the woman in the house facing his scream just minutes before it’s time for him to fall asleep. And until he sees the man leave the house right after – the man who seems to be responsible for said scream and the man who also happens to be the President of the United States.
Sometimes, you just need to read a story that is fun, quick moving, and a little over the top – this usually happens when you’re ill, need to unwind after a strenuous book, simply want a fun holiday read, or just want to enjoy some light reading. That craving is exactly what this book is meant to satisfy.
There are many, many things wrong with 3:00 A.M. The random changes in tense and the typos top that list for me. But the remainder of the items on the list of what’s wrong with the book, is also what is right with the book.
Most of the things, situations, characters, and events in the book are a given. A ‘this is how it is, now you know’ kind of thing. You get information when you need it, and you incorporate it into what comes next to make sense of what’s happening. Short, sweet, and effective. That is how most of the book goes. There’s no running around, deep character development, or detailed background story. You know everything you need to know about the people by being told so in simple, straightforward terms. Why is that a good thing? Because it saves you a whole lot of effort. Why is it a bad thing? Because the ‘need to know basis’ approach can tick you off sometimes.
Another thing that can either irritate you or amuse you, depending upon your mood, is the relationship that Henry shares with his newly found cat. The two share an immediate bond that I found to be sweetly funny and even adorable. The guy even speaks the language that an animal would speak if he was a cat-who-thought-he-was-really-a-dog (it reminded me a little bit of Sven and Kristoff from Frozen). So you can see how readers could go either way – hate it or love it.
The basic plot is a whodunit and how to prove that who did it actually did it. You (the reader) are left in the dark until the end, by which time our protagonist has figured things out and is considerate enough to explain. Again, a you-may-hate-it-or-love-it kind of take. So, like I said, the things that are wrong with it are also the things that work for it. The story is pretty linear in its telling and, although has its dose of twists and turns, leaves little to the imagination, while the style isn’t one that boasts of literary excellence. But is it a good read?
3:00 A.M. is a fun read – meant purely for entertainment. It is short and will take a grand total of a couple of hours of your life. And I wouldn’t really mind stocking up on other books in the series, or in other series by Nick Pirog, just so that I have something light and fun to read when I really need it. If you’re someone who, at times, likes casual reads that require minimum effort, 3:00 A.M. might be the break you need next.