Beyond Sleep is a classic of post-war European literature; the saga of a man at the limits of the civilized world. Alfred Issendorf is a Dutch geology student and worrisome introvert whose burning paranoia keeps him from realizing his ambitions. His obsessive neurosisthe thought of having to die without a major scientific discovery to his name-ironically stumps any actual talent he has and renders him altogether useless in the geological expedition which brings him to Norway in the sixties. Issendorf is out to prove that craters in the landscape are actually holes caused by the impact of meteorites. His trip turns sour, with nature and cosmic forces conspiring against him: the unearthly atmosphere of the midnight sun makes him paranoid; nights are too hot; clouds of mosquitoes steal his sleep; he is exhausted. He sees in everything secret plots against his scientific work-all the while suspecting everything and everyone except the mastermind behind his entire predicament: the author himself. Haunted by down-and-out scientists, the ghost of his dead father, and apparitions of ancient animals, Issendorf's character is both naïve and cynical, ambitious and distrustful, grandiose and talentless. Beyond Sleep is a novel of adventure and discovery, psychology and pride, and W. F. Hermans embeds within it his credo: "Life is Chaos."