"Once as a kid he'd gone out behind the house, into the wilds of pecan trees and hedges and, following a night zipped into an army-surplus unsleeping bag, had attempted to fry bacon over a Sterno can, managing only to cook his thumb."

Is there anything like unsleeping bag or is it just a sarcastic phrase?

  • Please always summarize the results of whatever research you did before asking. Doing research before posting is basic site etiquette. – MetaEd Sep 11 '12 at 21:40

This is what is known as wry humor. It is used derisively, usually as a commentary on the miserable nature of a thing or a situation. The author is making a comment about the uncomfortable nature of the sleeping bag, which prevented the very thing it was designed to promote.

Given more context, the sardonic humor is even more evident:

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The drink tasted like Sterno, the thumb got fried instead of the bacon, etc.

*[Excerpt from a Google Books search that yielded the passage from Drive by James Sallis]*

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I don't think there is any such thing. I think the author is just trying to make a derogatory implication about the quality of army-surplus sleeping bags.

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Its sarcastic I think. Haven't heard of unsleeping bags. Maybe helpful if there was one.

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