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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review: Darkness, Tell Us

Darkness, Tell Us Darkness, Tell Us by Richard Laymon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of DARKNESS, TELL US
by Richard Laymon

Where do I start to rave over this novel? My heart stayed in my throat the entire time, and no distractions could sway me from my reading. Laymon takes characters who on the surface seem to be ordinary: one college professor, six of her students—and what he construct from this simple stew is an amazing terror, joy, love, hope, human persistence, narrative. Drop all the “camping in the wilderness” horror tropes, because what Richard Laymon introduces readers to is metahorror: above, below, and way beyond cliched inbred backwoodsman or escaped criminals. He juggles several villains along with a few “good guys” (of both genders, and some fairly ordinary (greedy, self-centered) humans. One of the good characters states later on that usually these villainous types are found in urban environments, not out in the wilderness; and he hadn't even encountered some of them.

This novel is dark, dark, dark, in almost every sense of that definition; yet it is incredibly powerful and compelling, with empowered characters who forge on—literally no matter what danger. I loved it.

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