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The Dark Will End the Dark
By Darrin Doyle
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
So first, let me admit that I have a bit of a bias here; for while I don't know the author personally, I am friends with the owner of the press that published this, and Tortoise and CCLaP have been talking about doing some co-sponsored events together later in the year, so you should take the so-called "objectivity" of this review with a grain of salt. But that said, even without that connection I would still like this book quite a bit, a collection of dark magical-realism pieces that unsurprisingly comes from a former student of such fellow dark magical-realism authors Stuart Dybek, Elizabeth McCracken and Rick Moody. Be forewarned, this is not the fun, life-affirming kind of magical realism so prevalent in, say, Spanish literature; these are instead stories where entire boats of passengers commit mass-suicide for no particular reason, where babies insist on gnawing on the severed limbs of their parents to stay happy, and where a man competes for the title of "longest case of hiccups in history" to disastrous effect, just to list the subjects of the first three pieces. Smartly done and more naturally compelling than most story collections, this comes strongly recommended from a reviewer who was admittedly rooting for this book from the start.
Out of 10: 8.8