I Want It Black

Posted on October 10, 2016

by Jennifer D

All of us have a darker side that we must answer to, and sometimes it comes through in our need for a good dastardly read. So, if you’re tired of bubble gum and happy endings, read on for a few reads that will further darken that inky place you may need to exhume.

First on the list is author Les Plesko. He wrote many books, but his last, No Stopping Train, is infinitely dark as you follow a love triangle set during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. Every sentence is unique in this novel: “Cold rain numbed my face and also the wish I’d just had.” What was the wish? Read it to find out. No Stopping Train has a milky dreamy quality, but it’s also gritty enough that you’ll feel the dirt under your nails.
Next up is Hannah Pittard’s Listen to Me. A great read for a road trip, since the majority of the book takes place in a car, and a must for any reader who is intrigued by the darker side of marital bliss. This book will have you feeling claustrophobic and place you at the edge of your seat as you follow a couple through a twisty-turny road that eventually leads to a Twin Peaksesque hotel. Pittard balances perfectly by keeping the reader guessing, but never pushing so far that the story is unbelievable.
Looking to tell your friends you just read a Nobel Prize winning book? Herta Muller’s The Hunger Angel will fill that void, but be prepared for the possibility of a few sleepless nights mulling over the idea that nothing could be worse than Muller’s description of daily life in a concentration camp. Intensely written, Leo’s journey will be yours, but as an arm-chair traveler, you’ll be glad when your experience under Gulag is over.
Author Patricia Highsmith must be included on this darkest of journeys. Her novel, Cry of the Owl, will send you to an otherworldly place beginning from the vantage of an outside window. A thriller that will transport you back to a world of the 1960s, following Robert as he works to drown out his monotonous life by getting caught up in the twisted life of the girl he watched through the window.

So, Dear Reader, we must experience, even if from the safety of our favorite chair, the dark side.

Additional Reading Recommendations:
Paint it Black : a novel by Janet Fitch Shadows over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft and others edited by Stephen Jones The Road by Cormac McCarthy The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Featured Image Credit: Book cover collage created using PicMonkey.

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