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The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt

The Dark Dark

by Samantha Hunt

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776219,945 (3.81)17



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A small collection of stories that starts out too literary to quite be sff and winds up too weird to be properly literary. Enjoyable, though somewhat too focused on sex and motherhood for my personal tastes; my favorite was A Love Story. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Jul 10, 2018 |
The author of Mr. Splitfoot, which I've not yet read but have heard good things, has published a group of short stories that are, unusual and a bit eerie. Strange things occur in the dark of night and Ms. Hunt tells of these occurrences in a manner that leaves the reader imagining what might happen after the last printed word is read. The author talks of pregnancies and the inability to become pregnant, of infidelity and insecurity. I suppose you could say it's mainly women's issues but her stories are written so well and are so original that it can be enjoyed by all. ( )
  Carmenere | Dec 5, 2017 |
Short stories of both the quietly quirky and the not-so-quietly-quirky variety, and—yes—dark, but not in the obvious ways. Many are sometimes prosaic and sometimes fantastical takes on the impulse toward self-obliteration and the reasons why, which I thought was an interesting thread to run through a collection. Also the choice to twin the first and last stories, the second an alternate version of the first that gets more and more recursive as it goes. The one I loved best, which was also the least fantastic of the ten, was the knockout "A Love Story," which struck all the right notes:
"The uncertain position we all maintain in life asking when will violence strike, when will devastation occur, leaves us looking like the hapless swimmers at the beginning of each Jaws movie. Innocent, tender, and delicious. Our legs tread water, buoyed by all that is right and good and deserved in this world, a house, healthy children, clean food to eat, love. While that animatronic shark, a beast without mercy, catches the scent of blood and locks in on his target." ( )
  lisapeet | Oct 21, 2017 |
This is a collection of short stories by Samantha Hunt that were often weird and always a little off-kilter, some stories veering directly into George Saunders/Karen Russell territory, and other stories remaining superficially more ordinary, but with an undercurrent that hints of something else.

This was an excellent collection of stories, where each story felt completely different than the one before. The book begins and ends with two variations on the same story and were the strongest of the stories, although there wasn't a dud to be found. And while the stories stand out for how imaginative they are, Hunt never fails to make her characters fully realized individuals or to give the stories a beating heart. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Oct 13, 2017 |
"Strange things happen all around us all the time, but is it best to acknowledge or to turn away from moments when the weird pokes its way into our ordinary lives?"

I find describing story collections to be difficult. I find recapping each story tiresome, but spreading the word is important to me. I really like this collection. Like the title clearly states, these are dark tales of people, mostly women, searching for happiness and contentment, in a frustrating landscape of technology, infidelities, infertility and mortality.
Hunt has a strong voice and tone. I especially like the bookends of the collection, where she revisits the first main character, in the final story and takes it to a satisfying conclusion. I liked her last novel, Mr. Splitfoot too. She is an author who has a firm place on my radar. ( )
1 vote msf59 | Sep 14, 2017 |
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Then she raised the hoe above her head.
--Eudora Welty
For Norma Stallings Nolan Santangelo,
the bright bright
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"This is the first collection of stories from a widely acclaimed novelist writing in the realm of the literary fantastical. They urge an understanding of youth and mortality, ghosts, ghost towns, doubling and loss, with the hope that we can know one another more deeply or at least stand side by side to observe the mystery of the world"--… (more)

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