The Dark Dark

Samantha Hunt. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $15 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-374-28213-4
In her first collection, Hunt (Mr. Splitfoot) explores various relationships between women and men; the dead and the undead (literally and metaphorically); and lust, longing, and loneliness in 10 stories designed to jolt and beguile. In “Cortés the Killer,” a brother and sister witness the gruesome death of their horse during a Thanksgiving outing to Walmart. It sparks questions about their father’s death from lung cancer. In “Love Machine,” an FBI agent falls in love with the robot he designed to take out Ted Kaczynski. An extramarital tryst between two strangers opens a loophole and brings a seemingly dead dog back to life in “The Yellow.” In “Wampum,” a mother’s ex-boyfriend seduces her precocious 14-year-old daughter, or is it the other way around? In “A Love Story”—one of the fiercest and funniest in the bunch—a pot dealer turned aspiring writer vents her frustrations with married sex life (or lack thereof), complains about raising children in the age of helicopter parenting (her critiques are witty and spot-on), and runs through the lives of women she’s encountered—her “own private Greek chorus”—in the dark before bed. She describes an uncle as being “so good at imagining things [that] he makes the imagined things real.” This excellent, inventive collection does the same; it is rife with observant asides, sly humor, and surprises. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/15/2017
Release date: 07/18/2017
MP3 CD - 978-1-5200-7383-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5200-7379-8
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