cover image The Way Things End

The Way Things End

Charles David. Tartarus, $50 (234p) ISBN 978-1-912586-17-2

In 1940, “somewhere deep in tobacco country,” African American guitarist Roosevelt Sands, the protagonist of David’s impressive debut, murders Dab Wooley, his business manager, after realizing Wooley had been stealing from him for years. Sands gets away with the crime, but he soon loses his instrument during an assault by railway security after hopping a freight train. Turning thief to survive, the musician steals a guitar from a blind woman who offered him shelter, and on it he plays a song that causes “the universe and all things within it... to unravel.” Full of bizarre situations and time shifts, the narrative includes interludes in 1943 Romania and 1966 Brooklyn, as well as a creepy angelic figure. Readers have to put all the pieces together on their own, as David is careful to avoid any explicit connection between the plotlines. Suggestive prose and original concepts augur well for his next book. This unsettling horror novel is a must for David Lynch fans. (Oct.)