Saturday 20 September 2014

Recommendation: The Night Just Got Darker by Gary McMahon

The Night Just Got Darker is a new chapbook from Gary McMahon, out soon from Knightwatch Press. It tells of a typical McMahon protagonist, at odds with his life and unable to stop it crumbling round him. And one night he sees across the road his neighbour, scribbling away at something in the small hours. He goes over and finds out the man is a very singular kind of writer...

I'll keep the rest of this short and sweet, as the story itself is short (but very far from sweet) and I don't want to give too much away. The really condensed version is: you should read this.

The slightly longer version is that I've read The Night Just Got Darker a couple of times now, once in broad daylight and once, yes, as the night was deepening, with a whisky in my hand. I loved it even more the second time round. It's worth reading more than once, because it's many things and you might not spot them all at first. It's one of those magical stories that seems bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside, a tale whose implications ripple out in wider circles than you can possibly imagine from the initial set up. It's a story with a very disturbing view about how humanity might keep the dark held back, as well as a clever piece of meta-fiction about the cost of writing. It's a story about modern urban living and fractured realities and the idea of the scapegoat. And it's a tribute to the author's friend Joel Lane.

And, as I said, it's a story you really should read.

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