Monday, May 14, 2018
recent read; DARKER THAN YOU THINK
DARKER THAN YOU THINK by Jack Williamson
Will Barbee, an alcoholic small college town reporter, is pulled into a noir-ish nightmare of witchcraft and lyncanthropy. The deeper he goes, he discovers horrifying secrets about the history of mankind and about himself.
Or, is it all in his head? Has the beautiful, red-headed April Belle bewitched him into devilish deeds, or is his unconscious mind simply playing out his jealous desires?
Written in 1948, by now most of the surprises in the story were predictable. But Williamson works with the suspense of Barbee not understanding what is happening, while the reader does. And that works, too. When will Barbee figure it out? What choices will he make?
Williamson, being a science fiction writer, injects the lycanthropy with pseudo-physics and it suspended my disbelief well enough. It's tricky to try to justify any trope with real world rules.
Near the end, there are reveals. Some worked. One in particular I didn't feel had been setup at all, though.
I don't know if certain writers were influenced or even had read DARKER THAN YOU THINK but there are threads seen later in THE OMEN and ROSEMARY'S BABY, to name a few.
I enjoyed DARKER THAN YOU THINK for its craft and darkness. It deserves its status as one of the great horror and/or werewolf novels.
DARKER THAN YOU THINK is also available via Audible.