Darkness on the Edge of Town – Brian Keene.
Darkness on the Edge of Town is a horror novel written by author Brian Keene which was published back in 2008 by Leisure Books.
Set in a town named Walden, Virginia, it tells the tale of residents who wake up one morning to find their entire world has been plunged into complete and inescapable darkness.
What follows is a series of events which will change their lives forever.
Must like The Mist by Stephen King, anyone who tries to leave the town is heard screaming and crying for help from within the darkness.
This story is the first I’ve had the pleasure of reading by Brian Keene, it’s a short little novel which works well in its favour – straight to the point and completely immersive, this isn’t a difficult novel to read and the pacing is spot on – it is certainly a page-turner.
What transpires in this book is not only this oppressive darkness of the town but also the darkness which resides inside every one of us. Once society breaks down, once the rules are taken away, who are we really? This book is terrifying the sense of human nature – what is our true default? Are people inherently good, or are we all predators? How far will we go to survive in an apocalyptic type situation?
I know I’m not the only one who has their zombie apocalypse survival all planned out, maybe I’m mental, I don’t know.
This novel is incredibly bleak, there’s little to no hope throughout the entire thing. You have a threat of what’s happening outside the town – no way of communicating outside of Walden, and then there’s the screams of the people who try, plus hallucinations from those who get too close to the town perimeters.
Not only this, you have the state of despair which is slowly driving the town residents to do bloody bonkers things – everything from masturbating in the streets to murder and rape, not only is there the nightmare of the darkness, but the townsfolk themselves start to become a threat. Then, of course, there’s the sanity of the main characters themselves, which slowly starts to disappear.
So, what’s my verdict? I loved this story, Brian Keene is someone who I’ll look out for in the future – if you have any recommendations let me know!
This book is short and well written, it pulls you in like the darkness he describes so perfectly.
The characters are well defined and strong, the plot is all-encompassing and disturbing.
I gave it 4/5 stars and would say that if you enjoy dark (!) depressing horror novels, this is for you!
Hope you enjoyed this review! Have you read this novel? Does it sound like your sort of thing?
Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,