Dark fiction is concerned with the sinister side of human nature. It is often distinguished from the mainstream horror genre in that it tends not to be fantasy-orientated. Dark fiction may contain elements of black or satirical humour.
Here are six works of dark fiction that I have read, and one that I have written. They are presented in the order in which they were published. Click on the links to read my reviews.
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
About: Sexuality, freedom and the human condition are themes in this groundbreaking work. Tropic of Cancer was banned from being imported into the United States after its publication in France in 1934.
My Review: Set in the late 1920s and early 30s, Tropic of Cancer is a semi-autobiographical first-person account of a young, struggling American writer living in Paris, and for a… (More)
The Plague by Albert Camus
About: This is a philosophical work that explores destiny, the human condition, and absurdism, namely the tendency to try and find meaning in life, but failing to find any.
My Review: In the Algerian coastal town of Oran, an explosion in the rat population has not gone unnoticed. The infestation soon comes to an abrupt halt with the mysterious demise of the rats… (More)
Savage Night by Jim Thompson
About: Savage Night is a suspenseful crime novel written in its author’s trademark pulp prose style. Protagonist Carl is a paranoid and perplexing character, who is convinced that he is disintegrating.
My Review: A shadowy crime boss known as ‘The Man’ sends contract killer Carl Bigelow to a small town, on a mission to kill a man, by the name of Jake Winroy. Jake is a key witness in a forthcoming… (More)
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
About: First published in 1962, A Clockwork Orange is a ground-breaking and controversial book with an intriguing and intelligent narrator, which leaves many questions to ponder.
My Review: Alex is an eccentric 15-year-old delinquent with a penchant for classical music and drinking milk. He and his fellow ‘droogs’ assault, rob and rape with impunity, that is until a serious incident… (More)
Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis
About: This satirical work adeptly captures the hedonism of 1990s New York. In typical Ellis fashion the text is punctuated with numerous pop-culture references, in addition to sporadic descriptions of violence.
My Review: Victor Ward aka Victor Johnson is a male model living in 1990s Manhattan. Victor is a vapid, soulless character, obsessed with celebrity culture, who lives an existence that revolves around…(More)
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
About: Choke is in essence a social commentary about our innate craving for attention. Protagonist Victor is a victim of the selfish motivations at the very root of modern American society.
My Review: The protagonist, Victor Mancini, is a sex addict employed at an eighteenth-century historical re-enactment park. Victor attends various sexual addiction support groups, where he meets… (More)
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