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Hold the Dark by William Giraldi

Hold the Dark by William GiraldiA review by Nalini Haynes

Children have been taken by wolves in the remote Alaskan town of Keelut. Medora Slone, the mother of the most recent missing child, contacts Core, a nature writer who wrote about wolves. Core is wracked with guilt after hunting and killing a wolf who took a child. He regrets giving up whisky and cigarettes to live longer for his own daughter; he decides to take them up again.

Hold the Dark is a tale of the longest night approaching during unseasonable cold, bringing out the worst in humanity. This is horror at its finest: using literary techniques to explore the differences between man and animal and the monster within. Ironically, it’s not really my cup of tea — or coffee as I don’t contaminate my coffee with whisky — and yet the tale is succinct and eloquent in its philosophical explorations.

It is not unflawed, however, as characters seem to change without explanation or motivation at the end. Also, Giraldi is one of many authors who have fallen victim to a current fashion in storytelling, but I won’t spoil the story by revealing which one.

Overall, Hold the Dark is a bleak, literary-style horror story focusing on human society. I’m giving it 4 stars.

Rating:full starfull starfull starfull starEmpty star 4 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9781843445753
Format: paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: No Exit Press (distributor: New South Books)

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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