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Posted February 25, 2009
(Originally written July 25, 2005)
The most pleasant surprise about "Darker Than You Think" for me is how NOT-dated it was. When I realized that it was a reprinting of a novel from the 1940's, I kind of expected the writing style to reflect its age. Not that 60 years is a LONG time in the writing world, but I have read other novels that practically screamed "Hey! I was written in the 1970's!" and so on. There was some jargon and lingo that was dated, and the newspaper was clearly NOT run in the computerized world. But other than that, this novel could ALMOST have been written this year.
My favorite element was probably the loose interpretation of lycanthropy. I wasn't as crazy about the use of the law of probability and such, but it was cool seeing one individual being able to turn into a wolf AND a saber tooth tiger AND a snake and so on. The explanation behind this was new and interesting, not quite like any other horror novel I have ever read.
The one thing about the writing style that DID bug me was the constant "shivering" by the main character. That and his flip flopping attitude about humanity versus the monster. For the first part, once the real "horror" of the plot started to unfold, the guy was CONSTANTLY "shivering" in horror or "shuddering" in fear, and let's not forget "gasping" words such as "Huh." By the end of the book, I think one of those words was used at least once per page. As for the flip flopping, he would embrace the monsters, then he would rebel on behalf of his human friends, then he would embrace the monsters again, then he would rebel. And on and on. It got a little tiring.
BUT ... looking past those two elements, I enjoyed the novel quite a lot. It is definitely a worthy read.
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