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The Dark Path: A Memoir

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A young man struggles to reconcile God, faith, and sex as he stumbles toward finding himself in this ?brave and irreverent? (Details) memoir.

Since childhood, David Schickler has been torn between his intense desire to become a Catholic priest and his equally fervent desire for the company of women.

Things don?t get any clearer for Schickler at college, where he initiates serious conversations about becoming a...

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The Dark Path: A Memoir

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A young man struggles to reconcile God, faith, and sex as he stumbles toward finding himself in this “brave and irreverent” (Details) memoir.

Since childhood, David Schickler has been torn between his intense desire to become a Catholic priest and his equally fervent desire for the company of women.

Things don’t get any clearer for Schickler at college, where he initiates serious conversations about becoming a Jesuit just as he enters a passionate relationship with a vivacious, agnostic young woman.

Setting out on a journey to understand the balance between a life of faith and life in the real world, Schickler comes to terms with this dichotomy and learns that the answers he seeks aren’t clear-cut—no matter how long he treads the dark path.

Candid and funny, lyrical and blunt, The Dark Path is an evocative portrayal of one man’s struggle with faith and women . . . both of which he tries to love with bold, bracing honesty.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Praise for The Dark Path

“A funny and uncomfortably honest memoir by a deeply talented writer. David Schickler writes about the mysteries of faith and sex with unblinking candor and an abiding sense of wonder.”
—Tom Perrotta

“That rarest of memoirs: a smart, funny, and searingly honest journey that rings true on every page.” 
—Jonathan Tropper

“A bracingly original and fantastically entertaining page-turner. David Schickler’s fiercely funny, wrenchingly dark, gorgeously written memoir of almost becoming a Catholic priest chronicles years of struggle and anguish, but it also illuminates what it means to stay true to yourself no matter what.” 
—Kate Christensen

“Lighthearted yet lyrical.”
The Wire

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594632792
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 458,017
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Schickler

David Schickler is the author of the bestselling story collection Kissing in Manhattan and the novel Sweet and Vicious. He is the cocreator and executive producer of the Cinemax series Banshee. He lives in New York.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Schicker:

"I love running and it is somehow deeply connected to my writing. In high school, running cross-country and track was close to the most important thing in my life. I loved then and love now the discipline of running, the solitude, the self-reliance, the lack of equipment, the hard-won elations. I also respect and accept the injuries, the patience, and the days when I've just got nothing. I don't think about these things while I run, I just run, just as I don't think about writing while I'm writing, I just write. As a runner, I don't have the stamina or zip I had when I was seventeen, but I have stamina and zip as a writer, and somehow the one prepared me for or inspired me toward the other."

"I love movies and television. I see about two films a week out at theaters, and I stay up late most nights watching movies or shows on TiVo. Current shows I love are: 24, Arrested Development, The Office, Monk, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, NYPD Blue, and The Family Guy. These are smart, masterfully created pieces of entertainment, and, for the life of me, I can't understand certain people's kill-your-television crusades. I work hard, love my wife, friends and family, love traveling, sports, reading, dining out, the whole shebang, but I also need (especially after working all day with words on a page) the pleasure of television. I watch almost exclusively fictive shows, though, and I never watch more than 10 or 15 minutes of news a day: overall, the less news I watch, the more thoughtful, relaxed, and, I think, kinder I am."

"I come from an enormous family of about 70 first cousins (my father is one of ten children, my mother is one of eight, and I have three sisters and no brothers). Despite not knowing many of my relatives well (many live far from me), I consider them—in their vast array of personalities and lives—a blessing, comfort, resource, and just plain great story, and I hope I am sometimes the same for them."

"I'd like all my readers to know how grateful I am that they read my books and stories. Given how fraught and harried our lives often are, it is a winning and wonderful fact that people still seek out and cleave to fiction. I consider reading and writing two of the freest, most civilized, dangerous, occasionally radical, and rewarding pursuits of life, and it excites and inspires me that people might enjoy the stories I have to tell. So, truly, thank you for reading! Also, a request to my readers: if you know of any books that you think I'd really love (given all I've said above and the kind of fiction I write), please feel free to drop me a line on my web site and make a recommendation: I'd enjoy hearing from you."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 30, 1969
    2. Place of Birth:
      Rochester, New York
    1. Education:
      B.S. in Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 1991; M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Columbia University, 1995
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 12, 2013

    The Dark Path opens the readers eyes to how a conflict that perc

    The Dark Path opens the readers eyes to how a conflict that percolates through adolescence and early adulthood can have devastating consequences for the individual. The author came from a stable loving family that would seem to have given him the ingredients for a successful transition from child to adult. Yet, the dichotomy between his desire to be a priest and his desire to have a loving relationship with a with a wife and children strained his ability to maintain his mental stability. The intensity and honesty of the writing makes this a true page turner and you find yourself praying that he will find his way and work through this conflict. The fact that as readers we know the outcome from the beginning in no way diminishes the emotional pull of this book. Bravo to David Schickler for opening our eyes to how difficult "coming of age" can really be!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2014

    Call of Darkness

    Welcome! Let me explain a few things. <p> RANKS:: <p> Star: The leader of the Call. Mate/pups allowed. Sign: &zeta <br> & zeta <p> Beta: The co-leader of the Call. Mate/pups allowed. Sign: &beta <br> & beta <p> Herb Severus: The healing dog. Mate/pups NOT allowed. Sign: &infin <br> & infin <p> Severus: The higher ranked dogs. Mate/pups allowed. Sign: &starf <br> & starf <p> Derius: The regular rank. Mate/pups allowed. Sign: &alpha <br> & alpha <p> Antus: the apprentices. Only mate allowed. Must be trained. Sign: &omega <br> & omega <p> Pups: The babies. No sign. <p> RULES:: <p> Star and Beta's words are law. <br> No godmodding, powerplaying, homosexuality, or killing other dogs. <br> If an Antus has pups, they will be taken away and appointed an adoptive mother. <br> If the Herb Severus has a mate/pups, they will be banished unless they had these before appointed Herb Severus. <br> No rude/innappropriate dogs. This does not include making love, but we suggest you don't do it in main camp. <br> Beta/Severus do not decide when raids happen. Only Star. <br> DO NOT eat cats. You only have the right to torture them. <br> Have fun! No moping! <p> MAP:: <p> Res 1: Here <br> Res 2: Bios <br> Res 3: Main Camp <br> Res 4: Sleeping den (For all except Herb Severus and nursing/expecting mothers and pups) <br> Res 5: Herb Severus den <br> Res 6: Nursery <br> Res 7-10: Mating/hunting grounds <p> Have fun!

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