A mysterious condition sweeps the country, leaving its victims in a catatonic state. The power grid fails and the world goes dark. Somewhere in Florida, where the sprawling suburbs meet a dying citrus grove, a janitor at a small community radio station, an FCC field agent, and a DJ attempt to restore order and humanity. They build a radio tower to recruit survivors. As newcomers arrive and occupy the homes of the affected, a community grows and thrives. But when supplies dwindle and more people succumb to the condition, a doomsday preacher arrives to test the limits of the community; and the radio tower, once seen as a marvel, begins to look like an abomination.
Radio Dark fuses Cormac McCarthy’s visceral realism with Daniil Kharms’ absurdist sensibility to create a uniquely surreal post-apocalyptic novel. As in Hinton’s debut, Pinkies (a CLMP Firecracker Award Finalist), deadpan humor lurks just below the surface of this bleak tale.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Radio Dark by Shane Hinton is a recommended quirky, dark, weird apocalyptic story. Memphis is a custodian at a radio station in Florida when the apocalypse begins. In this end of the world scenario people fall inexplicably into a catatonic state where they require neither food nor water but they can be led around and posed. There is a DJ at the station who is still broadcasting and a local preacher who has a regular show when Cincinnati, an FCC field agent, visits the station with her procedure manual to enact emergency measures to keep the station on the air. As the power grid fails, Cincinnati's solution to keeping the station on the air and broadcasting to any survivors, is to build a tower of catatonic people (they are great conductors). While there are a few comical incidences, there is no doubt that this is a weird, dark, bleak, odd story. Memphis is the narrator, but he is just relates the events without emotion or personality. It is never revealed why the plague occurred, though the preacher blames it on the radio waves, on all the noise. There is also no resolution to the plot. In some ways I feel as if I need to reread it in order to unearth any allegorical connections or references that I may have missed or some conclusion that slipped by me. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Burrow Press.