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Things We Say in the Dark Reviews

Things We Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan

Things We Say in the Dark

Kirsty Logan

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Harvill Secker
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 1 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9781787301535

A shocking collection of dark stories, ranging from chilling contemporary fairytales to disturbing supernatural fiction, by a talented writer who has been compared to Angela Carter.

3 stars out of 5
9 Oct 2019

"Some readers might find [the authorial interjections] jarring; to others, it might feel like authorial over-sharing. In the end though, I think Logan pulls it off."

This thoroughly haunting collection of short stories from Kirsty Logan begins with a note from someone who, we assume, must be the author. While writing this book, she informs us, she spent a month on retreat in Iceland. “It was a strange time,” she writes. “I spent entire days in silence without seeing another living thing... It was weird and I got sad and I lost myself a little.”  These authorial interjections keep on cropping up between stories and – as the book progresses – the extent to which the author may or may not have lost herself during the course of her writing retreat gradually becomes apparent. Attempting this kind of structural cleverness is – to put it mildly – a bit of a gamble. Some readers might find it jarring; to others, it might feel like authorial over-sharing. In the end though, I think Logan pulls it off, and in such a way that it ultimately enhances the chilling atmosphere conjured up by the stories rather than detracting from it. 

Reviews

4 stars out of 5

"In Logan’s quick-witted feminist realm, manipulative men will always get their comeuppance. "

If ever there was a collection to disprove the idea that the short story is the literary form for an age of dwindling attention spans, this is it. Kirsty Logan’s new collection, Things We Say in the Dark, asks a lot of its readers. Its eccentric accounts of the supernatural, the dystopian and the outright horror-filled require an agile reader willing to dive deep into numerous, unthinkably strange worlds for just a few pages at a time, hardly coming up for air in between... At times, Logan’s keenness to try out new structures can be tiring; her titles are drawn-out and her narratives switch repeatedly between conflicting voices. But when the final few lines of a story really bite, her sharp wit is unmistakable.