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Reviews & Comments
“Dennis Must is a searching writer, able to transcribe madness and instability, the wrack of obsession and the weariness of giving in. Reality, in Must’s hand, is always flirting with the abyss and this gives his prose an expansiveness and wonder quite beyond the ordinary. In Going Dark, Must tenderizes this same hot sense with implements of magic that turn our sentient lives into examples of the bizarre, the wondrous, and the crushing. As the stories move out of their mid-century crucible, amidst engine oil stains and belt buckles, and into the present and back again, the reader can’t help but notice the same amber light.” —Nathaniel Popkin, journalist, editor, member of the National Book Critics Circle, and author of 3 books, including the novel Lion and Leopard
“Dennis Must’s third collection, a complex psychological, philosophical work, is filled with isolated, alienated, self-absorbed characters. Each story in this volume goes dark as Must burrows deeply into the souls of his intricately drawn characters. Overall, the collection becomes a compelling study of the problem of evil, the nature of human identity, and the function of art.” —Jack Smith, author of Hog to Hog, Icon, and Being
“There are places where I stopped reading for story just to enjoy Must’s words. In the words, in the vocabulary, Must speaks to us living in an age that has turned its back on lexical prowess and seems to seek out the lowest elements in the lexicon. In Going Dark, Must refuses to admit that the dumbing down of America is in full swing.” —Jack Remick, author of the California Quartet and Gabriela and The Widow, for the Dactyl Review
“When I published Dennis Must’s story “Comin’ For To Carry Me Home,” in my Web literary review, *Linnaean Street*, sixteen years ago, I’d never read anything else by the man. This was typical—except for a few stories I solicited from famous names, everything came in through the e-mail box blind—a cold call from Siberiaspace—and I read every single submission myself and sometimes agonized over whether to publish it or not. In the end I published maybe one out of a hundred of the pieces I read. Sometimes, I suggested a little editing—usually cuts in the text, because even the best writers have a tendency to pad their work, due to an active dread of minimalism.