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The Dark Country [Paperback]

Dennis Etchison

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Author Who Takes Chances 3 July 2005
By Charles Gramlich - Published on
If it only contained "The Dead Line," this anthology would still be worth five stars. That story is one of my top ten favorite horror shorts of all time. But there are plenty of other great offerings here, including "The Late Shift," and "Daughter of the Golden West." It's true that not every story works as well as "The Dead Line," but Etchison is a writer who is willing to take chances. He doesn't play it safe, and that means that every story is not likely to engage every reader. When the story does engage, however, it hits on all cylinders.

Charles Gramlich

Author of Cold in the Light
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping collection of excellent horror short-stories. 9 Oct 1997
By - Published on
A collection of excellent short- (average of 20 pages per story) stories of horror in which the suspense climaxes in the last paragraph. I found out about this writer from the intro in Stephen King's "Danse Macabre." A must for fans of short-length horror.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Etchison Makes A Terrific Showing 9 Jan 2001
By "netchild" - Published on
Etchison gives us a great show with this first collection of his short stories. One complaint I had was that this collection was hyped up way too much, but that is hardly Etchison's fault. The only reason I did not give Etchison five stars is because some of the stories in this collection were just plain bad. The title story, "The Dark Country" and the story, "It Will Be Here Soon" were interesting but not at all worth reading. However there were some true gems that more than made up for these stories. "You Can Go Now" is worth the price of the book and then some. It is a beautifully horrible piece of horror fiction. "You Can Go Now" is a story I have read and reread many times since I picked up this book a few years ago. If you have not read it, please get this book. This story, alone, more than makes up for any misses Etchison has in this collection. But then he gives us other great stories like "We Have All Been Here Before" (which has an amazing twist worthy of O. Henry), "The Late Shift" (you'll never look at the convenient store clerk the same way again), and "The Pitch" (be very careful before you get that slicer dicer and pealer the salesman makes seem so attractive). Etchison gives us a very original brand of fiction, a mix of King here, a dash of Bradbury there, and sprinkled with a bit of Clive Barker ever so subtly. Ever writer of fiction can miss the mark, but few can hit it right on the bullseye. To find a collection like this, it's worth the bad apples you have to go through.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Containing The Most Horrific, Gut-Wrenching, Deeply-Disturbing Tale In 'Short Story History.' Unquestionably! 12 Oct 2009
By Jeff Sekerak - Published on
The most horrific, gut-wrenching, deeply-disturbing short tale I've read in my life?

Well, even 'after all these years,' I've got to write that it is D. Etchison's 'Daughter Of The Golden West.' In which a couple of college kids make the mistake of 'going too far,' whilst investigating the murder of their beloved classmate.

Suffice it to say that they meet up with, in among the most horrific endings in short-tale history, a few 'sisters.' Sisters, who, descended from from the Donner Party (members of which, due to potential starvation, had to resort to eating something, 'rather unpleasant'), have inherited a taste for...

Well, I'll let you get to the rest. In, The Dark Country

If you have not read this one, it is a treat, to state it mildly.

'Honorable Mentions' in most horrific short-story category - to me personally? Stephen King's 'A Good Marriage,' from Full Dark, No Stars. Charles L. Grant's 'If Damon Comes.' And, not to be dismissed lightly, Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown.'

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Work. 11 Mar 2014
By Viktor - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Though The Dark Country is certainly a decent collection with some good offerings, one of its biggest drawbacks is the high level of praise centered around what is largely an average gathering of short stories. Reading the reviews, one is left with the impression that this is among the finest horror offerings out there. My experience was quite different. Though some stories are well written and delightfully creepy, (It only comes out at Night/Sitting in the Corner, Whimpering Quietly/The Dead Line) most of these works are quite average on the whole. It's hard to fault Etchison for this, however. It is clear that these works are deeply personal and introspective, written more as personal expression and less for simple mass-market entertainment. Dennis Etchison is what he is, for better or worse. If you're in the mood for works that describe deranged and tormented individuals, by all means check out this collection. Just don't expect to find the perfect nightmare.
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