Start reading The Dark Is Light Enough For Me on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
The Dark Is Light Enough For Me
 
 

The Dark Is Light Enough For Me [Kindle Edition]

John Claude Smith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.80
Kindle Price: £2.51 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £5.29 (68%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £2.51  
Paperback £7.68  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed


Product Description

Product Description

Twelve intricate, dark tales of bittersweet madness, twisted desire, and souls in crisis explore the deepest realms of the human, and not so human, condition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 310 KB
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ampichellis Ebooks/Martin Brown Publishers (9 Nov 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0065M28L6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #614,327 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

John Claude Smith is a writer of dark speculative fiction, everything from hardcore horror to magic realism and a few unknown off-ramps along the way. His first collection, The Dark is Light Enough for Me, is currently available via Kindle and other assorted e-readers. The publishers blurb states: "Twelve intricate, dark tales of bittersweet madness, twisted desire, and souls in crisis explore the deepest realms of the human, and not so human, condition."
He's also had 50 short stories published in various magazines and anthologies, some of which are listed below. Before locking into fiction, he spent many years writing Music Journalism, which he still dabbles in on occasion. He also writes poetry which means, yes, writing is what he does.
His blog, The Wilderness Within, deals with writing (of course), music, art--whatever strikes his fancy.

http://thewildernesswithinbyjohnclaudesmith.blogspot.com/

Words Matter!

Customer Reviews

3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars masterful anthology 18 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I am, apart from several other roles, a speculative fiction writer. And 'horror' is an equally important element of the super-category for me. I like to call my horror pieces 'dark fantasy' - as I like the subtle, and I don't necessarily want to go heavy on gore, nor do I like to dabble in standard motifs, like zombies and vampires. And yet I will dabble in the more extreme on occasion. The term 'dark fantasy' is not a clearly defined concept, but one that I'm more comfortable with than most. John Claude Smith's Dark is Light Enough For Me is an anthology of dark fantasy, interspersed with horror, but none of the stories consist of recurring popular motifs - internally or within the genre. Each story is original, and in most cases, very dark indeed - coal black.

Smith's anthology isn't for the sensitive or the faint-hearted. Many of the stories are edgy, working on concepts and thoughts that all us adults are familiar with, but rarely talk about. Smith isn't being quirky, or finding satisfaction in the gory, sexually perverse or the profane. No, he is writing this stuff because it unbalances the reader. Disturbs. Sometimes frightens - the essence of what quality horror/dark fantasy is all about. And he does it admirably, especially for a debut title.

You will find stories of high craftsmanship, but not all of his pieces are equal. I have found a few that could have been tighter, better polished, but never lacking in originality and perceptiveness. There are places in some stories that could have been better edited and proofed as well - but these are few and far between, and do not materially affect the overall quality of the piece. (I'm also an editor, and stuff like that rarely avoids my notice).
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Transported Beyond the Genre 20 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
These stories, horrific and disturbing as they are, transport the reader far beyond the horror genre. Every story here has such depth and feeling, each could easily serve as the subject of an entire novel. The prose is fraught with emotion, the intensity of the writing is enough in itself to leave you breathless. Whether you are into the horror genre or not, you will be mesmerized by these little masterpieces.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Philosophical Horror Success 26 Dec 2011
By Brian Fatah Steele - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
It is a rarity that a short story collection can speak to me with each of its tales, rarer still that the voice be so articulate. While I can definitely appreciate elements of "splatterpunk," too many modern horror author don't even go that bloody route, instead remaining in a safe "horror lit" style. Smith goes elsewhere, a bleak universe that one gets glimpses of in works by Harlan Ellison, H.P. Lovecraft, and occasionally Clive Barker. The intellect powering these nightmares is a staggering, transcendental monster in itself.

Many of the tales within feature certain horror archetypes - absurdist characters, extreme visceral sensations, madness manifested, etc. However, behind the window-dressings of dark, speculative fiction we find the musings of a philosopher. The concepts of guilt, ennui, ostracism, addiction and rage are examined just as keenly by Smith and his horror as they would have been by the likes of Sartre, Camus, Kafka, Nietzsche and Kant. The reader is forced to think along with feel, a dark dialogue open straight into your psyche.

These tales are not simplistic morality plays, nor are they juvenile in scope. The title story alone will leave you teetering in existential terror, while "The Perceptive One" will leave you hopeless. Our self-image (and self-worth) is attacked in "I Want To Be A Pretty Little Girl," as nature's dark secrets are revealed in "Strange Trees." Smith even gives us his own unique spin on vampires in the satirical "I Want To Take You Higher" and zombies in the nihilistic "Not Breathing."

This is a collection of brilliantly conceived short stories, the deep patina of darkness only adding to the themes explored by Smith. It is easily a 5 Star book, deserving of that rating, and deserving to be read by any fan of intelligent horror.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Scary! 11 Nov 2011
By Patti J. Phillips - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can't say how much I loved this book but I will try.
This is a very talented author.The stories were frightening and lyrical.Prose like this takes a lot of effort and this writer has it down pat.
The stories are also very literary reminding me a little of Ligotti but with more dialogue.
This is a wonderful collection that I am sure that I am going to read again and again.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Anthology 20 Dec 2011
By G. Huntman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am, apart from several other roles, a speculative fiction writer. And 'horror' is an equally important element of the super-category for me. I like to call my horror pieces 'dark fantasy' - as I like the subtle, and I don't necessarily want to go heavy on gore, nor do I like to dabble in standard motifs, like zombies and vampires. And yet I will dabble in the more extreme on occasion. The term 'dark fantasy' is not a clearly defined concept, but one that I'm more comfortable with than most. John Claude Smith's Dark is Light Enough For Me is an anthology of dark fantasy, interspersed with horror, but none of the stories consist of recurring popular motifs - internally or within the genre. Each story is original, and in most cases, very dark indeed - coal black.

Smith's anthology isn't for the sensitive or the faint-hearted. Many of the stories are edgy, working on concepts and thoughts that all us adults are familiar with, but rarely talk about. Smith isn't being quirky, or finding satisfaction in the gory, sexually perverse or the profane. No, he is writing this stuff because it unbalances the reader. Disturbs. Sometimes frightens - the essence of what quality horror/dark fantasy is all about. And he does it admirably, especially for a debut title.

You will find stories of high craftsmanship, but not all of his pieces are equal. I have found a few that could have been tighter, better polished, but never lacking in originality and perceptiveness. There are places in some stories that could have been better edited and proofed as well - but these are few and far between, and do not materially affect the overall quality of the piece. (I'm also an editor, and stuff like that rarely avoids my notice).

The remainder of this review is a blow-by-blow review of Smith's stories in the anthology.

** Black Wings

A very good story of guilt - and with a most interesting set of occurrences that lie at the root of the protagonist's guilt, as well as the way it manifested at the end of the piece.

The protagonist is, right from the beginning, a ruined man, and he is visited by crows, and in particular a big one. Smith skillfully reveals their meaning, as well as the protagonist's past. The flashback is finally revealed and it was surprising, and horrific.

The ending is appropriate and quite surreal.

** The Dark Is Light Enough For Me

This is a particularly good short story. We have the protagonist, James, with a disturbing life history (a pattern in many of Smith's stories), being drawn into a writer's group, discovering not only that the entire group have written the same complex work, but that there is a strange story associated with why he uniquely joined the group. This short is extremely well written - with a highly mature, insightful narrative, and without resorting to the more blatant tropes of horror, is in fact very horrifying. A dark piece worthy of wide readership.

** I Wish I Was A Pretty Little Girl

A powerful piece. It's hard to be original as a writer, writing from the POV of a serial killer. Smith succeeded. Again, the protagonist had a horrendous, nightmarish life leading to the current events. An explanation as to why this particular person became a monster - and convincingly. This story set me in uneasiness from the first few sentences. A child being led somewhere by a clearly disturbed adult - one of the hardest things to read about if Smith chose to follow the path of describing murder in gory detail. And yet he didn't. This story isn't about love of violence, rape, sex, or some bizarre blood letting. This is about the man who wants to be something else. The uneasiness generated from the start was a masterful stroke, allowing the reader to be unbalanced from the beginning, and then throughout the story. The ending was apt and horrifying, and almost makes one feel sorry for the killer.

** Gladiatrix

Again, a powerful piece, delving deep into the psyche of an exploited woman, and how she was turned into, a gladiatrix of sorts. The descriptions and language are superb, but I do have a slight reservation - it almost seems that the long (and quality) descriptions of the woman and her background in the first half of the story, seem too disjointed from the narrative revelations later. They seem more disconnected than what I would have appreciated.

Nevertheless, well worth the read.

** I Want To Take You Higher

A very good pastiche of drug and sex underlife, mixed with obscene, edgy satanic-like religion. With all the hard core imagery and descriptions, Smith was able to find moments for flippancy and humor. This is a well constructed story, sending up many elements of our society. A nice twist is constructed at the end.

** Not Breathing

A very powerful story about the degredation of a man's soul, woven into a most interesting plot. The use of second person is very efective here. Don't want to reveal much, but this is one of my favorites.

** Make Pretty

This is different from the past stories thus far, because it is more like a traditional horror piece - and yet masterfully crafted. Without giving too much away, the story is about vanity, and how it can bite you back if you choose to dabble in the spurious. Smith proves he is as much a traditional horror writer, as an innovator.

** Strange Trees

Another piece that has a traditional structure, but with unique undercurrents. The concept that malevolent trees awaken by the onset of menstruation with one of the protagonists, is effective. I also found the language and the POV more tradional than any other of Smith's stories in the anthology, almost (in a modern sense) like H.P. Lovecraft - clinical language - longer sentences, with
evocative descriptions.

** The Perceptive One

I like the premise of the story - the egotistical, shallow sociopath, teams up with an almost seer-like young girl, and their lives are inextricably crossed with an old tramp who has something dark, powerful, to impart. The egotist, Travis, becomes ruined, when in fact he was already broken, and the story ends with promise of a continuation of the cycle. Destiny is a strong theme in the story.

This is good - but, I think Smith works too hard at it, and there are scenes that seem to me too filled with repetitive descriptive sentences, and probably are 3 to 4 times longer than they should be. The intention, perhaps planning, is good, but the execution is slightly flawed. I feel this is a less mature work of Smith's, and I saw evidence of lack of polish here and there (not to mention editing/proofing). This is, despite some good points, one of Smith's weaker pieces.

** Plastic

A very good story that is superficially a classic scifi trope, but excellently meshes with the hunger of a man who hasn't attained his soul's desire. While the ending is in purest form something that a reader can guess at, the details aren't. This was also one of my favorites.

** The Sunglasses Girl

Another powerful, edgy, and raw piece, juxtaposing the seedier aspects of a man's depravity, with the stuff that matters more - the ability to make decisions on a higher plane. And in failing, suffers the consequences of what emerges from the lower plane (so to speak). This is another example of Smith's prime motif throughout the anthology.

** Things That Crawl in Hollywood

The final story is a wonderful comedic horror piece, sending up Hollywood, the 'plastic celebrity' phenomenon, and the shlock of zombie flix. A funny, and yet thoughtful piece - fast paced. Amazingly clever.

All in all I give Smith's work 4 starts - I would give 4 and a half, but most systems don't cope with fractions. 5 is on or near perfection, and this anthology isn't quite there - but I bow and acclaim a wonderful work nevertheless, and stand in awe at this debut piece. As a writer, I have learned much from Smith, in terms of the power of descriptive narrative.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edgy and Unsettling: A Must-Read. 18 Jan 2012
By Alessandra Bava - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is certainly not the average horror short story collection. These tales are imbued with a dark flood of images and written in a beautifully terse prose. They all bear a close relation to life, but their twists and turns are like concentrated dynamite. Get yourself a copy and plunge into darkness!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transported Beyond the Genre 17 Dec 2011
By PD Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
These stories, horrific and disturbing as they are, transport the reader far beyond the horror genre. Every story here has such depth and feeling, each could easily serve as the subject of an entire novel. The prose is fraught with emotion, the intensity of the writing is enough in itself to leave you breathless. Whether you are into the horror genre or not, you will be mesmerized by these little masterpieces.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category