I read Dark Universe in paperback form when it was brand new in 1961 - and I've re-read it many times since. Daniel Galouye manages to convey some very deep thoughts and emotions in this story. The worship of the great Light Almighty in a land of total blackness where humanity has evolved certain abilities to aid their survival. Then the "monsters" arrive with their silent screams... I recommend it to you with a certain degree of jealousy that you get to read it for the very first time. Enjoy.
Galouye wrote relatively few novels, and in general they all had the same plot, main character trying to work out his situation and escape from it. Even in the fifties this was pretty basic and old hat. What made him great was the novelty of the situations the characters found themselves in and the details he put into the situation. There are several earlier SF novels which are set in caves but this is the only one I know which is in darkness, and with an entirely light-less society. On top of that the writing is vigorous and clear, and he reveals the details of the world in a way that retains suspense.
I thought the premise of this book is interesting. A society exists underground that has never seen light and has developed a method of using sound and smell to get around. In particular, they use echoes as a type of 'sonar' to picture what's around them in quite a(n unbelievable) level of detail. It's quite obvious to the reader that these people are the descendants of members of modern society who sheltered from a nuclear war, but the true nature of the world has been forgotten over the generations and has entered myth and folklore.
The main character has doubts about the religious approach to Light and Darkness and wants to understand their true meaning. At the same time, a number of strange occurrences start to happen, including the appearance of monsters in the tunnels.
Overall, I enjoyed the book but it does labour the point somewhat about a couple of aspects that are pretty obvious to the reader. This repetition stops me awarding it five stars.
I recently bought this book after reading an article about it on [...]
I don't often read novels, but found this to be a fascinating concept for a story and exceptionally written as it would be impossible to make a film of this story - I won't say why as I wouldn't want to spoil the story for anyone.
The novel is a little short and the ending could be considered a bit of a let-down for some. Never the less, I would recommend this book if you like science fiction.