Locus on John Kessel's The Dark Ride

4th Jul 2022

[<a href=“”>Buy Book</a>]John Kessel's The Dark Ride has landed a lengthy, laudatory review in Locus.

We're only too happy to share a cutting from the review with you:

“For me, Kessel’s most iconic story, ’The Pure Product’, draws its title and some of its sensibil­ity from William Carlos Williams, a poet who famously disdained allegory and symbolism (his most famous quotation is probably ‘no ideas but in things’; Kessel’s title comes from Williams’s ‘The pure products of America/go crazy’). Kessel’s blithely amoral time traveler terrorizing his way through 1980s America may be part of what briefly earned Kessel the label of ‘savage humanist,’ and may be related to the anarchic ‘Tyler Durden’ in ‘Stories for Men’, the time-traveling Detlev Gruber of ‘Some Like it Cold’ and ‘The Miracle of Ivar Avenue’ or the profes­sional thieves of ‘The Baum Plan for Financial Independence’. But ‘The Pure Product’ is also a road-trip tale with echoes all the way back to Kerouac. When the narrator notes, ‘You lose track of how long you have been on the road, where are you going,’ he seems to be directly setting us up for the endless road trip of ‘Not Responsible! Park and Lock It!’ whose hapless (and mostly hopeless) characters live their entire lives on superhighways. Like much of Kessel’s most disturbing fiction, it carries just enough SFnal extrapolation to make it almost credible, but is essentially an absurdist parable.”

Limited: 1000 signed numbered hardcover copies: $45