Dark Fiction

After you finish a book, how do you want to feel? If you read dark fiction, like me, you probably like to be shaken up by books. I find the best dark fiction revisits your brain uninvited in the middle of the night, forcing you to sleep with an infomercial blaring on your TV to chase away nightmares.

So what is dark fiction and why do so many people crave it? It isn’t feel good fiction. It involves lots of death, violence, and characters in mortal danger, facing their innermost fears and such. Surprisingly, children’s literature often fits this description. Darkness in children’s stories is a way for kids to confront fears safely, and it works that way for adults too. We can experience adrenaline-inducing situations knowing we are safe. It’s a thrill, like riding a roller coaster.

Dark fiction is found in nearly every genre, and can incorporate black humour, surrealism, and even romance. If you enjoy dark fiction, you may want to explore steam-punk, urban fantasy and weird fiction. Here are some dark fiction picks from our collection.

Kraken by China Mieville
Kraken: an Anatomy by China Mieville
1984 by George Orwell
1984 by George Orwell
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

What are your favourites, and how much darkness can you stomach? I draw the line just before Palahniuk. I do need to get some sleep.

-AB

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