From Publishers Weekly
Teenage siblings Corrie and Kenneth Tyler suspect they've been ripped off by the town undertaker, but what they discover in Gay's resplendently dark third novel is much more sinister than either imagined. After their bootlegger father is buried in smalltown 1951 Tennessee, Kenneth sees undertaker Fenton Breece remove an item from the grave. The siblings dig up their father's grave, among others, and uncover unsettling evidence of Fenton's necrophilia. Corrie cooks up a blackmail plot and enlists Kenneth to steal Fenton's briefcase, which contains, as Kenneth and Corrie soon find out, photos depicting Fenton "capering gleefully" with corpses. Blackmail material in hand, Corrie demands $15,000 from Fenton, and Fenton hires local psychopath Granville Sutter to muzzle—by whatever means necessary—the Tylers and get back the photos. A violent run-in with Sutter ends with Corrie's death, and Kenneth runs off to the Harrikin, a remote rural area inhabited by the eccentric and the creepy, leaving Fenton to cavort with Corrie's corpse. Gay (The Long Home
) fills the book with haunting imagery and shocking, morbid and (surprisingly) hopeful turns as twisted justice gets meted out. Language lovers who are not faint of heart won't want to miss this one. (Oct. 20)
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Good flees from evil through a dark and tangled forest in this symbol-heavy southern gothic cum
survival story set in rural Tennessee in 1951. Teenage Kenneth Tyler is on the run from Granville Sutter, a monstrously evil but wickedly efficient hit man who has been hired to retrieve some incriminating photos the boy has stolen from the local mortician, who has a penchant for doing unspeakable things to and with the corpses in his professional care. Yikes! Though Gay has sometimes been compared with Faulkner, it's Davis Grubb and his wonderful novel The Night of the Hunter
that provides much of the inspiration here (a quote from Grubb opens the novel's second section). Though veering sometimes dangerously close to melodrama, Gay seems incapable of writing a dull sentence, and Twilight
is further redeemed by his brilliant gift for dialogue, his occasional dark humor, and his utterly convincing portrayal of the reality of ruination and of evil. Michael CartCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved