Excerpt from In Darkness by Nick Lake, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

In Darkness

by Nick Lake

In Darkness
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2012, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2014, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

1
NOW

I am the voice in the dark, calling out for your help.

I am the quiet voice that you hope will not turn to silence, the voice you want to keep hearing cos it means someone is still alive. I am the voice calling for you to come and dig me out. I am the voice in the dark, asking you to unbury me, to bring me from the grave out into the light, like a zombi.

I am a killer and I have been killed, too, over and over; I am constantly being born. I have lost more things than I have found; I have destroyed more things than I have built. I have seen babies abandoned in the trash and I have seen the dead come back to life.

I first shot a man when I was twelve years old.

I have no name. There are no names in the darkness cos there is no one else, only me, and I already know who I am (I am the voice in the dark, calling out for your help), and I have no questions for myself and no need to call upon myself for anything, except to remember.

I am alone.

I am dying.

In darkness, I count my blessings like Manman taught me.

One: I am alive.

Two: there is no two.

I see nothing and I hear nothing. This darkness, it's like something solid. It's like it's inside me.

I used to shout for help, but then after a while I couldn't tell if I was speaking through my mouth or just in my head, and that scared me. Anyway, shouting makes me thirsty.

So I don't shout anymore. I only touch and smell. This is how I know what is in here with me, in the darkness.

There is a light, except it doesn't work. But I can tell it's a light cos I feel the smooth glass of the lamp, and I remember how it used to sit on the little table by my bed. That is another thing - there is a bed in here. It was my bed before the walls fell down. I can feel its soft mattress and its broken slats.

I smell blood. There is anpil blood in this place, on me and all around me. I can tell it's blood cos it smells of iron and death. And cos I've smelled blood before. I grew up in the bidonville - it's a smell you get used to.

Not all of the blood is mine, but some of it is.

I used to touch the bodies, but I don't do that anymore.

They smell, too.

*

I don't know what happened. I was in bed minding my own zafè, then everything shook and I fell and the darkness started. Or maybe everything else fell.

I'm in Canapé-Vert Hospital, this I know. It's a private hospital, so I figure the blancs must be paying for it. I don't know why they brought me here after they killed Biggie and put this bullet in my arm. Maybe they felt bad about it.

Yesterday - or possibly it was longer ago than that - Tintin came to see me. It was before the world fell down. Tintin must have used his pass - the one that Stéphanie got him - to get out of Site Solèy through the checkpoints. I wonder how Stéphanie is feeling now that Biggie is dead, cos she's UN and she shouldn't have been sleeping with a gangster. She must have really loved him.

Tintin signed my bandage. I told him it's only plaster casts that people sign, not bandages, but he didn't know the difference. Tintin doesn't know much about anyen.

Example: you're thinking that he signed his name on my bandage, but he didn't. He signed Route 9, like he writes everywhere. Tintin doesn't just tag. He likes to shout, Route 9, when we're rolling in the streets, too - Route 9 till I die, dumb stuff like that. I would look at the people we were driving past and say to him:

- You don't know who these people are. They might be from Boston. They might cap you.
- That's the point, he would say. I'm not afraid of them. I'm Route 9.

I thought Tintin was a cretin, but I didn't say so. Old people like my manman say Route 9 and Boston used to mean something back in the day. Like, Route 9 was for Aristide and Boston was for the rebels. Now they don't mean anything at all. I was in Route 9 with Tintin, but I didn't write it anywhere and I didn't shout it out, either. If anyone was going to kill me, I wanted it to be for a good reason. Not cos I said the wrong name.

Excerpted from In Darkness by Nick Lake. Copyright © 2012 by Nick Lake. Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Toussaint l'Ouverture

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.