I love Twin Peaks like I love a great thunderstorm. For those not in the know, Twin Peaks is the best television series ever made, following the strange affairs of an at-first-glance-wholesome town turned upside-down by the murder of a homecoming queen, the investigation of which dregs up tenebrous secrets of both the human and supernatural kind. What’s not to love?
Made in the '90s, and directed by David Lynch, Twin Peaks has returned for a new season. I’ve heard the gripes over the fact that Lynch has turned an eye toward colder aspects of modernity rather than the small-town quaintness we came to love—to which I say, phooey, the eerie and mystical is like mold and it can exist anywhere. We’re at a point in the season where the newly-arrived have tuned into something more digestible, while the Lynchean evangelists continue to watch, saying, hold on, just one more episode, this is about to get really good. But perhaps even the most evangelist-ist of us are beginning to lose heart.
While we wait for David Lynch to either torch the series and watch it go up in flames like the gleeful monster he is, or bring back the beloved Agent Dale Cooper (do the right thing, David), I’ve got the book just for you—it is Samantha Hunt’s first story collection, The Dark Dark.
In these stories, life is inspected under the glaring lights of suburbia, Home Depot, and Walmart: women court madness and danger, and are at the edge of becoming something other—and, like in our best Lynchean dreams, these are stories with talons dipped into the eerie and the supernatural.
In one story, for example, a town is thrown into disarray by the simultaneous pregnancy of 13 mysterious teens; in another, a woman trying to convince herself that death is uncomplicated watches her dog come back to life. The writing in The Dark Dark is swoon-worthy, and craft-wise, there is not one hair out of place. In fact, if you were standing before me I might push this book immediately into your hands.