Oliver Curtin grows up in a nocturnal world with a mother who is a sex worker and drug addict, and whose love is real yet increasingly unreliable. His narration alternates between that troubled childhood and the present of the novel, where he is serving the last months of a thirty-years-to-life sentence in a maximum-security prison in upstate New York for a crime he committed at age seventeen. His hope for redemption is closely allied with his memories, seen with growing clarity and courage. If he can remember, then life in the larger world might be possible for him.
Praise for Walk the Dark
"Paul Cody’s Walk the Dark is creepily beautiful, full of stillness and darkness. Cody takes us into places we don’t know and shows us strange states of mind that feel absolutely true. It’s both soothing and terrifying being in Oliver’s mind, because he sees such beauty but also feels forever separated from it. For decades now I’ve seen Paul Cody’s work as the ultimate cross between horror and literary fiction, taking us deeper into the weird American night than anyone in either camp. Walk the Dark is a continuation of that same world we know from Cody’s The Stolen Child and So Far Gone, both of which are great, terrifying novels."
- Stewart O’Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster, Emily, Alone; and Wish You Were Here
"Walk the Dark is harrowing and vivid, taut as a wire. Paul Cody intertwines terror and hope; he knows how to hook his readers from the start -- and on every page. Keep the lights burning when you open this spell-binding book."
- Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members
"This book marks the return of a formidable novelist, whose big heart and golden ear have given us a powerful tale of corrupted lives, tragic happenstance, and, ultimately, the stirrings of hope. Part gritty bildungsroman, part prison picaresque, Walk the Dark delivers brutality, bleakness, and dark humor with disarming tenderness and grace."
- J. Robert Lennon, author of Hard Girls, Mailman and The Funnies
"In this exquisitely tender novel, Ollie Curtin is a felon justly convicted, yet a man so otherworldly he’s almost a holy innocent. If, as one critic remarked, Don Delillo’s characters don’t seem to live their lives so much as rent them, Paul Cody’s characters can’t even manage that: long ago evicted for nonpayment, they stand in the arctic night, gazing in through a bright window at the human comedy, their hearts filled—heartbreakingly—not with resentment, but wonder."
—Brian Hall, author of The Saskiad; Fall of Frost; The Stone Loves the World