An Hour in the Darkness

An Hour in the Darkness - Michael Bailey "i'm going crazy, mum."

this book was one of the fastest reads of the year for me. for some reason, i was able to start and finish it in about an hour and a half, allotted, with a big gap for things like sleeping and eating. this is a good thing. the writing style was simplistic but engaging, strangely poetic in a disconnected, disheveled, unkempt kind of way, and because of that: beautiful. i would, personally, think of this as more of a story than a book, simply because it followed a defined arc but it didn't have a timeline, per se. to be honest, though, that didn't take away from it in the slightest.

our main character, franklin, is the story. his mental health slips and slides around; he plummets and spikes a few times throughout his tale, and it's realistic, it's refreshing.

our love interest, ronnie, didn't sway or didn't give in to his "charm", no matter what he did for her. she stayed steadfast and disinterested, maybe even frightened right up to the very end. my skin crawled for her when he was around her: the way he thought of her, the way he clung to her, the way he spoke to her. she wasn't a particularly likable girl, if only because our franklin never got to know her and so neither did i, but she was real, she stuck to her guns. she seemed strong and independent and well thought-out even from a distance. i wanted to scoop her up and protect her from our franklin.

speaking of that, the best part of franklin was that we weren't presented with a perfect, slightly off man that ronnie ended up madly in love with. no, no, no! franklin was creepy. franklin was forward. he was insecure, jealous, ruined by trauma and progressively ruining all of the people around him. it was incredible to read.

parts of his state of mind were (as chilling as this is to admit) incredibly relatable for me. his discomfort with happiness, how he feels like it's temporary and everyone will see right through him someday, that he'll end up alone no matter what, so why even try? why even bother? no one would ever really love him -- all of that reached right out and wrapped itself around me; it was like someone cracked open my head and spilled my thoughts on the page. his mood swings were incredibly close to home and even how he was so desperate for love and thought that if people weren't laughing, they didn't love him called out to me, somehow. i felt like i could sink right into his world, that he was a wonderful example of how far the human psyche can bend before i breaks, of how screwy a person can truly become, all from a bit of childhood (or teenagehood, we were never really told) trauma and a bump on the head.

it's a tale that's almost whimsical in its darkness, in its agony. i loved it.


this is a story i could read again and again. it's something everyone should read at least once.