Tag: Manuel Muñoz

What You See in the Dark by Manuel Muñoz

Posted June 26, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Crime / 0 Comments

What You See in the Dark by Manuel MuñozTitle: What You See in the Dark (Goodreads)
Author: Manuel Muñoz
Published: Algonquin Books, 2011
Pages: 272
Genres: Crime
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

When a famous actor and director arrives in Bakersfield, California (1959) scouting film locations for an upcoming movie about madness, the local gossip columns begin to speculate why they are here. However, when a murder at a roadside motel is discovered, this dusty, quiet town is turned on its head. Unfolding the same way the Hitchcock’s movie Psycho, almost frame for frame. No one ever predicted that life would rival anything that this director could capture on the screen.

Manuel Muñoz has been dazzling the world with his short story collections for a while now, often been compared to Junot Díaz or Daniel Alarcón. What You See in the Dark is his debut novel and it explodes onto the scene to explore the deliciously sinister side of desire. Heavily influenced by Psycho, Muñoz tries to capture that iconic feel of this classic movie.

What I found fascinating about this novel is the way it did try to mimic Hitchcock’s Psycho, trying to capture the feel and style. While it does not always work I was very impressed with just how much did translate to the page. Manuel Muñoz is a very impressive writer and I went into this book expecting something light and fluffy but ended up being captivated by the style.

What You See in the Dark is a very stylistic novel that tried and often succeeded in playing with the imagery, however it often did stick to what novels do far better than movies, and that is the internal monologues. The book is not without its flaws, there are times where it tries too hard at mimicking Hitchcock and there are other times where it feels flat or dry. In the end, this was an enjoyable book with a perfect title. What do you see in the dark? Hitchcock knows and he has the answer.