Darkansas by Jarret Middleton


Jordan is a country musician living in the shadow of his father, legendary bluegrass musician Walker Bayne. A lifetime of poor decisions has led him on an endless tour of San Antonio dive bars, where between sets he resumes accruing women and drinking himself to the brink of disaster.Returning home to the Ozarks for the wedding of his twin brother, Jordan uncovers a dark vein in the Bayne family history: going back to the end of the Civil War, ev...

Details Darkansas

Release DateAug 8th, 2017
PublisherDzanc Books
GenreHorror, Fiction, Literature

Reviews Darkansas

  • Richard Derus
    Rating: 2.5* of fiveThe Publisher Says: Jordan is a country musician living in the shadow of his father, legendary bluegrass musician Walker Bayne. A lifetime of poor decisions has led him on an endless tour of San Antonio dive bars, where between sets he resumes accruing women and drinking himself to the brink of disaster.Returning home to the Ozarks for the wedding of his twin brother, Jordan uncovers a dark vein in the Bayne family history: go...
  • Danny Cerullo
    Maybe I've hit my quota on hard drinking southern white guys with a propensity for violence novels but this book really offered nothing new. It's decently well-written but I think in order to tell a story that's been told so many times already the writing has to be damn near perfect.
  • Lisa Dobra
    Darkansas tells the story of Jordan Bayne, a musician who has spiraled into an endless cycle of dive bar shows, random women, and alcohol. Jordan's brother is getting married, and so he returns home after years away to be there for his brother and to deal with all the relationships he's ruined along the way. Beyond that, I honestly couldn't tell you much about what happens. Even though the characters are described as having different personalitie...
  • Michael Ferro
    DARKANSAS is a brilliant debut from an incredible new voice in the treasured Southern Gothic tradition. Like the desolate landscapes of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, Middleton creates a world that is as dark and unique as any, populating it with gritty characters afflicted with a predestined sense of doom. All of this is splendidly shaped for the reader through a sharp and vivid prose, with Middleton leaving no stone unturned.Setting his sight...
  • Trae Alston
    A short, straight-to-the-point novel, I was utterly underwhelmed. I really wanted to like it, but it fell flat. The description of the novel gave the entire story away, and what was supposed to surprising, was not. Now, this has nothing to do with the writing, where, on a sentence to sentence level, is very good. But good sentences does not equal a good novel. Darkansas could have, and probably should have, been 600 pages. This would have given t...
  • Shall I Download A Black Hole And Offer It To You
    probably a 3.5 but i don't round up on "probablys" so i won't give this 4 stars, as i would be overstating it's quality... it had all the hallmarks of that mishmash genre of grit-lit/old west/new southern/hardscrabble fiction done by the likes of McCarthy, Pollock, Bill, Faulkner, Franklin, Crace, etc (but let's not get carried away that it meets those levels, k?)... you either like these books or you don't, kinda like me and fictional romance (w...
  • Ashley
    Received as a giveaway-This book just didn't make any sense to me. To start with, the description on the jacket gives away the entire story. It left nothing for me to wonder about what was coming up. I could've tolerated the enormous spoiler if the book wasn't also so poorly written. On a positive note, I did like how the story bounced back and forth between the present and the history of the family, going further back each time. The physical boo...
  • Dianah
    Somewhere between the edges of grit-lit, horror, fantasy, mystery, Southern gothic, domestic drama, and magical realism, lies Jarret Middleton's Darkansas.A seemingly straightforward tale of a family curse takes several wide turns and ends up being something so far afield, it's kind of astonishing. Jordan and Malcolm are the last in a long line of Bayne twins to fall under the grip of the curse that has wreaked havoc on their ancestors; in each g...
  • Susan
    This was incredibly awful. Poorly written, poorly edited and with a story that was laughable and boring. I read to 34% before giving up and skimming the rest to see if it would get any better. It did not.
  • McKenzie Rae
    This book was not what I was expecting. I guess since one of the reviews on the back cover said something about "haunting, American gothic" I thought it would be sort of Shirley Jackson-esque. I still enjoyed the book, even though that isn't at all what it was. Darkansas was dark and kind of weird--I actually liked the flashbacks better than I liked the parts set in present day. Be aware that with this author's writing style, you have to carefull...
  • Jason Squire Fluck
    Dark and gritty with a supernatural tilt, Jarret Middleton’s first novel DARKANSAS wastes no time getting down to business. Bad boy and ne’er do well Jordan Bayne has been summoned home for his twin brother’s wedding, a home he hasn’t seen in more than ten years. An itinerant musician living in his father’s shadow, Jordan loves women and trouble. Where Jordan failed at life’s successes, his brother Malcolm has ticked off all the boxes...
  • Galen Weitkamp
    Darkansas by Jarret Middleton.Review by Galen Weitkamp.Jordan Bayne is a knockabout country musician from the Ozarks eking out a living playing backwater bars in San Antonio. Jordan always felt that he had been eclipsed by both his father, Walker Bayne, a bluegrass picker of some repute and his twin brother, Malcolm, who is a successful insurance agent. Jordan is troubled: by women, by drink, by ill-temper and dreams - beguiling, foreboding, inex...
  • Dan
    Two things about this novel. 1. It was well written until it hit the part about getting a washing machine at Target. I had to double check online and was pretty certain that you can't get appliances at Target. Whoops! That only brought it down a little bit though (honest mistake). However the next one really brought the book down. 2. I was really enjoying this book around a 4 start status, because of the way the author wrote and because of the st...
  • Laura Keating
    Not a ghost story, but nevertheless a tale of haunted characters and inexorable fate. Middleton's command of the language and sense for story is evident from paragraph one, and his sure hand guides readers through both the subtly surreal world he's created and the apparently cursed history of the Bayne family. A story thoroughly about the complex nature of male bonding and relationships, as well as violence, my one critique falls upon the female ...
  • Charity
    I am not really sure what I think about this book. I enjoyed reading it, but I am still a little unclear about some of the plot twists. At times, the story felt disjointed. What I find really interesting about this story is that I am still thinking about it after I have moved on a new book. Apparently, I am not alone in my wavering. The reviews for this book are all over the map. In the end, I gave it four stars because I am considering reading i...
  • Friscomama
    Darkansas is my favorite read of the year so far. I can certainly understand the readers who were disappointed by this book as a gothic horror book, because it doesn't exactly fit on that shelf. I would categorize it as magical realism. The suspense is about the relationships of family members in a family with many secrets, with the sons who both loved and hated each other, each questioning their own place in the world and their relationship with...
  • Guy Choate
    I especially enjoyed the multi-generational aspect of this book, the way Middleton took us from one time period to the next. And I enjoyed the grit of the characters. But I had a hard time getting into the fantastical elements surrounding the curse. Just the same, I’m looking forward to Middleton’s next book.
  • Charlene
    Even at only 203 pages it was still far too long. Maybe it should have just been a short story instead. One star because I managed to finish it and the second star because the story line was promising.
  • Natalie
    I liked this book. The characters were great but it felt like it needed more. Why was Aldridge selected to carry this egg with Twins? Why did one have to kill their father? Just so many unanswered questions. But other than that the story flowed well.
  • David Tromblay
    Darkansas is a worthy read with more twists than you can imagine. Here is an author who knows how to turn a phrase, say something his own way, and, what’s more — he has the wit and stamina to do so for 200+ pages. Another stellar read from Dzanc Books.
  • DeAnne
    The first chapters had promise that did not pan out. The description of the novel gave the entire story away and the novel was missing depth. I was waiting for a 'surprise' - but, nothing came.
  • Beth
    I read half this book & didn’t care what was going to happen next.
  • Debbie
    I was really sucked in to this book. Enjoyed reading. Now can someone explain it to me?
  • Sean Owen
    Clumsy sentences, hopelessly cliched characters, not worth your time.
  • Leonard
    Dark, violent, but pretty good writing.
  • Phillip
    2.5 / 5.0Never quite figured out what this was about. numerous plot lines that are left hanging. plays on stereotype of rural hick and hints at supernatural.Easy read.
  • C L
    If you loved Ozark, True Blood (HBO and/or books)and the third season of True Detective, you'll love this read.
  • Bam Jam
    [I received this signed copy of the book during a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to the publisher and author for providing it.]I read this book awhile ago so the details are a little hazy but I’ll try to recollect my thoughts on the novel as best I can. I really like the cover of this book! It looks gritty and rustic. It’s not particularly pretty but it’s perfect for the kind of story it’s telling. The title is interesting, but I don’t r...