A Review of Nancy O. Greene’s “Portraits in the Dark”

Dark, dark, dark…, January 28, 2007

Reviewer: David Schleicher “Author of The Thief Maker” (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

Nancy O. Greene’s short stories collection certainly lives up to its title. The nine stories are varied in form, style, and content, but all are dark and psychologically complex and full of vivid imagery the suck the reader into the murkiest depths of the human psyche.

Some stories (“A Guy Named Pierce”) are more expiremental, while others take on a “fantasy” element (“Fine Print” and “The Artificact”), while one in particular (“The Descent of Man”) seems oddly out of place in the otherwise fine ensemble of tales.

Greene is at her best when she really gets deep inside her characters’ heads. “The Affair” is a shockingly effective little piece that puts a new spin on the old “obsessive husband” story. Greene shows a deeply moving and humanist side with her “Darkened Sky” that gives us a “day-in-the-life” slice of a troubled young girl dealing with her harsh surroundings and lack of options in life. Greene shines brightest when she laces her talent for introspective first-person narration with an acerbic wit in the delightfully grotesque one-woman show of bitterness and madness entitled “Down the Rabbit Hole.”

Greene’s collection is a slim volume that can be easily devoured in one or two sittings, but won’t soon be forgotten.


Portraits in the Dark is available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and anywhere fine books are sold.


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Filed under Book, Book Club Suggestions, Book Reviews, Fiction, New Book Release

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