Dark Stories for Readers with Surreal and Deep Tastes
Hollywood and Broadway are icons of the American Dream. But what happens to those who feed off that dream? Just as drug cartels have many underlings, who must get paid along the journey to the addicts, so do the characters who need to be nourished by the luminaries who make up this star-studded world above us. James Musgrave’s collection of eleven stories, in many ways, addresses the theme of “star power,” but in a way that satirizes the stereotypical “Hollywood endings” in very unique and literary ways. This collection has a remedy for the past year’s traumas caused by a worldwide pandemic.
Award-winning short fiction author, Jacob M. Appel says, "With the publication of Valley of the Dogs, Jim Musgrave joins the ranks of George Saunders, Steven Millhauser, and Kevin Brockmeier at the heart of the modern American short story's second great renaissance."
"Entering the consciousness of a reader is the most sacred enterprise an author can have. These stories have been collected as my Zen reflection during the past year’s COVID-19 plague. This shamanistic mental state, which the Japanese term “Mushin,” or “no-mind” is close to the stream-of-consciousness technique that Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Jack Kerouac, James Joyce, and William Faulkner used to such success. However, it is also a form of channeling that defies definition. This is the mystical realm that creatives around the world know so well, and we worship at its altar every day we put fingers to keys or pen to paper. I want to thank readers who enjoy dark stories, as in this age of political correctness and what publishers often term “accessibility,” it is becoming more difficult for us authors, especially us authors who don’t make a lot of money from our work, to find an audience. I will go out on a limb and say that if the author does make a lot of money from a dark story, he/she will get marketing to back him/her up to ride the tide of money to the bank. If you ride this wave of Gustav and all the other characters in my collection, then thanks for that. It’s been a tough year for all of us. Bless you." --James Musgrave
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood