Swimming in Darkness

Arsenal Pulp. Nov. 2019. 152p. ISBN 9781551527673. $24.95. Rated: Mature. literary
Promising architectural student Pierre drops out of school after suffering a mental breakdown while writing a dissertation on marvelous and eerie baths built atop a thermal spring in the Swiss Alps. Unable to move on, even as he’s blocked from writing, he visits the site, where he swims, sketches, and discovers secret rooms and corridors that may be connected to a local legend stating that the mountain possesses a mouth that magically opens once every century. Debuter Harari creates a growing sense of dread as Pierre encounters inexplicable phenomena, townsfolk who know more than they’re willing to share, and a French writer determined to stop him from delving further into the mysteries by any means necessary.
VERDICT Harari’s adept skills as a storyteller are elevated even further by his talents as a designer with a strong sense of color, as pleasantly round, cartoonish characters wander angular planes and inhabit a world filled with warm, glowing red rooms and grainy, foreboding purple skies.

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