search by author or title

The Sub

A Study in Witchcraft


Thomas M. Disch (View Bio)
Hardcover: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.

"Disch’s Supernatural Minnesota novels—which include The Businessman: A Tale of Terror; The M.D.: A Horror Story; and The Priest: A Gothic Romance—comprise a mock epic on modern American values. This new addition to the series builds on the achievement of its predecessors and secures his tenure as the Swift of supernatural satire…. Though the characters are tabloid fodder, and the ingredients of the complex plot—which include incest, parenticide, emasculation, serial murder, cannibalism and religious hypocrisy—potentially weighty, the novel is a light souffle of black comedy, kept tantalizingly aloft by Disch’s deadpan wit." — Publishers Weekly

"If Jesse Ventura thinks Garrison Keillor is the enemy, wait till he gets hold of this newest installment in Disch’s luridly entertaining “Supernatural Minnesota” series…. Think 'Our Town' or 'Winesburg, Ohio' on overdoses of Mom’s apple pie and Grandpa’s elderberrywine, and you’ll have an idea of the stomach-churning hilarity of Disch’s impertinent assault on ‘innocent’ Middle America. Over the top, of course—but good, dirty fun anyway, from a stylish satirist who knows how to sling it with the best of them" — Kirkus Reviews

"A bracingly vitriolic dose of pure Northern Gothic that shows what might happen to Lake Wobegon if David Lynch came to visit. The fourth in Disch’s Supernatural Minnesota novels, The Sub returns to the small town of Leech Lake, whose inhabitants are all mad, bad and dangerous to know…. Disch’s novel is an icily potent cocktail." — Elizabeth Hand, Washington Post

"Well crafted, with memorable characters and a darkly humorous plot." — Library Journal

"What begins as a story of domestic upheaval and run-of-the-mill violence soon morphs into something much stranger, eventually encompassing witchcraft, shamanism and incest.... The Sub is a peculiar pastiche of supernatural thriller, fairy tale and rural realism, a mix that sometimes results in jarring stylistic collisions." — Scott Sutherland, The New York Times Book Review

"This dark and often sometimes bizarrely funny story is one of Disch’s best efforts, an intelligent, clever, unique, and highly entertaining step outside the normal parameters of horror fiction." — Science Fiction Chronicle

Up Back to Top