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The Sub

A Study in Witchcraft

2010
Author:

Thomas M. Disch
Foreword by Elizabeth Hand

The Sub

A black comedy tour-de-force now in paperback

The Sub, the fourth novel in Thomas M. Disch’s Supernatural Minnesota series, which uses different supernatural horrors to satirize modern America, focuses on Diana Turney, a substitute teacher in the town of Leech Lake, Minnesota, left to care for her niece after her sister is imprisoned for the attempted murder of her philandering husband.

The Sub is a peculiar pastiche of supernatural thriller, fairy tale, and rural realism.

New York Times Book Review

The Sub, the fourth novel in Thomas M. Disch’s Supernatural Minnesota series, which uses different supernatural horrors to satirize modern America, focuses on Diana Turney, a substitute teacher in the town of Leech Lake, Minnesota, left to care for her niece after her sister is imprisoned for the attempted murder of her philandering husband. Haunted by her father’s ghost and disturbing repressed memories, Diana discovers she has the power to turn people into their animal totems and proceeds to transform locals into an array of creatures from spiders to pigs. Diana, her cruelty growing in proportion to her power, dismisses a warning from her father that she is destined to kill everyone she loves and continues on a spree of violence and mayhem.

The Sub

Thomas M. Disch (1940–2008) was a best-selling and prolific American science fiction writer and poet. He won several awards, including the Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book in 1999.

Elizabeth Hand is the author of several books, most recently the novel Generation Loss.

The Sub

The Sub is a peculiar pastiche of supernatural thriller, fairy tale, and rural realism.

New York Times Book Review

A light soufflé of black comedy, kept tantalizingly aloft by Disch’s deadpan wit.

Publishers Weekly

Disch’s mordant look at love, domesticity, and rural Minnesota can be as funny as anything dished up by Garrison Keillor or the Coen brothers.

Star Tribune