arry Gifford's three Southern Gothic novels, Night People, Arise and Walk, and Baby Cat-Face, may be among the weirdest and best of Gifford's novels for their sheer velocity--the copious, raw violence; the invented religions and gods that make people do things; and how the horrors somehow cohabit--affably--with the genuine pathos and loveliness of the unforgettable characters that live in these books and the things they say so easily that we've never heard anyone say before. God in these Southern Nights is only another possibly deranged near relative, cast in the only nonspeaking part in this human drama. Everyone else talks and talks. And it's the dialogue in these novels that make them some of Gifford's best, reminders of the author's seemingly unlimited range and versatility, a comic-tragic genius for our time.
As a character in Night People says, "Safety first ain't never been my motto."