RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe immediacy of the first-person voice, notable even in the title, suggests we may be reading a memoir. So does the narrator’s name, which, as it happens, is Claire Vaye Watkins ... But this is indeed a novel, and it’s an intense, intelligent and bristly one ...I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness can be difficult to track; characters appear without backgrounds, prose unfolds as poetry, material is quoted at length from the author’s father’s 1979 memoir, My Life With Charles Manson, as well as from the narrator’s mother’s letters to a cousin ... This novel’s sweaty urgency, its ambitious disruption of form and content, makes it tough to criticize ... A slice of her mother’s back story is told through sets of letters so dull only a daughter could love them ... But most prose wouldn’t stand up against the narrator’s breakneck pace, frightening honesty and biting, self-deprecating humor ... As Watkins writes, in a virtuoso performance of a chapter titled \'How I Like It,\' \'I am not choosing darkness, but darkness is choosing me.\' Maybe, but by nourishing her complicated desires, she holds on. Perceptive and shameless.
PanThe New York Times Book ReviewWhat Davis really takes on in Killing It is the tension, as she puts it, between \'life, death and dinner.\' She wants readers to contend more immediately with the act of killing and eating an animal ... For anyone who has kept up with the food world during the last 25 years, much of this material will feel overly familiar. Too often Davis’s insights and questions appear better suited to the village idiot in Agen than to an American reader in 2018 ... There are too many of these \'golly-gee\' moments in Killing It, moments that leave you wondering if Davis was really ever that naïve ... Her prose skitters along with her own insecurities, becoming thin and abstract rather than rich with the details of her engagement in the gritty work she clearly loves. Rather than leading us to grapple with what she presents as the transformative power of looking death in the eye, Davis’s approach seems to suggest that we not take her book too seriously.