An equally important theme in the book is preservation: both of our past, and our storytelling. These family histories will only survive if they continue to be shared. Young shows us that by revealing a story, one becomes part of that story ... The Affliction is a haunting book, one that is rooted in a binding beautiful magic. Quite like Young’s characters, we are left charting their connections to the beauty and loss found on each page.
...[an] intriguing debut ... In the subsequent six stories, there’s more overlap of characters, more drama, and more manifestations of the affliction (though it’s never explained), giving the whole volume the feel of a set of nesting dolls. Young’s opacity can sometimes frustrate, but he consistently creates an effectively menacing mood, uniting all the strange stories in a satisfying manner.