When you go on vacation, you probably travel to places that help you feel good, relax, and have fun. My guest today likes to visit places where great human suffering and tragedy has occurred.

His name is Thomas Cook. He’s a writer of crime fiction, but in his latest book, Even Darkness Sings, he takes readers with him on the real family trips he’s taken to see humanity’s darkest places, including Auschwitz, Verdun, and Hiroshima. We begin our conversation discussing how Thomas and his wife got the idea to visit dark places, how all dark places are different yet connected, and how darkness has a unique power to offer insight and even hope and optimism. Tom then takes us on a tour of some of the tragic places he’s visited and the lessons he’s learned from them. We end our conversation discussing the importance of treating dark places with somber reverence and how a personal dark place was created for Tom while he was writing this book.

Show Highlights

  • What drew Tom and his late wife to “dark” places?
  • How these dark places can bring light to life — albeit obliquely 
  • Some life lessons that Tom learned in traveling to these places 
  • Why some unlikely places have dark feelings 
  • Finding surprising darkness in Fiji  
  • The darkness of Verdun, France 
  • The insight that rowdy teenagers can give to dark places 
  • Some places where accentuating the darkness actually backfires 
  • How people reacted to hearing about Tom’s travels 
  • The dark place that was created for Tom during the course of writing this book

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast


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The post Podcast #485: Why Visiting Dark Places Is Good for the Soul appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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