At 23, Matt Davis moved to a remote Mongolian town to teach English. What he found when he arrived was a town-and a country-undergoing wholesale change from a traditional, countryside existence to a more urban, modern identity. Natural disasters killed millions of animals and forced herders into cities. The Internet arrived. And Mongolians balanced their nomadic roots, their communist past, and their democratic, free-market future. When Things Get Dark documents these changes through the Mongolians Matt meets, but also focuses on the author's downward spiral into alcohol abuse and violence-a scenario he saw played out by many of the Mongolian men around him. Matt's struggles culminate in a drunken fight with three men that forces him to a hospital to have his kidneys X-rayed. He hits bottom in that cold hospital room, his body naked and shivering, a bloodied Mongolian man staring at him from an open door, the irrational thought in his head that maybe he is going to die there. Matt's personal story is balanced with insightful descriptions of customs and landscape and interlaced with essays on Mongolian history and culture that make for a fascinating glimpse of a still mysterious place and people.