Thursday, October 4, 2012


The powerful, brash, and magically sassy website for S.K. Dyment's novel Steel Animals (complete with comprehensive study guide) reflects the dynamic, surreal sense of  journey, abandonment, romantic discord, and hilarious entanglement that fills the pages of this remarkable first novel from a writer whose creative imagination never ceases to amaze. The sheer dexterity of phrasing and ideas from start to finish make this 270 page tour de force a thoroughly enjoyable, sexy, and consistently thrilling read. Corporate corruption, hijacked bank machines, and towering condos filter in and out of a complex web of scenes and relationships that culminate in violent arboreal splendour. Dyment skilfully blends a sense of unspoiled nature with a sharp sense of material complexity and potential doom -

"November. A skiff of snow has descended on Vancouver. The snow dusts the green      peaks that embrace it. They look like torn paper unwrapped by a careless child, abruptly crumple-pressed against a backdrop of glowing blue blending to bone."

Sexuality constantly re-invents itself as characters commingle with thoughts that simply and concisely define astute sensual bodies as mutable agents of desire and sincere human ingenuity -

"They lie in bed together and exchange touches and sounds that express things that are to equal degrees more unexpected and more fantastic than either lover can imagine. They are enamored with their invention of each other."

Reminiscent of Tom Robbins, Steel Animals, as a mighty serio-comic novel, utilizes a kind of magical surrealism that serves to punctuate the dire effects of certain corporate entities. Dyment gives readers an up close and personal 'queer' portrait of these truly memorable characters. Beautifully described sexual exploits, in all their fabulous gender-fuck mutations, subtly channel lithe sexy motorcycle play, black swans with a high rate of homosexual pair bonding, and sheer titillating flesh to flesh human contact. Ancient taboos are broken and alluring alliances are re-configured as chance encounters become lifelong fixations.

This is a novel not to to be missed. With a filmic, intellectually soap-opera 'ish flair, an ensemble of vibrant and distinct personalities come to life with literary precision and unique temperamental trumpets to blow - all the time exhibiting the virtuosic imagination of a writer hell bent on revealing as much as one novel possibly can regarding the obsessive, chaotic, and truly entertaining aspects of 21st century mayhem - simultaneously urban, bucolic and utterly other worldly.

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