Hilarity and queer magic realism twist the throttle when Jackie, a loner with a secret bank-robbing persona, meets Vespa: sexy, sculpture-welding artist and collector of vintage motorbikes. Still planning elaborate revenge on a New York ex-lover, Jackie tests both her new relationship and the loyalties of her friends, a rag-tag gang of post-punk eccentrics, realizing how love changes hatred only after her scheme runs out of control. An innocent misstep and an encrypted mystery swings the romance into the dangerous orbit of a construction mogul intent on subverting corporate money at any cost.
“Refreshingly different, fast-paced and nervy, while the themes are sobering. Expect the outrageous. This is a writer who is in touch with the surreal and the dark, yet with that rare talent that can’t be taught—to surprise and delight the reader.”
—Heather Spears, author of The Strong Box
“I laughed out loud throughout the book Written with depth and authority about welding, motorcycles, flying, explosives, sex-trade exploitation, art and various other matters. In addition to the obvious humour, the book is full of cleverness and satire, often in subtle asides. Milieux wonderfully different from the usual run of Canlit. ”
—Susan Mayse, author of Ginger: The Life and Death of Albert Goodwin, winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for True Crime
“Steel Animals is a powerful, brash, and magically sassy novel filled with a dynamic, surreal sense of journey, abandonment, romantic discord, and hilarious entanglement. The sheer dexterity of phrasing and ideas from start to finish make this 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. 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. This is a novel not to be missed.”
—David Bateman, blogger, poet and performance artist
“This rollicking first novel is destined to become a cult classic. A magic realist motorcycle romp, bursting with enough smart, gorgeous prose, brilliant dialogue, and humour to fill several lesser books.”
—Ursula Pflug, author of Motion Sickness and Mountain
Steel Animals by SK Dyment
reviewed by The Minerva Reader – January 19, 2019
Ursula Pflug (author of The Alphabet Stones, Motion Sickness and Mountain) has flagged this book to become a cult classic and I fully second that! I’m not sure it’s possible to adequately describe the joy of reading Steel Animals! The poetic brilliance of the writing, along with razor-sharp insights into art, love, sex, nature, relationships, consumerism, the perception of the self, the philosophy of art, our connections to one other and the things that surround us, is a real treat.
The writing sparks every sense to vivid life, cracking like Absolut cherry pop-rocks exploding on your tongue, delighting you at every turn.