Review of "DIA" -- the first chapter of Tyranaeus von Rheinhold's novel.
(read here: http://www.nevermoreofpeace.blogspot.com/)
The best works of fiction grab you immediately, and find unique ways to convey vital information. Rheinhold's methodology is sparse with a manac, yet intellectual lilt. The opening throws you in medias res - and the haried attempt to shed light on what it means to be Ty becomes the reader's obession, in direct contrast to Ty's own obession with escaping the light of the sun.
Perhaps the most elucidating aspect of Rheinhold's chapter is the clever word painting. Somehow, the beauty of the text shines through in the most gruetesque and funny similes and metaphors. They are spot on. Ty's world is a place where: "The age of the women only showed in the vertical stripes of their empathic neckbones," and "Claudia the Flexible" arranges Ty's marathonic feets of travelocity, behind her "print blouses with tiny flowers hiding the person beneath." Ty's references to past drug use adds the perfect touch of destruction - an exegesis of his troubled past, the coke snorting days show the reader the edge of collapse, but never push them down into the abyss - and for good reason. The story has just begun, and so have Ty's problems. His monomanical pursuit is to keep everything in stark contrast, with "no transition space" between each of his imagined "incongruities," starting with the August snow upon the sage brush, and continuing with his self-built kingdom of contrariness. The bipolarity of the character becomes not just a internal disease, but a huge attempt to force, (with his considerable monetary heft) the world into the submission of his pyschosis.
By the end of the chapter, the reader knows more about Ty's ducking of the supoena, and understands that perhaps the narrator has not been completely honest, or forthcoming with his humble readers. The age and observations of Ty are slightly Roth-like, glimpsing the conflicts of a man later in life, and his struggles with personal fictions and bald realities. As the text opens up in the coming chapters, Ty's interaction with the world will only get more interesting and deeply incongruent. Let the "arsurdities, natural and artifical," commence.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Know the author, but attempted full objectivity.