IT'S DIFFICULT TO sum up When Romeo Wakes, the opening salvo in Taylor Siluwé's debut short story anthology.

A string of adjectives easily spring to mind - shocking, surprising, sexy, surreal, gripping, frightening, brutal, numbing... Oh, and deeply poignant.

When Romeo Wakes makes a statement: Siluwé's work is something different, a revelation, a bit special. This review is going to be biased, because I'm truly smitten. Dancing With The Devil blew me away; it is, quite simply, the best thing I've read in a very long time, and I've read some pretty decent novels lately. There's a poetic, hypnotic flow to Siluwé's writing, and at the same time an exciting urgency that sucks you up and whisks you away in a storm of visceral imagery and Machiavellian twists and turns. Breeding Season, a picture of high school infatuation that crackles with teen angst, is a perfect example; Siluwé eases the reader in, caresses you, toys with you, until he's got you just where he wants you, and then- BOOM! The story takes a startling U-turn, not once, but twice. Beneath Paradise, the third tale, probes "sex and salvation", pondering on the clash between religion and sexuality - and the prisons we build for ourselves. Pretty Young Gangsters is a highly-charged set piece, a Nihilist tale of lessons not learnt, and one that struck a cord with this reader, in more ways than one. The grand finale, the eponymous Dancing With The Devil, is perhaps the darkest and most provocative of all the stories here, Siluwé (pictured) going all out in his exploration of the dark forces inside us all. Taylor Siluwé's collection is thrilling, brave, truthful, sexy and memorable. The only downside is you'll be left wanting more.

ELSEWHERE - The Best of Men: Dancing With Taylor


Q, Truly said...

i've been hearing good things about this book

i've been in love with anthologies since i read 'shade' 3 years ago

i'll giv Siluwé a shot

ka-os said...

*DEFINITELY* do. Just check out the YouTube clip to see how good he is.

Very nice spot you have there btw...

Dusty Boot said...

I'll have to add this to my reading list!

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