Wednesday, 1 December 2010

BYT: The Art of Contraception blurb

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The Art of Contraception
by Susie Wild

The Art of Contraception
A talent for razor-sharp, satirical observation – Nigel Jenkins
Susie Wild’s debut collection is a quirky mix in which tales of the fantastic and the everyday are told with inimitable style and flair.
The deranged cravings of a mum-to-be lead to the accidental poisoning of her co-worker in ‘Pica’. Rob holidays in his bathroom and dreams about his underage love interest in ‘Aquatic Life’. The poignant and subtle novella ‘Arrivals’ unfolds slowly, revealing a mother and daughter in opposite corners of the planet, both experiencing their own personal revelation.
At school Rob hadn’t had any human friends. He’d quite liked the croaky toad in the pond at St Fagin’s Primary, and the biology teacher at sixth form, because she let him eat his lunch in the labs while reading illustrated science books about aquatic life. There he had washed away his loneliness with watery facts:sea lions do not mate for life; young male Steller’s sea lions, known as bachelors, remain isolated until they are large enough to compete with mature adult males for a territory. Unlike Rob’s dad.
Sylvie liked Rob because he let her talk – with her friends she couldn’t get a word in, well, rarely, and her parents would hate to know what she thought about all day long. It was hardly rocket science: boys, rock music, smoking, and escaping from said parents and their crappy town. As soon as she could. On a jet plane.
Sat in his bathtub, Rob was sweating. His heating was turned up to eleven – tropical – while a desk fan perched on the windowsill, pointing its meagre breeze at the quickly cooling bathwater to create gentle waves, but failing to produce his much-desired surf and spray. No relief. His thoughts were turning more feverish with the rising temperatures. He could feel his temper bubbling, a kettle about to boil. A phrase caught like a stuck record in the soundtrack of his torrid mind – I haven’t done anything wrong.

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