From the first paragraph I was drawn in to the bizarre, double world of Stacey.
At night, however, she dreams of chopping her neighbors into pieces and burning them. The Evolutionist is definitely a book I recommend. Mason captures the life of a rich Las Vegas wife perfectly. From the rich descriptions and well built characters to the private angst that tears Stacey apart, every detail is well written.
There are no dead, wasted paragraphs in this story. Mason grabs your attention quickly and does not let go until the last page.
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Reading this book on the way to Las Vegas was a good choice. As we taxied in to the Las Vegas airport I glanced up to see the real Luxor rising up over the cityscape. My seat mate must have thought this was my first time off the farm as I whipped out my phone and enthusiastically leaned into her lap to take a few photos. There was this wonderful moment when my brain was trying to sift through the fictional Las Vegas Mason created and details from reality and merge the two. I look forward to reading more work by Mason. Never judge a book by its cover as the old saying goes.
It is never more true than for Rena Mason's debut novel The Evolutionist. A woman in a tight dress holding a bloody axe. Oh boy and oh dear. By the end of the first chapter, the cover was long forgotten and I was hooked. Stacy Troy is just a woman living a normal, non-adventurous life in the suburbs of Las Vegas.
She's not a remarkable, superhero kind of woman. When she begins having horrific nightmares, she approaches them as any average, normal person would. At first passing them off, she sees a doctor when they start affecting her waking hours from lack of sleep. Step two is of course the psychiatrist.
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Light is no normal psychiatrist however. Soon Stacy is plunged into a bizarre, macabre world where nothing is as it seems and nothing will ever be the same again. Mason's use of the first person narrative works well here as we bob along in Stacy's confusion and irritation at the disruptions in her life.
Avi Sirlin's novel The Evolutionist
She's pissed that she can't sleep. We feel her increasing sense of panic and finally, the slide into oblivion as her world crumbles. The emotional rollercoaster is intense and Mason skillfully keeps us just on the edge of Stacy's fear. There's violence, but it's never overdone and serves to add to the morbidity of the situation quite well. Stacy's a character we understand and Mason definitely makes us feel that we too could wake up from a screaming nightmare to find our world shattered one fine day.
Far more supernatural than gore horror, The Evolutionist is a fascinating look into that delicate balance between the sleeping world of nightmares and the waking world of harsh reality. She forces us to examine the frightening possibility of that paper-thin wall crumbling down and the horrific consequences when these two separate planes slowly merge. I really had no idea what to expect when I put myself in Rena Mason's hands, upon picking up her debut novel.
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But I soon found I was in very good hands indeed. In Bret Easton Ellis's books, for example, the way his entitled yuppie characters speak and act rings true, and I had a similar "fly on the wall" experience with the well-to-do housewives of Las Vegas in Mason's novel. This was a world I am not a part of, and yet I felt like I was immersed in it as I read along. These seemed like real people to me.
I wanted more of Stacy Troy and her friends, of her home life, or her strange appointments with Dr. Already, I can feel the sadness that comes with finishing a good book and having to say good-bye to characters whose company you were enjoying. Life arose spontaneously via chance chemical processes, and all life-forms are related and share a common ancestor - from bananas to birds, from fishes to flowers, apes to Adam, etc.
Evolutionism - A Broad Overview Evolutionism is a world-view, which seeks to explain every aspect of this world in which we live.
The Evolutionist by Avi Sirlin
It encompasses a wide variety of topics, from astronomy to chemistry to biology. At its core, it teaches that there were different stages in the evolution of our universe: The general idea remains the same: In the beginning there was nothing. Then a "singularity" suddenly appeared, exploded, and the rest is history. Stellar-evolution, Chemical-evolution and Planetary-evolution. After the primordial Bang, stars and planets slowly evolved. It's thought that the initial explosion produced hydrogen, helium and possibly lithium.
These three elements condensed to form the first stars. The incredible heat and pressure inside of those early stars acted upon the Hydrogen and Helium, producing many of the chemical elements we observe today. Canadian writer Avi Sirlin has written a fictionalised account of the life of nineteenth-century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace.
Facebook Twitter Delicious Reddit Digg what are these? Guests Avi Sirlin Canadian lawyer and writer whose books include biographical novel, The Evolutionist. Further Information Avi Sirlin webpage. Credits Interviewer Kate Evans. Damon Young on The Art of Reading 2: