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Monday, July 27, 2009

Literary Novel Uses Internet as Enhancement

Book Title: Until the Deep Water Stills - An Internet-enhanced Novel
Author Name: Michael Robert Dyet
Novel Online Companion:
Michael’s Blog: (Metaphors of Life Journal AKA
Things That Make Me Go Hmmm)
Genre: Literary Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-9811995-0-4
Publication Date: March 2009

Reviewed by Marianne Paul, Author of Tending Memory, Twice in a Blue Moon
and Dead Girl Diaries

"Doomsday prophets who sound the death knell of this book shortchange the
artist and his abilities to find new ways to express himself.

In Until the Deep Water Stills, Michael Dyet offers a glimpse into the evolution of the novel, harnessing the new technologies to reveal layers of story in a way that can only be done in the electronic age. Dyet deftly uses the Internet
to create underlying strata, allowing the reader to slip away, if she wishes, from the third-person narrative of the novel to access the first-person intimacy of the blogs, diaries, letters, audio, and photo journals of the characters. When the reader returns to the main narrative, it is with deeper understanding, and sometimes astonishing new facts.

The story unfolds from a central event – the drug overdose death of a teenage girl at a rave. The aftershocks set out in ever-expanding circles, engulfing her parents, her aunt and uncle, and also a social worker using the death to promote her personal agenda of drug-free raves. Tragedy and misfortune rock the lives of the characters, but it is the emotional narrative beneath these events that is the epicenter of the novel. Secrets lie beneath the surface, as do fault lines beneath the earth. It is
private life to public life, subconscious mind to conscious mind, third person to first person - what we choose to reveal (or not) to those who are supposed to be our “intimates” – our spouses and partners.

Bryan speaks openly of his affair in his blog, telling strangers of his marital infidelity and his innermost thoughts, but not his politician wife, Grace. Jayce’s anger erupts so that he smashes a glass-top table in front of Katherine and their young daughter, but he can’t bring himself to share with his wife the one act of violence from his past that most plagues him. Katharine publicly communicates to her husband her desire to leave their marriage through the photographs she has chosen to display at the opening reception of her art show. Faith writes letters to the mother
who abandoned her at a young age, but doesn’t send them, choosing instead to view her mother from afar.

Marshall McLuhan said, "The medium is the message." He might have been peering into the future to see Dyet's novel, where the medium of the Internet enhances the story, certainly, but also, becomes the story,revelations offered to the reader in a way not possible in the hard-copy, print-static world of the past. The mode influences the telling."

~Marianne Paul
Author of Tending Memory, Twice in a Blue Moon and Dead Girl Diaries

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