By Michael Podgurney
EDMONTON – Edmonton’s night life has its fair share of cops and thugs. There was a time when a typical night out would almost certainly involve an encounter with either one. Boom and bust Edmonton produced some of our most rambunctious citizens and Konn Lavery’s new novel #Yegman captures the zeitgeist of this era with clarity.
Lavery has been writing novels with a fantastically criminal twist since his youth, but began his professional pursuit once he completed college. He is also the author of the Mental Damnation series, the second book of which, Dream, made the Edmonton Journal’s top five selling fictional books list.
#Yegman is a novel that plays out in the streets, alleyways and nightclubs of Edmonton’s downtown. The theme plays on vigilante justice and distrust of the establishment through the experience of a disenfranchised cop, a keen journalism student, and a gang of lowlifes. Structured like a detective novel, it’s filled with tension and a narrative not unlike Mickey Spillane’s post WWII pulp crime fiction. Resultingly, #Yegman excites like a mouthful of whiskey at the end of a long day.
Lavery was inspired to write the novel in 2014 while working on an industrial music project that has become an integral part of the narrative. Throughout the plot, electronic and industrial music play a big part in setting the atmosphere and building character and as a result, an album of industrial music will be released alongside the novel as a companion piece.
“The companion album’s purpose is to cross bridges with the music and literary worlds,” explains Lavery.
“By expanding on the novel through audio, the goal is to create a more immersive experience.”
In addition to the album, Lavery has also included movie poster illustrations of the characters, which are shown at the end of each chapter. They provide the reader with a direct visual representation of the characters and rely on archetypes to lend a familiarity to the heroes and villains.
Pairing the novel with illustrations and music might perhaps create a stronger incentive to live the fictitious dream that the author tries to create, but the avid reader might prefer to find their own way into the plot. Either method works for the author.
“These extra pieces of media are there for those that want more beyond the novel,” he concludes.
Catch Lavery on April 18 at Audrey’s Books (Edmonton) for a reading and book signing.#YEGMAN, books, Lavery, Novel, zeitgeist