It’s easy to get lost in the dense web of metaphors and bodies that populate Jordaan Mason’s The Skin Team. Mason documents a taut bond between three young people in a small town, the dynamics of their relationship in constant flux, their bodies aging, their desires shifting. The looming specter of electricity, via the omnipresent Power Company Building that sits as both metaphor and geographic touchstone, also connects Mason’s novel to William T. Vollmann’s hallucinatory masterpiece You Bright and Risen Angels. Like Vollmann, Mason tears apart familiar relationships and conflicts to illuminate them in some newfound fashion. Mason’s own concerns, though, are less broad-canvas and more intimate. His characters’ revolutions occur in unexpected ways; they delve deep inside themselves, burrowing somewhere deep inside, seeking both self-knowledge and self-abnegation.
Dancing in parking-lots, drunk, listless, screaming, blowing old men, arcades and malls everywhere instead of fire, books I stole from the library, books I put in my head for safe keeping.