I recently finished reading the first eight chapters of Ryk Brink’s Green Sunday, and one of the first of many things to hook me hard was his writing style. It’s metaphoric and pointed laser focus deeply analyses the story’s subject matter, and its razor-edge imagery is hauntingly precise – in other words, the unique way in which he describes the story as he tells it leaves you unable to unsee it that exact way, and you can’t help but agree with his word choice and direction. And I think that is the impression I came away with the most – Ryk is a director, but of words rather than movies, and while every directorial style isn’t to everyone’s taste, his just happens to be one I favour.
I think this style is deliciously juxtaposed with the irreverent, open wound that is Ryk’s sense of humour and is what gives this particular zom-pocalyse novel such a refreshing feel. From the mean-spirited manner in which it depicts our proxy, TJ Kincaid, to the lovesick relationship it clearly has with nonchalant but gratuitous violence, it is apparent that this work is not for the overly-sensitive reader. That said, if you have the balls to stomach it, it is a story that has many elements anyone with an open mind for a different kind of story can appreciate, including some very real human moments, as dark and serious and quiet as they are by turn light-hearted, playful and a little silly.
My favourite aspect of this novel, and it would seem that I am not alone in this, is the relationship between TJ and Sunday. There is something so appealing about the ebb and flow between her hardness and his innocence, and the nuances of the role reversal featuring her as the protector with him as the virgin sacrifice or the atypical dude-in-distress. The space between them is filled with the overtone of the entire work, the loud cheesy camaraderie with death TJ has in his imagination versus the one that permeates the very bleak, sordid reality that Sunday herself occupies.
All in all, there is so much to enjoy here – the style, the voice, the themes and how they all work to tell a story about characters you can really care about. You know the elements that comprise a work are promising when you find yourself reading ahead simply because you cannot take the tension of what you are presently reading in the moment any longer. I found myself doing this consistently throughout my read, which tells me everything I need to know. That no matter how, gruesome, silly and depraved it may seem on the surface, there is definitely something special about Green Sunday.