Dyja makes very sure he convinces his readers that Steven's present life would drive any rational person to dreams of escape: " He was Steven Armour, forty-one years old, one of five associate vice presidents of communications slash new media, albeit largely ceremonial, at the major food conglomerate Dilly-Perkins .
Steven's only avenue of release takes the shape of sexual fantasy: he is "accustomed to picturing himself in the act with every half-attractive woman he saw." Because Dyja introduces Steven's adulterous visions with such deflective humor, the reader doesn't anticipate the darker consequences bound to occur later.
Once Dyja establishes Steven's susceptible mental state, we are introduced to the dominant dramatic device in the novel: Mt.
In a Barnes & Noble "Meet the Writers" interview, Dyja listed his ten favorite books.
Dyja describes a group of former inhabitants of Mt.
Dyja picks up the earlier theme of sexual fantasy when Steven is charmed by a red-headed woman whom he mistakes for a girlfriend he once thought of marrying.
The comic touch that Dyja uses to obscure the despair at the root of Steven's dissatisfaction with his family and job disguises the insidious clutch beginning to close around Steven's identity.
While some writers might shy away from admitting to an interest in moral issues, Dyja freely confesses to didactic inclinations: "I have an old- fashioned view of literature: it is meant to educate and entertain.