We are incredibly excited to share this review today of Mason Boyles’s debut novel, Bark On, out today from Driftwood Press! Back in 2021, we featured Boyles’s short story “Aprovecha,” a terrifically sharp and moving piece of fiction, and Bark On is sure to be more of the same.
From its first line, Bark On draws you into the world of the most intense physical endurance sport: the triathlon, consisting of swimming, cycling, and long distance running. Athletes are prepared to do anything to build their endurance, so they attract the type of coach who can get them there. In Bark On, Benji Newton is such a coach for Erza, the novel’s protagonist. Benji is addicted to the pliant obedience of young men and women desperate to win. Bark On, Boyles’s debut novel, is a critique of what can happen when this pliant obedience meets unscrupulous control.