Dementiuk, Mykola. “The Facialist”, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.
It seems like I have been reading works by Mykola Dementiuk forever and I have to remind myself that it has really only been about five years since I accidentally stumbled on one of his books and was literally blown away by his realism. Mick, as he calls himself, goes where others seem afraid to go—to the dingy and dirty side of New York City, to the world of hustlers and drag queens and those somewhere in between and he never fails to give us a good story. In his newest book, “The Facialist” he takes us to New York City of the 1950’s and we meet seventeen year old Timmy who is just discovering his sexuality. He is confused because he gets turned on by both men and women. When he meets Dickie, however, things change. Dickie fancies himself to be a teacher of the fine art of fellatio and he enjoys instructing others not just how to perform but how to perform well. His new protégé is Shelly but Shelly is not at all interested.
Dickie possesses an abusive streak and Timmy notices that he is much like the men who have used him when he was a youngster and then did so just so they could get their own sexual release and with no regard for Timmy himself. Timmy’s confusion began when an older Polish woman who was a friend of his mother’s seduced him and even though confused, he continued to cruise Tomkins Square Park and to look for sex. He seems to have let desire take hold of himself and has to make a decision as to which way to go or to lose himself altogether. It is certainly easy enough to see why he is confused and the reader feels he wants to give him some direction. His confusion is so great that the only option Timmy has is to figure it out for himself.
Dementiuk does not hold back and he writes about everything and is eroticism is quite bold. This is not a pretty story but then few of his are. I believe that it is his boldness that makes Dementiuk such a wonderful read. We read it and it is over and we move on except for one small fact—it is not easy to move on because everything is so real.
There is much more that I could tell you about the plot but I am not going to do so because it would mean giving you spoilers. I want everyone to gain the same pleasure that I do when you read Dementiuk and I would not dare risk spoiling that for anyone.