Deeply disenchanted with their lot as steel sculptors, Pam and Roy are driven by forces both unseen and of their own making to embark upon a long and tough battle to change the status quo. What they cannot know is that in achieving their perceived goal, they will also achieve an entirely unexpected and extraordinary outcome.Following a series of traumatic exhibition experiences, Roy becomes embittered and Pam is haunted by an indefinable presence as their situation reaches intolerable levels, driving them to take a radical and life-changing decision. They must create a way to go it alone.This brings them back to facing a more familiar battleground, the protection of steel sculpture against the invasion of rust. Fully aware of the treatments which could be employed to provide greater protection against the elements, the financial cost is way beyond their capability. So they must accept the life-long commitment to endless, regular renovation of their sculptures. But then an event occurs, simultaneously providing an astonishing solution alongside a whole new set of problems. They enter completely unknown territory.
Marie-Paule Thorn, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Pam Brown’s first novel is the account of a quest to overcome the challenges faced by a couple of steel sculptors. Their giant schemes and sculptures take them on an unforeseen and difficult path towards higher achievement. The rust symbolizes the constant vigilance against the elements and other recurrent and relentless predicaments they strive to overcome.
It is a well-written novel, both in its text and structure. The insertion of intriguing phenomena, such as a mysterious « presence » and other twists and turns in the plot make for a fascinating read, encouraging the reader to keep turning pages and not put the book down. Another remarkable feature of this novel is its authenticity, as it is based on autobiographical aspects of her artistic pursuit and that of her life-long partner Roy.
Set up on an eye-catching cover the title was intriguing. The synopsis captured my interest giving me an insight into the title as the main characters were steel sculptors.
From the beginning of the novel there was a hint of some unexplainable presence. This continues to thread throughout the novel, the feeling it evoked was uncertainty rather than fear.
I enjoyed the harmonious relationship between Pam and Roy, they always used each other’s strengths. The totally shared passionate determination they brought to their dedicated quest was evident throughout. The numerous setbacks covering many years seem to add to their determination.
The end of the novel took me completely by surprise but I felt satisfied not disappointed. I could feel their certainty and happiness as they moved positively ahead to continue their shared passion.
I thoroughly enjoyed such a different subject, a glimpse into a different world I knew nothing about.
I will add a further comment. I feel the novel contains the material to produce a science fiction movie. The storyline is strong the element of suspense is not disclosed until close to the end. It also includes many varied and interesting characters.
This book is beautifully written with such interesting facts about Steel and Sculptures. Not giving away anything I found the twist in the storyline superb and kept me hanging all through the book in anticipation.
I loved the camaraderie between Roy & Pam and could feel the love, loyalty, and appreciation between the two characters. This book has knowledge that most readers will learn from and has imagination, intrigue warmth, and surprise, all the ingredients for a good movie!
"Rust Never Sleeps" Pam Browns novel is a well written, readable, totally absorbing account of her own and her husband's struggles involved in the making of, exhibiting and preserving large scale steel sculptures.
Autobiographical elements provide a very believable basis of their disenchantment with both academic life and the constant demands and struggles associated with exhibiting large, heavy sculptures. The decade-plus struggle to solve both these issues through the setting up of their own sculpture park, or open-air museum, is a relentless emotional rollercoaster, so well described as to totally convince of the absolute authenticity of every character and event. I was left with a feeling, through the descriptive power of the writing, that every event was a true account and that may be just names had been changed to protect the incompetent (not the innocent as in the 1950's T.V. crime series).
Great fiction is hinted at almost from the very beginning by the presence of a curious, unexplained phenomenon that later develops through stages into totally surprising major twists. Suspense is maintained until it really kicks in from chapter 53 and turns everything around from chapter 55.
Central to every aspect of the novel is Pam and Roy's total respect, devotion and love for one another and their commitment to the focus of both their lives; the creation, exhibition and preservation of sculpture. An intriguing text packed with both interesting and sometimes incomprehensible events plus a range of diverse characters. Definitely worthy of the attention of the film industry.
Some months ago, I was invited to an art exhibit featuring the work of a steel sculptor based in Up State New York. In addition to the excellent sculptures and drawings there was a stack of books on a table with a note, " recommended reading". I followed the recommendation and read the novel on the top of the stack " Rust Never Sleeps" concluding that it ought to have been recommended as a " Must Read!" Here is my review:
We all have dreams, and I am not talking of nocturnal dreams but the dreams that realities can be made of, whether starting out in life when we lay out our dreams and aspirations or the dreams we have throughout, 'following the dream',' living the dream or simply 'dreaming the dream.'
Rust Never Sleeps by author Pam Brown is all about the realization of one's dreams but mysteriously along the way a new dream-like reality becomes inextricably interlaced and threatens to turn dreams into nightmares in a force of ethereal proportion.
The Novel embraces two Worlds, the grit, struggle, and reality of two British Sculptors in their pursuit of creative excellence and a fictional mystery that is intriguingly laid on top.
Everyone has a story and Pam Brown and Roy Kitchins' journey from 1960's Brit beginnings in midland art schools to custodians of a prestigious Open-Air Museum of Steel Sculpture in the heart of Coalbrookdale, the very seat of the Industrial Revolution is both impressive and compelling.
We have all imagined the starving artists in their garret studios but just how do young Fine Artists of steel sculpture develop their creativity and careers to become self-sustained professional artists?
Rust Never Sleeps follows their journey through three decades and is not an exclusive read for avid art students but is a vastly informative and interesting novel that connects to struggles and obstacles we all confront as we progress through life towards our ultimate goals.
They think they know what their goal is but in the story of this couple, they are both blindsided by their very own mysterious and ultimate fortune.
Not only does the novel provide an alluring wealth of knowledge and interest in the Industry of Art but it is penned in a most pleasant and detailed voice that invites the reader into the life and times of the biographical characters of this inspiring couple of driven artists.
We design sculptures with them. We fight and rail at the blindfolded bureaucracy with them. We relax, go to the Pub, down a few pints of Guinness, and banter with the locals. We roll cigarettes in the rain whilst sitting on the flanks of a Welsh mountainside and take welcome coffee breaks to clear the head and chat before returning to the sweat, grind, and back-breaking labor of making sculpture.
We learn so many aspects of art that we could never have imagined and we meet two people we never dreamt we could have met. We applaud their fortitude; we are inspired by their positive and unbreakable belief and ultimately, we marvel at the underlying mystery as it slowly reveals in a spellbinding finale.
'Rust Never Sleeps' is a " fly on the wall " novel as we are welcomed into the very personal world of two very human professional artists.
It is a sweeping and captivating biographical mystery that must not be hurried, take your time on those well-earned coffee breaks. Enjoy the details, the humor, and the dialogue. Pam Brown writes in a very natural and familiar voice that provides a constant connection to the text from beginning to end, although, it must be said, that another thing I like about this novel is the absence of a full stop! It leaves you with more questions than answers and the most important question is:
" When is Pam Brown's next novel to be published?"
dutifully submitted from a very cold Canada.
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