Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Glow in the Jar

Sky Sanchez, writing for the Sacramento Book Review:
"A dwelling teetering on the lip between dark and light, resignation and defiance, brokenness and unity; the short story, a world of possibilities within the confines of so few pages, and to capture them is to watch lightning bugs bump into the walls of a jar. What will the characters make of it? How will they get out? Al Riske has taken this form and made light in his collection, Precarious, not that he has made light of his characters, though. He has given them voices of volume, of life. Each story carries weight of its own, leading to the common denominator that we are all flawed. You will meet a man who loses what he needs in search of what he thinks he wants; a pastor who is shunned by those he preaches forgiveness to; and a man with a new set of eyes. Riske's stories reveal impulses and happiness, the search of and, sometimes, the consequences following. You will experience all of it through a keyhole, unnoticed, but aching all the same for these that live it. Riske uses words to bring us closer to the glow in the jar."

Monday, February 8, 2010

'Enthusiastically Recommended'

Midwest Book Review says:
"The literary art and tradition of the short story is alive and well in Precarious: Stories Of Love, Sex, And Misunderstanding, by Al Riske. This collection of fifteen short stories ranges from tales set in Seattle during the rainy season to California during an extended drought. From a Cape Cod vacation cabin to a get-a-way island. These are deftly written stories that not only entertain, but engender reflection long after they are finished and Precarious is placed back upon the shelf. It should be noted that one of these unique tales, "Pray for Rain," won the 2008 Blue Mesa Review prize for fiction. Precarious is enthusiastically recommended reading for anyone who appreciates the literary artistry of the short story format and an ideal addition for community library fiction collections."