Reviews

Praise for Then We'd Be Happy ...

A refreshingly unorthodox tale of the challenges facing modern, lower-middle-class 20-somethings.”
 Kirkus Reviews 

“Reading Then We’d Be Happy is like riding a train through an unknown countryside. The scenery flies by, framed by telephone poles into small vignettes, each of which tells a small story on its own and hints at what lies ahead. Riske is a master at giving glimpses and leaving hints, at employing implication and innuendo, and creating enormous spaces with very few words. Once you start your journey through these pages, you will be unable to stop until you arrive at its terminus, amazed that a trip over so much terrain required such little effort and provided such a rich reward.”
— Douglas Edwards, author of I’m Feeling Lucky

In Then We'd Be Happy, Al Riske leads us on an episodic journey with scenes that seem to be as effortless in their grace and simplicity as they are eternal in their weight and meaning.
— Greg Bardsley, author of Cash Out and The Bob Watson

Praise for The Possibility of Snow ...

Al Riske has a rare talent for connecting the reader to complex emotions. The Possibility of Snow showcases that talent – taking readers through highs and lows – and excels at evoking all the difficult-to-label feelings in between.
— Jay D. Gregory, author of Cry of the Phoenix 

“In The Possibility of Snow, Al Riske explores the boundaries of male friendship, inviting the reader to consider the limits of loyalty.”

— Barbara Shoup, author of An American Tune and Looking for Jack Kerouac

In a deceptively simple tale of friendship, Al Riske does a great job of exploring the boundaries of what we can expect from, and be to, each other."
— J Clement Wall, Goodreads

Another elegantly written, thoughtful gem from a keen observer of relationships. You'll turn pages with ease, and be surprised at the end.
— Greg Bardsley, author of Cash Out

“This read took me by surprise. While Riske makes every word count, what's not on the page is just as interesting as what is. He's painted for us a uniquely honest exploration of male friendshipa bond between two students that shifts from heartwarming to disturbing, and myriad emotions between. Sharp wit, unabashed honesty, playfulness and sparse yet reflective writing sets this novel apart.
— Deborah E., Amazon

In the end, you may feel both a sense of loss and peace, but also anger. Whatever your reaction to this work, it will be visceral.
— Naomi Leadbeater, Naimeless

I loved the story and the way it was handled ... this was an honest, real, emotional and very well written book.
— Bri Wignall, NaturalBri

Praise for Sabrina’s Window ...

“Sabrina’s Window is a pure pleasure to read. Al Riske does an excellent job of creating colorful, realistic characters.”
— Paige Lovitt, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“This book invites you in and then shuts the door quietly behind you, allowing you to share moments between characters in a private space with an atmosphere of intimacy that may leave you afraid to breathe for fear of intruding.”
— Douglas Edwards, author of I’m Feeling Lucky

“With his trademark grace, elegance and economy, Al Riske captures the heart and teases the imagination in Sabrina’s Window.”
— Greg Bardsley, author of Cash Out

“Al Riske's writing is a gift. With uncommon grace and clarity, he arranges the details of our everyday lives into a sort of poetry. In Sabrina's Window, seventeen-year-old Joshua and 31-year-old Sabrina are searching for themselves when they find each other, forming a bond that is as unlikely as it is deep and abiding. Reading Riske's novel, I was reminded of how fragile and magnificent we humans are, how silly and petty ... and absolutely generous we can be.”
Judy Clement Wall, writer, doodler, love warrior

 “Al Riske has packed so much emotional punch in this 217-page slice-of-life novel [Sabrina's Window] that I’m still thinking about the people that inhabit the pages … Reading it was much like hearing a piece of music. I know I’ll read it again, and re-discover the nuances of something beautiful.”
— Katherine Adams, Goodreads

“The prose in Al Riske’s first novel, Sabrina’s Window, is clear and simple and elevates the book into something truly wonderful.”
— Mark Richardson, Thoughts on Writing and Reading


“Al Riske captures the currents of love, desire and temptation coursing through all of us, and shows us how an unlikely friendship helps a boy become a man.”
— Robert Baty, author of Vintage Conner and The Girl in the MGA

“His nuanced, subtle novel has much to share about relationships and art and the power and strength of friendships throughout our lives.”
— Alta Drawson, BiblioQuill

Praise for Precarious ...

“Al Riske ... understands how to walk the tightrope of subtle emotional resonance.”
Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay It Forward, Love in the Present Tense, and Chasing Windmills, among many others.

“Riske's characters brim with the fears, desires, and idiosyncrasies of real, complex human beings.”
— Laura Matter, Blue Mesa Review

“There’s something about Al Riske’s writing … He says so much with just a few words set off in quotation marks that you feel as if each line of dialogue has whole chapters behind it.”
– Douglas Edwards, author of I’m Feeling Lucky

“A hugely talented writer, Al Riske beautifully captures the nuanced behavior of relationships and the universal struggle to understand why we do what we do.”
Rachel Canon, author of The Anniversary

“His prose is so sharp and the characters sketched so vividly that I was transported right into the world he created.”
— Mark Richardson, author of “Tattoo Woman” and other stories

“The writing is Hemingway lean and it's clear that one of Riske's strongest gifts as a storyteller is his witty dialogue.”
— Gretchen Clark, author of "This Is a Woman" and other essays

“You know you’re in the capable hands of a literary musician.”
Feathered Quill Book Reviews

“Riske’s eye for detail is sharp, but his hand gentle as he unravels the complexities and quirks of his characters.”
Bookblah