Thursday, August 17, 2006

J.D. Riso -- A Distant North

Last night, I read J.D. Riso's collection of short stories, A Distant North.

Whoa, am I impressed. It's a quick read, so I took it all in at once, but I'm already looking forward to going back and re-reading a couple of the pieces. It's an interesting collection and quite eclectic, in both style and tone, ranging from lighthearted, such as the biographical "A Day in the Life of Mr. Bunny" to the truly disturbing, such as "Snapshots from a Clandestine Hell."

Riso handles her material wonderfully, easily slipping into the skin of her subjects. Whether she's tapping into a dissolute Hollywood agent on the prowl for someone new to corrupt and crush, or a pre-teen, not-the-coolest-in-her-class schoolgirl and her shenanigans with her best friend, she captures mood and uses language perfectly to flesh out the environment and characters.

Capturing whimsy and wistful both so well, this is book is short, but it packs a wallop. I loved it. J.D. has a novel forthcoming from Murphy's Law Press, entitled Blue, and I'd been lucky enough to read small snippets from it before. This collection is making me look forward to diving into the whole novel. Well done, J.D.


Anonymous said...

I always thought my dorky bunny story was the most disturbing piece in there. Haha. Thanks so much for this kind review, Susan!

dennis mahagin said...


Julie is a helluva writer.

And one of the nicest ladies on the planet, might I add? ;)