Precarious[Read] ➯ Precarious By Al Riske – In prose that is by turns spare and lyrical the stories in this collection capture the heady invincible feeling of late summer as they describe the sharp pinch of doing the right thing and regretting In prose that is by turns spare and lyrical the stories in this collection capture the heady invincible feeling of late summer as they describe the sharp pinch of doing the right thing and regretting it and recall exhilarating memories of making bets and dancing naked From rain soaked Seattle to drought stricken California from the front seat of a mother’s Malibu to a vacation cabin on Cape Cod and from a tiny island to a desert drenched in light and heat these short tales introduce readers to characters such as a boy trying to make it through the summer between the end of high school and the start of something else a woman attracted to a muscular man because it makes her feel safe—right up until it doesn’t—and a man who can only imagine what it’s like to sleep with many different women The fully realized well rounded individuals who populate these pages will resonate with readers. This book is filled with stories about choices some made in a heartbeat while some span over a lifetime With each choice made there is a path left discarded and as intelligent living beings we are left to carry the regret and what ifs that follow That is the theme of Precarious With fifteen tales casting a multitude of characters it’s not difficult for anyone to find something to relate to That is the beauty of PrecariousThey are not stories meant to make you feel good Many left me depressed Infidelity was a strong recurring theme throughout the collection Religion and sexuality were others And then there are some that are just odd and can only blow your mind I most enjoyed ‘Sleeping With Smiley’ where we find a young man’s memory of the chance he had to be with his best friend’s girl; ‘Dance Naked’ for its suspense and thrill of hope; and ‘Taken’ for its unpredictable twisted ending I won this in a goodreads giveaway I don't often read collections of short stories Or accurately I don't typically seek them out Rather they tend to find me I don't know why this is Maybe they remind me too much of high school English classes where we were reuired to break them down to their tiniest individual pieces as if each part were important than the whole I know better now but it helps to read a book like Precarious which is a reminder that short stories can be just as fulfilling to read as a novel and often difficult to write How do you convey a multitude of emotions flesh out complex characters and build small but vibrant worlds in just a few pages? That said I am pleased to say that Al Riske is brilliant at doing exactly that The themes of Precarious are well worn territory Choices ego love sex and regret make multiple appearances but each story feels different from the others Despite the things they have in common the characters never feel like facsimiles of each other It helps that the stories are set in varying locations and decades and in distinctive points in a life like that summer just before college or that point in adulthood middle age? where people are better at faking confidence than they were when they were young Most interestingly the sex in precarious abounds but it is always an integral part of the story and not just an add on to keep readers interested Riske also explores what some might consider to be deviant but really just alternative behavior like polyamorous relationships and relationships which are simply strange thanks to some sci fi elements As someone who reads a lot of speculative fiction I found the last story in Precarious to be an unexpected treatRiske gives eual time to male and female protagonists to the young and old Some of the stories have religious characters but I never felt like I was being preached to and conversely he wasn't disrespectful of those characters who were I myself am not religious but one dimensional religious fanatics are among the worst archetypes And than one story takes place on Cape Cod so for me personally it was really easy to picture the intended settingIf I have one complaint about this collection it is that the majority of the stories were disheartening I had to space out my reading of them because they got emotionally exhausting if I read too much at once I love a good depressing story but I get so emotionally involved that it really affects me If you're like me in that respect I don't recommend devouring Precarious all in one sitting A collection of fifteen modern short stories with various themes including regret loyalty guilt relationships betrayal love Al Riske’s talent lies in understanding human nature and creating very real and believable characters and dialogue within his entertaining stories I enjoyed all of the stories although some were definitely polished than othersThe first story 'Sleeping With Smiley' is in my opinion probably the best in the collection A very well written story about misplaced loyalty and regret Some other stand out stories were Your Eyes Only and Hold On All of the stories are fun and interesting to read the only issue I had was that many of the endings seemed too abrupt or just not satisfying This is a pity because with a bit of work on the endings this would have been an outstanding collection The writer is obviously talented because he knows how to hold a readers attention and the prose flows well An example of a great ending is the end of 'Sleeping With Smiley' where the reader is left with a thought provoking sentence which brings to mind the events of the story in a poignant manner As a short story writer myself I believe that the hardest part of writing a short story is writing a good ending Because there are a limited amount of words in short fiction it’s important that an effort should be made to write an ending that will satisfy the reader and tie up any loose ends A bad ending can make or break a short story in the same way that a good ending can turn a mediocre story into a great one Indeed it’s much harder to write a good short story than a good novelIn conclusion I would say that Al Riske has done a brilliant job writing these stories all of them containing insightful prose and true to life characters Most of the endings didn’t work for me but other readers may have a different opinionReviewed by Maria Savva as a reviewer for Bookpleasurescom I was surprised to find that I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Read but very eager to read it In my opinion it is much difficult to master the art of the short story than it is to write a great novel It is for that reason that I rarely read short story collections I'm often left disappointedPrecarious did not let me down Many of the characters I felt I knew after only a few pages and found myself reading back to catch every little detail The stories drew me in and kept me thereIm looking forward to reading from Al Riske This was an easy to read book with its short story format Though it was a series of short stories I felt I got to know the characters well in their brevity Each story presented a situation that could happen to any of us Based on human nature and instinct I found myself trying to guess the ending of each vignette but true to the books title the human experience is truly precarious and each situation could end in a number of ways I liked the fact that the author brought forth decisions and situations we may all face but might not be likely to talk about openly This is a book of short stories so it was a fast read I liked most of the stories Most I wanted expaneded so that says alot for them I guess it's like that with short stories you want from the characters and then it's done But overall I really enjoyed this book Love Precarious My review is here interview with Al Riske is here Looks like a great read Here's what people are saying about Precarious “Charming”— Publishers Weekly“Enthusiastically recommended”— Midwest Book Review“From the first paragraph of the first story you know you’re in the capable hands of a literary musician”— Feathered uill Book Reviews“You will enjoy each page of this book and hope that there is just one when you are finished reading”— Victoria Gonzalez Reader Views“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“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“I love when a story’s ending surprises me even as it leaves me absolutely certain it couldn’t have resolved itself any other way The stories in Precarious are like that”— Judy Clement Wall Zebra Sounds“These stories are beautiful — elegant without trying revealing without really showing why brief in a satisfying way scandalous with a light touch — and they stick with you key images and dialogue etching themselves into your subconscious”— Greg Bardsley author of “Some Kind of Rugged Genius” and the award winning “Headuarters Likes Your Style” among other stories“These are stories that you find yourself in – the highest compliment I can pay an author You see your own foibles and if you’re lucky an occasional glance at your own grace”— Terry McKenzie TMACWORDS“Riske’s spare and thoughtful style remind me of Raymond Carver—but without the pervasive sense of despair In these stories love is still possible”— Joy Rothke freelance writereditorteacher“Each story carries weight of its own leading to the common denominator that we are all flawed”— Sky Sanchez Sacramento Book Review“Riske has peopled his stories with some vivid characters and provocative scenarios”— Bookviews by Alan Caruba“Riske’s eye for detail is sharp but his hand gentle as he unravels the complexities and uirks of his characters”— Bookblah“Precarious is a book for the reader who enjoys honest writing at its finest”— Tina Evans Review the Book“This book will stay with you long after you close it and put it away You’ll no doubt pick it up again for a second read maybe even a third”— Reading at the Beach This is a collection of short stories I don't often read these types of books But i really enjoyed it The stories are all about choices people have made some in a heart beat' others over a lifetime With each choice made there is a path disgarded As living human beings we are left to carry the what ifs and regret There is a total of fifteen tales' each casting a multitude of characters' its not difficult to find something to relate to in this book

Precarious PDF ¼ Paperback
  • Paperback
  • 242 pages
  • Precarious
  • Al Riske
  • English
  • 03 November 2015
  • 9781935462323