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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
Black Vodka: Ten Stories - Deborah Levy

This is a great collection of short stories: varied and interesting. All of them have a European flavor; some are more exotic than the rest. Each one is beautifully written; a couple of the stories come off as poetic. The indelible images painted are rich in context and beauty. Bravo, Deborah Levy.



To give you a flavor of what’s included, the title-bearing short story involves a man seeking a name for his company’s vodka. A woman is involved who is fascinated by his hunched/humped back. The man wonders if someone could love him despite the anomaly that he usually tries to hide.



Other stand-out stories include a dreamed infidelity that breaks into reality and a sister seeking the socially approved love attractors, be it ice cube shaped hearts or dyed hair. Every story comes together to give a unique flavor, yet each hits a unified lovely pitch.



Some of the more memorable quotes (for me, anyway) are: “kissing you is like new paint and old pain,” and, “I have an incredible facility to wade through human shame with no shoes on.” I know they don’t mean much out of context, but these quotes still show off the uniqueness of the writing.



If you are looking for some short stories that are well written and tell interesting tales, then this is a collection for you. Well done.



Thanks to Bloomsbury for providing me with a digital review copy of this book for review.