Foreword Reviews

The Balloon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking

Innovative writer Rich Ives has filled this, his newest book, with small, often tiny stories not unlike fables or dreams. Surreal happenings are recorded in spare prose that creates mental images akin to a Dalí painting: a man stares at a camera set up on a tripod in the street, waiting, not noticing that the camera is not facing him and that there is no one there to trigger the shutter; a photographer moves a photo of a dead man into the light and photographs it while sounds of a neighbor pounding a nail into the wall and the rumbling of a refrigerator pierce the silence; a man declares that he has nothing to live for, and another responds, “Don’t be maudlin. You have just as much to live for now as you’ve ever had.” “That’s the problem,” the first man replies. “Now I know how little it’s always been.”

Stunningly multisensory and intense, Ives’ introspective and intimate portraits of moments or days in the lives of offbeat, eccentric people are written in strong, lucid prose that infuses everything, even the landscape, with emotion. “This land feeds its gradual loss into the cold bright water,” he writes in “Near Torshavn, Faröe Islands.” “Summer leaves as though it were one of us, awash with emotion. The long darkness waits, despair holding off the coast in quiet boats.”

Ives, also an artist and musician, has had his work published in eleven different countries and has received several prestigious grants and awards for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation, and photography.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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