Sunday, July 12, 2015

In Review: Possibility of Snow by Al Riske

I was given an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of  "The Possibility of Snow" in exchange for an honest review. I have never read any of Mr. Riske's work before and have never met him. Okay now that we got all that out of the way here is my review.

The story, which takes place somewhere in the 1960's-1970's.

[It drops clues but doesn't really come out and say exactly when, which would be interesting for me the reader to know. I checked out the authors blog and didn't find any information regarding the date.]

I digress. The story, which takes place roughly 30+ years ago, takes the reader to a small college town where we meet the main characters Steve and Neil who fall into a sort of accidental friendship and decide to become roommates in their colleges dorm. The beginning of the novel, where the author is setting the stage for the men and their friendship was a little slow for my taste, but in retrospect it gave a sense of slowness to the time the story takes place. [if that makes sense] 

The stories pacing picks up about about 1/3 of the way through where their friendship's honeymoon phase rolls into a battle for power and control. I don't want to give anything away so I'll stop there. I will say that the author does a great job of showing the boundaries of new friendships and what happens when those boundaries are crossed. 

The novel, which starts off light and care free soon turns dark, bitch black.  It took some time to get into it but once I did I breezed right through to the end. I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Biography AL RISKE is the author of Precarious, Sabrina's Window, and The Possibility of Snow. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and ghostwriter. His short stories have appeared in the Beloit Fiction Journal, Hobart, Switchback, Word Riot, Blue Mesa Review, and 34th Parallel. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, he now lives in California with his wife, Joanne, and their dog, Bodie. CHILDHOOD AMBITION: Be the best writer who ever lived. (I was 10 and had never heard of Shakespeare.) LITTLE-KNOWN FACT: Was in fourth grade when my first story was published (on a mimeograph machine). HONORS: Winner of the Blue Mesa Review Fiction Contest in 2008 for the short story "Pray for Rain." Nominated for the 2010 Story Prize, an annual award for short story collections, for Precarious. BLOG:


  1. Thanks for the great, thoughtful review :) I'm so glad you could be part of the tour. If you have a moment to cross post your review to Amazon and/or Goodreads, that would be great, and I know the author will really appreciate it.

  2. Unfortunately the ARC contained some miscues about when the story takes place. These were corrected in the final version of the novel, which takes place in 1987.