Reviews

East of Denver Reviews Johnny Riles reviewed

"A breezily readable summer novel that not only entertains but also surprises. It explores the dynamics of family relationships without ever stooping to sentimentality, and it's one of this summer's most pleasant surprises."
–Charles Ealy Austin American-Statesman

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"East of Denver is a slow burn, but by the end it’s burning hot: you’ll leave this book a little charred. . . This is writing on a par with that of top-flight black-comic novelists like Sam Lipsyte and Jess Walter, and it deserves to be read."
--Lev Grossman

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"All the characters are quirky if not downright bizarre and you never really know how things are going to play out. A witty, snarky, and thoroughly enjoyable read."
--Leah Sims Portland Book Review

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“East of Denver” is painstakingly funny — the novel offers a deep, dark look into the real life issues that make society uncomfortable.
--Kacy Muir The Weekender

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"From beginning to end, the novel's great achievement is Hill's gift of characters: people who are often broken, crumbling, and struggling, but always irresistible."
--Brother Patrick Mary Briscoe, O.P. Dominicana

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"What makes [East of Denver] special, and especially powerful, is that Hill, like his damaged characters, has a real talent for fucking everything up."
--Seth Blake Tropmag

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"Gregory Hill...displays a keen, at times riveting, understanding of the absurdities and freedoms of small-town isolation and the dying way of life that was once the American standard."
--Cherie Ann Parker, Shelf Awareness

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"There is pathos. Sadness. Dark glimmers of hope. The entire book reveals this balance and shift and makes it absolutely worthwhile to pick up. Hill has a bright future."
--Steven Rosen, Curled Up With a Good Book

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"[An] agreeable, offbeat debut novel...A story about a father and son who bond against the odds, with an ending as quirkily satisfying as the rest of the book."
--Kirkus Reviews

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"There’s no fantasy escapism here. It’s real life. And real life is darkly comic."
--Adventures With Words

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"Hill gives up plenty of laughs to go with the pain...a fine first novel from a writer with a great sense of character"
--Booklist

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"Dark humor, zany characters, and a sharp eye for detail distinguish this arch novel set in Colorado’s dying farmland. . . Charming details of rural life are offset by a madcap plot and tragicomic details of dementia, even as father and son share high jinks and man-hugs on their inexorable journey to face the music."
--Marysue Rucci

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"An eye for detail, an ear for dialogue, and a knack for story-telling distinguish this unflinching novel of rural America."
--Publishers Weekly

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"Cleverly plotted and well-written. This is a must read!"
--Viviane Crystal Crystal Book Reviews

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"East of Denver is crazy. It’s offbeat and hilarious, but there is a tenderness that moves the reader in the midst of all the antics."
--David Atkinson InDigest

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"Le roman est court, plutôt bien écrit."
(Translation: "The book is short and rather well-written.")
--Sous la grêle osée

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"Even the dead cat can't rest in peace."
--Cupcake's Book Cupboard

"Hill is a dialogue artist, sculpting his characters with depth and the pitfalls of humanity...The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles is a rich and complex western that crosses over into the shady depths of noir fiction. It’s a stunning read."
--Sarah Reichert The Writing Bug

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"Like Hill’s superb debut, East of Denver, The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles surely is a damn fine, if distinctly peculiar, country noir."--Booklist

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"A wild, weird, fun ride." --Yuma Pioneer

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"Crazy novel. And I mean that in the very best sense. Absolutely loved it." -- Mike Keefe, writer, political cartoonist

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"Impressively well written from beginning to end, The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles is a terrifically entertaining read and showcases extraordinary and imaginative storytelling abilities."
--Midwest Book Review

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"Filled with the same easy energy and bright style that earned praise and awards for East of Denver, The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles will take you to places you didn't know existed--both on the hard plains of eastern Colorado and deep inside the soul of an unforgettable man who knows the world is a mean place. He knows the perfect song and the perfect drink to get him through the day, but even Johnny Riles can't predict what the world, or his brother, might throw his way. After a sip or two of this richly-told novel, you'll want to glug the whole thing down."--Mark Stevens, author of Trapline

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"The Lonesome Trials of Johnny Riles renders Eastern Colorado/High Plains life as it really has always been:
down-to-earth, matter-of-fact, and always on the brink of psychedelia. This is an unapologetic triumph of contemporary Rural American Realism."
--Zach Boddicker, songwriter, 4H Royalty

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"Reading Gregory Hill’s marvelous page-turner of a second novel is like hunkering down in a psychedelic cave, buried by a flatland Colorado blizzard—with a knife at your throat.  Expertly wrought weirdness abounds—you won’t want it to end. Think, a poodle with no name meets Stephen King."
--Barry Wightman, author of Pepperland

 


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