Into The Cruel Sea
Rich Ristow

Skullvines Press
52 Pages, Trade Paperback, $12.95, 2008
Review by Steve Vernon

Beth’s life sucks. Her dad is abusive, her mom doesn’t care and her boyfriend went crazy and murdered his parents. Then he drowned himself.

Or at least everyone thinks he drowned himself.

When I received this little paperback from Skullvines I groaned. I had read and reviewed their first fun little collection of gross-out Bigfoot stories, Tabloid Terrors 1: I Was A Sasquatch Sex Slave. I enjoyed the collection and was tickled pink to have been asked to contribute to their second as yet untitled collection of gross-out sea monster stories.

Nevertheless, I was leery about picking this book up, because I have a limit to how much gross-out humor I can comfortably indulge in before it becomes a simple knee-jerk oh-golly-here-comes-another-crotch-rot-joke.

So I put off reading this tight little yarn.

More fool me.

When I finally picked this little yarn up it drew me in like a tidal undertow. I was compelled to burn through it – twice. Ristow can write. Make no mistake about that. This little book is definitely worth picking up and Ristow is definitely going to be a name to watch out for. He really captures the reality of put-upon teenage existence and still manages to tell a compelling story that will catch you by surprise just when you think you’ve figured it out.

I can’t tell you much more about this without yarn without unravelling it, so let’s leave it at this.

Pick it up. I recommend it.

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