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Rick's Place Paperback – April 27, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

You relive your past in each day, in each moment, and sometimes invisible, like a ghost seeing what was once desired. And it's funny when you realize it, when you become aware you're this ghost, and like through some tunnel of ice, you look out--focused--all peripherals lost, until you almost think you know too much, and only that one seed of doubt to distrust the whole menagerie, and the truth there... And of course you look away, because you must--it's the only way to be involved in it once again--to come back to what the other sees in you--that reflection in your memory, and the truth from where you were traces an indelible history, with facets to every moment, becoming the past that you live. A response to your fate.

About the Author

Jason Akley has a BS degree from Tulane University in physics and mathematical economics. He's the author of Crossroads from Damascus, Lazarus, two children's books, Sweet Pea and the Bumblebee and The Candlestick, as well as a collection of novellas, Salted with Salt and The Altar of Silence. Currently he's enjoying spending time with his wife and two daughters and hopes to continue engaging readers with thoughtful stories.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (April 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432774085
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432774080
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,339,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As soon as I started reading this book, I could only think of my son. Now, that might sound strange, but this is the sort of book and the sort of place that he would write/visit. Rick's Place was a haven for wanderers as much as for regulars, but most of all, it was a place where people could spend their time and talk about their lives without expectation or judgment. The setting is what attracted me, but the writing style is what kept me reading. The blend of short story style with poetry was brilliant, and it didn't seem contrived or intentionally effete; it came off as natural and flowed like a strange stream of consciousness from the author's mind. Different moments and subjects inspired him to alter his writing style; the mood of the bar and the tone of the conversations literally shifted the storytelling style. I thought it was a spectacular approach to writing such a strange and unforgettable book. I am not usually one for modern or alternative styles of narrative structure, but this worked on all the levels. There were a few moments that I stumbled (I can count them on one hand), but that is very likely my own fault as a reader not quite "getting it", and not a fault of the author for not handing it to me on a silver platter. I had to work a bit to appreciate and absorb what this book was all about, but it was worth the effort. I suggest you do the same. Akley's work will continue to make it into my reading lists.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've sat in these bars. I've met these people. I've felt lost among friends and embraced by strangers. Rick's Place may be considered an "experimental" book, but this is an experiment that happens in thousands of cafes, taverns, and dive bars all around the world. Lost wanderers mingle with those who have rarely left their bar stools, but there is no judgment, no significance, only the sharing of stories and ideas that can turn a rainy escape into a dingy bar into one of the most memorable experiences of your life. From the very beginning of this book, I knew that it would draw me in, and I was absolutely right. I have read some of Akley's other work, and am glad that I came across this sparkling example of his storytelling grace. He doesn't tell us about people; he shows us what their lives are made of. He doesn't allow us to peek in the window at their conversations; he puts us in the middle of them.

Readers that have lived long enough to experience trouble, sadness, joy, disappointment, pain, loss, and hope will find reflections of their hearts in these characters. Akley is an anthropologist of emotion, and he does a spectacular job of honestly transpose his discoveries onto the page. It's rare that an author can write a sentence that literally hits me in the gut, as though he had drug those words from my own mind, but Akley did it a dozen times in this book. He is able to truly capture the essence of a place, the soul of individuals that most people would simply walk past without seeing. He embraces the overlooked elements of existence and raises them to the same glorious level as the things most people put on pedestals. Banality is beautiful, in his estimation, and I hope he continues to turn his eye outwards and share his vision with his readers. Another sincere and unforgettable gem from Akley.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As another reviewer mentioned Akley is an author that grows onto you. He is an author that makes you want to read, love and learn everything he has written and everything he will write in the future. He is an excellent story teller and draws you into the world he is creating. "Rick's Place" is no different. Right from the start you feel like you are another member of the story, that you are living within his world and actually meeting these people in person. Another great book by an excellent author.
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Jason Akley grows on you, or grows into you, or at least makes you reconsider how stories can happen in a way that bathes the reader's mind with exquisite prose, as comfortable in stream of conscience ramblings about spaces or sounds or the other entries to senses. At the same time he can spin a story so palpably real that we are pulled into a timeframe and a place and a familiarity with characters so that metaphors and analogies simply seem right, seem natural, seem focused. He writes about historical ideas as reincarnated in his own character creations. So how did this Tulane graduate in physics and mathematical economics change partners to dance with a muse? Who cares? He did, and that is enough. . But to discover what the man is truly about it is necessary to read his books. He has the gift that imbues Bukowski's writings, the poetic balance of such poets as John Berryman, Allen Ginsberg, and Hart Crane, and the imagination and flights of fantasy that circle reality like few others writing today. Think Foer, Burroughs, etc. Jason Akley tells fine stories, yes, but it is in the bathing of his literate skills that provides the real pleasure of reading his experimentally designed work that makes him so extraordinary.

RICK'S PLACE is a tavern that became a church. That doesn't really matter because what Akley has created here is a gathering place for expressing a lot of idle conversations, musings, moments of quotations all revolving around a strange cast of tavern hangers - Jim, Cal, Angela, Poopsie, Billy, Jay, Cooper, Sam the writer, Patrick, Tom - and of course our narrator who is like an eardrum, taking in the mental meanderings and making them into a pixilated puzzle. `It's funny how you still can be in your own world though, how you see other people because of that.
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