Salsa Nocturna

06 Jan
Salsa Nocturna by Daniel Jose Older

Salsa Nocturna by Daniel Jose Older


This review is long overdue. I didn’t keep track of how many books or stories I read or listened to in 2012; but this book was one of my favorites. The only stories I loved more, or read more times, were ones I worked on as editor.

This is an interconnected series of short stories by Daniel Jose Older. Besides being a writer, he’s a musician, song writer (both with Ghost Star), and paramedic. He calls New York City home and the love he has for the city, as well as her inhabitants, is evidenced in every word. And those words….swoon. His prose is tight, full of imagery, and wonderfully evocative.

Usually after I finish reading something, I archive it immediately because my kindle has WAY too many things on it waiting to be read. This book is the exception. I’ve read the entire thing twice and some stories more than that. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Magdelena. Or the title story. Or maybe The Collector… See, this is why I keep going back to re-read them.

I suppose I should try to explain the premise of these stories. They are a mix of ghost stories: the supernatural, urban fantasy, and crossing between the worlds of the living and the dead (the dead have their own bureaucracy, if you didn’t already know). There are multiple main characters and the stories sort of oscillate between them. Some are creepier than others (like those damn dolls), some made me cry, and some made me laugh out loud.

His words mambo, pulling you in close to dance you through the story until you are left gasping for air at the end, wondering what just happened and so glad it did.

You can get your copy here. His accidental poem (taken with permission from a tweet of his) is here. And, you can read his blog here.

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Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Book and Podcast Reviews


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