Book review: Mud Season by Justin Grimbol

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Available from Amazon

“This book is about Upstate New York and marriage.”

I’m an unashamed fan of Justin Grimbol and his particular brand of poetry/fiction/slice-of-life. When I saw it was a free kindle promo for Atlatl Press I snapped it up real quick and bumped it to the top of my TBR pile. Now I think I’m almost up to date with Grimbol’s published works, with only his first book, Drinking Until Morning to go. Which I have on my kindle already, calling my name.

I feel like each review of Grimbol’s books go more-or-less the same way. His books have a distinct character about them which are humble and genuine and funny and sometimes self-deprecating, sometimes a little sad. As much as each book can be summed up in a similar fashion, I feel like what really makes Justin Grimbol stand out to me is that each book captures these same feelings in a distinct way from each of his other books. Mud Season is a collection of vignettes which paste together into a distinct painting of time and place. It captures memorable moments in life which work perfectly as individual snapshots and as a whole. It’s so easy to slip into a trance and read page after page, but I think the important part to remember is that this book works best when you take the time to savour each moment, soak in the scene, really feel it.

When I think about it, Mud Season (and I suppose quite a chunk of Grimbol’s work) draws parallels to poetic forms like the haiku, where you can spend as much time as you’d like losing yourself in the words, you can read into it as much as you’d like in order to get the most out of the writing as you can. This book is larger than its contents. Mud Season is a thing of beauty. There’s a wisdom to Grimbol’s writing which is refreshing and heartfelt. I can’t wait to see how he continues to grow and evolve as a writer, as he’s already defined his work as something out of the ordinary, something special.

Next review: Figures From the Undergrowth by Donald Armfield

Last review: Unremarkable by Ron Barton

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