Big Lonesome Review

Jim Ruland’s collection of stories, Big Lonesome, is reviewed in Las Vegas City Life.

It’s Ruland’s gleeful ability to stomp on icons that makes him fun to read and which gives his collection the flavor of being hit in the face with a stiff slam-pit elbow, but it’s his bone-serious looks at the wars we fight — both with guns and tanks and on the surface of our minds — that show the most promise. In particular, the lead story in the collection, “Night Soil Man,” about three zoo workers who must kill their animals before Nazi air-raids do the job for them. It’s a horrific and sad story, but ultimately shows the most humanity of any of Ruland’s 13 tales.