Whenever I read what I look for most, is that the writer gives me a sense of life of their subject. I became convinced that that is the best way to look at stories ever since reading ‘The Great Gatsby’ and the line ‘it was said that Daisy Buchanan spoke quietly just so people would lean into her’. In that novel, little happens but much is conveyed about the dramatis personae.
Dan Ryan with his first collection of stories ‘Kamiya Bar & Other Stories’ (he is a noted photographer, this is his first mainly literary work) shows himself to be a great storyteller, on par with Scott Fitzgerald. From the outset with ‘Kamiya Bar’ Ryan sets the tone as a writer who loves characters and their stories. For evidence of this please read ‘Kamiya Bar’ or ‘Henry’s Jug of the Last’.
There is also and other worldly character to Ryan’s stories that reminds one of Philip K Dick or George Orwell, and for evidence of that read the ‘The Pen’, ‘Very, Very Brightly’ or ‘Wyatt Earp in Colma’.
I recommend anyone who loves reading stories to read his book.