Root and Shoot Book Cover
"The problem with any short story collection is always sustaining the reader's interest from one story to the next. These stories succeed in doing just that. They are touching and witty and if not exactly "humorous," despite the mirthless chuckle of recognition many so often evoke, reminders of our own worst thoughts during those three–a.m. bouts of insomnia — human and in that sense affirming.""
The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice Book Cover
"Leslie's characters are all memorable and distinct, from his grandmother and aunts and ne'er-do-well cousins and uncles to even the more incidental ones such as Willie the boatman (“I'll have to come back this way to hear the rest of your stories, young sir.”) and Marta's backbiting co-workers in the town of Misery. They are all vivid and eccentric. The only “normal” character, in fact, is Tommy, the orphan, a self-described “good boy.” We trust his voice, but then in the end even he cautions us that he is a liar - a teller of tall tales, indeed!""
Sibs Book Cover
"One of Leslie’s great strengths—what really makes these stories work—is his ability to write a startling variety of characters. Whether he writes of a drug-addled young man who drifts into a commune in “Joy Pasture” or an elderly woman whose pride and joy is the comfort of the guests at her bed-and-breakfast in “Let Me Go,” his characters are believable.""
Madre Book Cover
"Leslie has a poet's keenness for words, their metaphorical resonance, and this is evident in his spot-on titles. A good title is like a symbol, capturing the essence of a narrative, its implications."
"Believers takes us into darker and more fantastic realms than any of Leslie's previous collections. Each story focuses on a belief system, or on a circumstance, which leads the characters on a journey or quest for truth. But what they find is not always pleasant or satisfying. Happy endings are in short supply. The volume seems a departure from Leslie's usual haunts of small town America, but the tight focus on characters is present as usual and the book yields some interesting reads...""
Reverse Negative
"With 58 stories tightly packed in this slim volume all you need do is turn a page to enter another of his compact little worlds. If you like the MICRO and FLASH forms it's certain you'll discover a number that amuse, provoke, or startle." — Craig Snyder
"Fans of classic cars may enjoy these stories for their authentic feel—fans of the short story for the characters, some of them memorable. Either way, Drivers makes a mark with it's simple, relevant themes and the whisper, faintly heard, of the lonely American highway, folding in on itself the million dreams of all the drivers with their hands tightly gripping the wheel." —
Rants & Raves
"In his debut collection of short fiction, Nathan Leslie delivers a dark and scathing portrait of contemporary American society...Rants and Raves offers nothing less than a portrait of hell, a picture of an America about to implode." —
A Cold Glass of Milk
"Leslie captures us in this Being John Malkovich style possession of another's life with the informal, almost rambling style of the character's thoughts. The stream of consciousness method lends a feel of genuine, talking to a buddy communication, rather than the neatly trimmed, formal dialogue of standard fiction. Now you're probably thinking; so why would I keep reading? I can go down to the coffee shop, or call my mother if I want to hear someone real ramble on about their life. The answer is imagery, and brilliant writing." — Adrienne Jones