Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
74 Pages
Reviewed on 08/13/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jim Liston grew up in the wild 70s in St. Louis, Missouri. A musician all of his life, he spent most of his early adult years traveling as a drummer in rock bands. He currently plays the mandolin and is part of a bluegrass duo with his wife.

He has been writing short stories and flash fiction on his blog,, and the positive feedback has encouraged him to publish his first book, Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories. He is currently working on his next book, which will be published in December 2013.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories is a collection of Jim Liston's tales and vignettes. The title story, Invasion of Privacy, is about Jim Gotweb, a computer geek who has a little computer store which he runs with his wife until she's stabbed and left for dead by a robber. Jim got a look at the robber as he was leaving the store; a man with a spider tattoo on his face. Devastated and bereft, Jim decides that he's going to find the man even if the police can't, or won't.

He refreshes his rusty programming skills and sets up a program that allows him to spy on people via their webcams. His program soon has him quite busy with an amazing number of homes to watch, and he's even helped out some victims of abuse and other crimes as a result of his surveillance. He's getting pretty stretched for time, however, and decides to look for an employee to handle the counter trade. Roger, a young geek, is soon working the counter and helping him with his program. Just as Jim despairs of ever finding his wife's murderer, things start to happen.

Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories is a remarkable collection of short stories that grab you and don't let go until the end. Some are reminiscent of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone; a mix of horror, fantasy and the absurd. Others, like Invasion of Privacy, are engrossing adventures spiced with a bit of mystery. They all share a few attributes: amazing characters whom you quickly come to know and care about, and story-lines that catch you up in the action with the first few words. Jim Liston's stories are great reading and highly entertaining.

J. Gunnar Grey

A surprisingly good collection of stories for 99 cents. The title story is a decent-sized novella and an interesting angle on a modern if questionable method of detection, without delving into forensics nor taking the computereze technobabble to ridiculous lengths. The others are flash fiction, short enough to read while waiting in line or at the doctor's office, powerful enough to stick with me the next day.

"Carl and Tabitha" is downright brilliant. Others gave me that wonderful creepy feeling that I know what's coming, including "The Tourist Attraction," "The Show," and "Tag, You're It!" Still others leave me thinking and feeling with the characters, including "Ronnie and the Smoke Bomb" and "The Doctor's Pet Fly."

I'm still thinking about the stories the next day.

Gisela H. Sedlmayer

Each of the stories had its own fascination and attraction. I have to say, that I enjoyed each of them, even though I have never read stories like them before. Some of them I had to smile. Particular the second story "The Tourist Attraction." Until the end, I didn't know what was coming. Brilliantly written, as all the stories are.

A very brilliant and enjoyable collection. The stories are still going round my head. Very good, Jim Liston. Oh yes, they deserve 5 star

Lidia LoPinto

The short story is a particularly difficult but rewarding art form that I appreciate as a writer of novels, and this anthology did not disappoint me. Short stories require an economy of words that is so relevant to today's fast moving Internet world and so they are back and if you love hearing interesting and clever stories, this is the book for you!

Read each story on your cell phone as you commute and you'll emerge from your trip with a smile on your face. I absolutely loved The Doctor's Pet Fly, and the last story, Ronnie and the Smoke Bomb, exposed the writer's sensitivity and ability to capture in few words and with well chosen dialog the essence of the character, something that is so difficult to achieve.

The first story, Invasion of Privacy, was longer and could be a TV episode. Totally satisfying and the use of the first person narrative was very effective. The device of using computers to invade privacy and simply the geek mentality reminded me a bit of Stieg Larsson's work and I found the story very engaging. These stories are snapshots of the human condition, and they make you think days after reading them.

A well crafted set of short stories that is true to the tradition of short fiction, and I give it five stars. I hope to see more from the author Jim Liston on Kindle.