There is a palpable sense, throughout Come West and See, of self-exile. This can come about through geography, due to the isolation of its primary setting. But more significantly, many of Loskutoff’s characters are marked by a self-inflicted psychological exile as well ... The strongest characters in this book are the ones who are most adrift, most ready to latch onto whatever comes next, and this makes them both tragic and dangerous. They have a keen sense of their own separation from an America that is leaving them behind ... And though the collection is an unsettling one, it never achieves that tone cheaply. Loskutoff could easily have played his interior northwest characters for shock value, showing them in a condescending light. But to his credit, he doesn’t take the easy way out. He has an eye for how landscapes shape people and how people shape themselves through the decisions they make and unmake. The characters of Come West and See possess an urgency that gives them weight and consequence, even if most of them are adrift.
Gifted at inhabiting his outsiders and resisters, Loskutoff is also capable of portraying the vulnerability of new parenthood with grace ('Stay Here'). A unique and thoughtful evocation of a past, present, and future West, by a writer whose powerful new voice deserves our attention.
There’s blood. Sadism. Whiskey. Dobermans. Characters with names like Spud, Cass, True and Briar. Minus any supernatural elements, Loskutoff’s is a gothic West ... Fans of Cormac McCarthy and Russell Banks will find plenty to like in Loskutoff's fresh voice and keen instincts for drama. There's a dry wit behind the venom ... And although the narration occasionally commits minor sins of over-explanation, the language is crisp and often thrilling in its plainspoken eloquence.