In The Distortions we glimpse a pageant of characters struggling to understand their lives after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Scarred by the last major war fought on European soil, the women and men of these stories question what such a violent past can mean in comfortable, capitalistic modern Europe.
A slippery creature ... A book that is at once an admirably honest and questionably composed portrait of the legacy of the Yugoslav wars in the twenty-first century ... He is at his best in depicting moments of casual violence that mirror the pervasive all-consuming reality of war. The stories range, temporally, from the time of the Yugoslav Wars themselves to the present, and throughout it is the cold honesty that gives The Distortions its power and poignancy ... The Distortions is a work of readily apparent truth, honesty, and significance. Consistently, The Distortions manages to neatly blend the everyday violence of life with quotidian concerns and affairs ... One cannot help but to be somewhat disappointed by the overall lack of risk-taking on the sentence level to be found at any point in Distortions. Linforth, for all his stark, crystalline honesty and willingness to explore the human realities of the postwar years in the former Yugoslavia through a myriad of voices, never changes speed in his use of point-of-view or technique ... We are never given direct access to the minds of our heroes and heroines, instead relying on neat, orderly, often rather titled summaries of emotions, thoughts, and memories in a way that is somewhat discordant with the overall theme and feel of the book. For the reader unconcerned with the goings-on in the slippery underworld of the sentence, however, The Distortions will prove to be a quite readable study of a region recovering from historic violence.
Powerfully probes the pain of those scarred by the Croat/Bosnian Serb War and its aftermath ... These meticulously constructed characters live beyond the text; their ambiguous fates invade our consciousness ... Toxic masculinity permeates these pages.
Chiseled, captivating ... The stories are often gloomy and unresolved ... With compassion and brutal honesty, the stories in The Distortions deal with how war tears people apart, but also with the stubborn resistance of those who search for redemption.