Joseph A. Pinto

barflypoet & author of dark fiction

(all reviews shared verbatim from their respective sources)


reviews for A Distilled Spirit

5 out of 5 stars : September 19, 2020 via Amazon – Great debut of work!

An incredible debut of work! Very heartfelt and deep. It will make you want to pour a drink along with him and feel as deeply as he has. Can’t wait for the next book!

from K.J. Simmill’ book review, July 29, 2020 ( found at: )

Joseph Pinto’s A Distilled Spirit: pained prose from a bar focuses on the author’s observations, musings, and discoveries from his everyday life put to pen to reach an audience who will want to engage, understand, and embrace the words within. There are many poems of altering lengths, styles, and musings which ensure there will be something to everyone. But don’t expect rainbows and happiness, these poems speak of pain, anger, and the darker sides of the human emotional scale.

Joseph Pinto’s A Distilled Spirit: pained prose from a bar is a collection of dark and brooding poetry that conjures images of pain, despair, hatred, and impatience, a lot of things that can be associated with late-night drinking.  I am not normally one to read poetry but I picked this up on a friend’s recommendation and found the content certainly stirred something within me. These poems give insight into a delicate psyche as thoughts, conversations, and observations are brought to the forefront and twisted to the author’s own interpretations. Written in different styles with individual topics and focuses there will be something everyone can relate to, whether it is snap judgements made through observation, frustrations, or desperately seeking solitude amidst interruptions. There is a raw, unfiltered honesty to these poems that show the worst of people and harsh truths unleashed by human’s darker aspects and captured by a poison pen that encourages the reader to dare to look into their own soul with such brutal honesty. Definitely, a darker read filled with pain, torment, hatred, and anger, but there is a softer side too, something almost hopeful in places.



5 out of 5 stars from Ryan Kennedy, May 25, 2020 via Amazon –  Perfect Meditations 

This is a beautiful collection and even the shortest of pieces offers a pause for thought and a mediation on what makes people tick. Recommended.



5 out of 5 stars from Jennifer McGeehan, May 20, 2019 via Amazon – In the mind of an observer

Each poem that this author wrote goves you a sensible thought process we go through when we observe the world around us. A distilled spirit hits the mark on people watching with finesse and insight.



5 out of 5 stars from Sabina Gabrielli Carrara, December 28, 2018 (paperback edition) via Amazon – A mirror for whoever wants to look into their pain

A collection of everyday pain everybody can rely on and masterly penned in verses .
You don’t need to love poetry to love what is in these pages.
A journey inside the lost soul but also inside the one of the reader.



4 stars out of 5 stars from Christina Strigas, September 22, 2018 (paperback edition) via Amazon – Great Poetry Book


This is a great book to read if you love poems that punch you in the guts. There are some micro poems and longer pieces. In a modern style, the poems are refreshing and dark. Joseph Pinto writes about heartache and breaking up with a lover; he expresses his feelings with compassion, pain, and anger. I read this on my kindle and took my time with it. I read it slowly and over a long period of time. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys love poetry with a dark edge. For a debut poetry collection from a horror writer, I would say this is a great poetry book with a modern verse.



5 stars out of 5 stars from Sheri, July 26, 2018 (paperback edition) via Amazon –  Shadows

I found a sense of peace and connection to my own pain, reading the eloquent words Joseph Pinto has put together in this collection. When one is lost in the pains of life, there are different roads we can travel. Is it where one wants to be?…Do we need to continue in the pain?…can we rise above it and conquer it?…these words make you dig deeper into the shadows of our own minds, hearts, and souls. Thank you, Joseph, for provoking me to think!…



5 stars out of 5 stars from Pearl’s Book Reviews, June 29, 2018 (Kindle edition) via Amazon – Great reading! Definitely different and memorable

If you had asked me if I liked poetry, I would have told you no. I think those feeling stem from school classes and structure.
This was so much different and much more interesting!
These will stick with me.



5 stars out of 5 stars from GwynBRoss, June 10, 2018 (paperback edition) via Amazon – The only thing missing is I’m not on the other…

The only thing missing is I’m not on the other side of the room watching him do his thing. A Distilled Spirit is a gathering of responses of one man ever in his own skin and trying to prove he wants to know what that means albeit vicarious as an intention. These poems are real life in a watch from the other side of the room and learn something about humankind kind of way. Raw. Truthful. Unapologetic but with such a touch of gentleness it’s hard to imagine how he is able to achieve such a balance, such exquisite insight just by showing up and being alive in a place. How does he do it? I’m at the point where I need to rip out all the pages and paste them to my walls. Only so many earmarks can have a job in one book. I will never stop picking it up.



5 stars out of 5 from Diana Matisz, May 24, 2018 (Kindle edition) via Amazon – The reining in of emotion is not his style…

Have you ever found yourself sitting quietly somewhere and suddenly overhearing a private conversation? You don’t want to listen but the story is becoming so engaging that you can’t help but to become a willing, although distant, participant. This is “a distilled spirit”. The writing is raw and brutally honest. It also showcases the author’s vulnerabilities and flaws, his hopes, his anger, and his love. The reining in of emotion is not his style. But he does have a soft side, where his vulnerability shines, and those poems are my favorites. Read and enjoy this guilty little pleasure.



5 stars out of 5 from Kat, May 4, 2018 (paperback edition) via Amazon – “i don’t write like you do”

“i don’t write like you do” This line from “stripping down” says it all. This collection is like none I have read. It is visceral. Brutal in its honesty, with a dash of wit and tenderness. He can both eviscerate and soothe in one fell swoop, leaving you wanting more.



4 stars out of 5 from David S., April 11, 2018 (Kindle edition) via Amazon – It’s a form of writing I enjoy once in awhile

Occasionally I take a step away from my usual genres, because who doesn’t need a break from time to time. This time I took a break and read some poetry, yes you heard me correctly. It’s a form of writing I enjoy once in a while. When I get a chance to read a writer I’ve enjoyed before, I like to see what the author has to share. As with most poems I’ve read, they come from a deep and personal place in the writer’s heart. When I read the back of A Distilled Spirit, and it said “..conversations heard inside and outside my head”. I could get behind that, I’ve had many in my head that I wish I didn’t. It’s not always a good place to hang out. In A Distilled Spirit, Joseph Pinto pulls the curtain back and shows us his dark corners and hidden thoughts, or those conversations bouncing around in his head. Thoughts of disgust at the world, and how communication has broken down. If you take a moment to think and reflect on the words chosen, you will hear the message. Sadness about communication, lies, pain, and sometimes a few too many drinks. The following poems cut me deeply, ‘hand poised on knob’, which is nothing short of brutal. ‘high time’, and yes Joseph, I fully agree, and ‘down the drain’… ouch, that is sad and painful. I don’t claim to be an expert on poetry and many were beyond my understanding. Sometimes the subjects are too personal for anyone other than the author to understand. I strongly feel that if you have ever enjoyed poetry that makes you pause and think, plus cause emotions to come straight to the surface, then you will enjoy what Joseph Pinto is throwing down in A Distilled Spirit.



5 stars from Jenngwynn, April 5, 2018 (paperback format) via Amazon – Poignant….this will get you in the guts

Couldn’t put it down. Read and read again, I found too many favorites to choose one. Deliciously heart-wrenching.



5 stars from Angie, February 26, 2018 (paperback format) via Amazon – I LOVE this book

Bravo! I devoured this book. “keep it yourself” is one of my favorites. Each poem has its own feeling for me, I savor each one. I LOVE this book!



5 stars from an Amazon customer February 18, 2018 (paperback format) So honest, real and fun!

Such a fantastic, honest, fun book! Found so many favorite poems! It’s an easy read because he writes in such an open, honest way. Highly recommend, but you will defiantly need time to sit and read it all, because you won’t want to put it down!



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