“Rifkin’s characters are ruined, desperate creatures, comic and soulful, perpetually in line for a ladle full of redemption.” —Hammer Museum

“Rifkin is what might have happened had Nathanael West lived on and been even more talented . . . . Exquisite.” —Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal review, March 15, 2016
"An original and funny/sad compilation . . .  'Pool Man' chronicles, with humor and pathos, the author's adventures trailing after a Southern California pool man.  'Consider the Richardsons' compares his own attempt (despite being Jewish) at living a Bible-based Christian marriage with [that of] an evangelical pastor acquaintance. . . The elegiac 'E Luxo So (It's Only Luxury)' details growing up in Encino, CA, in the wake of his parents' divorce.  The rest of the collection is equally engaging, but these three pieces are excellent examples of the craft."  —Library Journal

Los Angeles Review of Books, March 9, 2016

Q&A with Deborah Kalb, February 23, 2016

San Francisco Examiner review, April 24, 2014

San Jose Mercury News review, Sept. 10, 2014

Library Journal review, April 1, 2014
“Folksinger Burgan (Folk Songs & Stories), with assistance from Rifkin (creative writing, California State Univ., Long Beach; Signal Hill: Stories), recounts his life as a founding member of the San Francisco electro-folk band We Five ("You Were on My Mind"). This memoir brings together his experiences at a time, the 1960s and 1970s, when the folk and rock music cultures were undeniably going through a transformation. Regardless of your prior knowledge of music or desire to read explicitly about We Five, this book tactfully delves much deeper than band history. It integrates stories of growth and maturity of a group of musicians from teens through adulthood with tales of drugs, religion, relationships, love, and discrimination as seen through Burgan's eyes. The final chapters include recent updates on the band and its members; for several it was the final days of life among longtime friends. VERDICT This excellent, well-written chronicle of the folk-rock revolution from an active band member of that time will be enjoyed by general readers and fans of music memoirs.” —Elizabeth Berndt-Morris, Central Michigan Univ. Lib., Mount Pleasant

Musoscribe review, Oct. 23, 2014

Shindig Magazine review, November 2014
"Written with insight and wit, Burgan's empathy chiming perfectly with those heady times."

Connie Martinson interviewed me about Signal Hill on “Connie Martinson Talks Books,” February 2004

Suzi Weissman interviewed We Five's Jerry Burgan and me about the seeds of folk-rock contained in a JFK project to promote the space race, and Jerry sang three songs in studio.

District Weekly Profile by Dave Wielenga, April 29, 2009

LA Times Profile by Lynell George, Jan. 6, 2004

L.B. P-T Profile by John Canalis, Jan. 18, 2004

Grunion Gazette Profile by Jenny Lee Rice, Jan. 22, 2004

Los Angeles Times Book Review
"...hauntingly beautiful, the work of a gifted storyteller with a sharp eye but a tender heart."

Time Out, NY
"Rifkin writes with such startling originality that you have to believe he'll be the next darling of the literary world."

Kirkus Reviews, *Starred Review
"Stories... suggest that Rifkin is what might have happened had Nathanael West lived on and been even more talented ... Exquisite."

OC Weekly
"...[Y]ou've got to be ready to read Rifkin. The only guarantee is his craftsmanship, which inevitably is exquisite."

Steve Erickson, Review
"As incisive, eloquent and definitive a collection of L.A. stories as any since David Freeman's A Hollywood Education. A Hollywood Education nearly twenty years ago, but from the other side of the psychic tracks, where desperation runs parallel with wisdom."

Martha Sherrill
"Alan Rifkin's stories have a magnificent plaintive beauty. Not since Flannery O'Connor have so many misfits prevailed."

San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"The five relaxed and quietly funny stories in 'Signal Hill' describe the lives of modern Los Angelenos as webs of happenstance and muted catastrophe."

Austin Chronicle
Signal Hill ... so oddly out of place and disconnected, unique in fact from the rest of the city's metropolitan sprawl. Likewise, the characters that inhabit the four short stories and the novella."

Jill Ciment
"Alan Rifkin's deeply felt short stories carefully balance faith and emptiness with both wit and wonder. A terrific collection."

Jerry Stahl
"A spot-on, weirdly life-affirming and terrifically written batch of stories. I could read this guy all day."

"Rifkin combs L.A and environs for characters usually omitted from the national consciousness: neither drug dealers nor movie moguls, though lit by reflections from the glossy industry surrounding them."