Read Blood a Cold Blue by James Claffey Online

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"James Claffey's debut spans the distance of continents and the gulf between memories. At times beautifully surreal then painfully stark, his stories reach into those parts of us that long to be gathered and made whole again."--Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mapmaker's War and The Mercy of Thin AirClaffey is a collector of moments that throb to life, shapes appear out of t"James Claffey's debut spans the distance of continents and the gulf between memories. At times beautifully surreal then painfully stark, his stories reach into those parts of us that long to be gathered and made whole again."--Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mapmaker's War and The Mercy of Thin AirClaffey is a collector of moments that throb to life, shapes appear out of the mist of memory as irreducible as the mystery of existence itself. Blood a Cold Blue is fueled by a masterful writer; powerful, unforgettable and mesmerizing. –Meg Tuite, author of Bound By Blue "In Blood a Cold Blue James Claffey infuses every story with rhythm and rot, doing things with words that I've never seen before and don't expect to again."--Ben Tanzer, author of You Can Make Him Like You and My Father's House...

Title : Blood a Cold Blue
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781935708919
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 174 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Blood a Cold Blue Reviews

  • Tara
    2018-11-11 03:21

    Simply put, I was blown away by the mastery of Claffey's writing. While I have read and admired some of his flash online and we have worked together on a collaborative flash piece, after reading through his vast storehouse of memory and imagination, I realize I still have much to learn about prose. At one point he writes: "I let go of the sound--the kept vowels and consonants of grief." In another story, the Christian ladies in his church begin to move their mouths "in beautiful lipsticked ovals, rose and cherry and pale pink, the words like released butterflies, floating up to the stained-glass ceiling."What Claffey does best is to find those vowels and consonants and mix them together in vivid and unexpected ways to highlight our grief, fear, and small triumphs; and like the itinerant storytellers of Old Ireland, he releases his words into the world, asking little, giving much.

  • Samuel Snoek-Brown
    2018-11-12 05:18

    This is a stunning collection of ... words? Frankly, it's hard to know quite what to call these beautiful pieces -- part flash fiction, part vignette, part poetry, each little piece in the collection is a Van Gogh painting of words, lush and vibrant and dense with emotion. And while it's sometimes hard to know what to call any given piece, and some can leave you staring at the page in abject confusion, it's the kind of confusion wrought of the deepest mysteries, the vertigo of a language lofted high -- the way Claffey crafts each perfect sentence will have you tilting your head and circling the piece for days, trying to figure it out the way you would try to decipher a sculpture.Blood a Cold Blue is a masterwork of the English language, and it should hold a place of honor on any wordsmith's bookshelf.

  • Scott Waldyn
    2018-12-07 03:12

    'Blood a Cold Blue' is a collection of short stories best read carefully. Seriously, slow down. Don't rush through it. Sit back, grab a strong drink, and let the beautiful prose wrap around you. The author, James Claffey, is honestly one of the best masters of the writing craft I've had the pleasure of reading. He toys with his prose, and each piece reflects a different mechanic he's playing with. And it comes off wonderfully. Eloquent at times. Visceral and pulse-pounding at other times. Though short, his pieces convey an emotion, rhythm and grace that takes years of practice to achieve. Some master it. Others hop off the train too early. In Claffey's case, he's ascended the proverbial mountain of enlightenment with his craftsmanship. But don't take that as me saying he's looking down on us all. Oh no, far from it. He's in the muck with us, wallowing around, getting a feel for it and writing about it. He's just found the perfect words to fit in the perfect places, built whole sentences I couldn't even conjure on my best days.

  • Pat Pujolas
    2018-11-17 01:12

    Here's what I can tell you about James Claffey: he's a wise man, he's a kind man, and he's one hell of a writer. There are stories here that made me question what a story is; sentences that made me question what a sentence is. And this is one book where the cover image bleeds through the entire collection, with recurring themes and motifs, love and sorrow, poverty and beauty. I'm not a big fan of flash fiction, but I can tell you this, I'm a HUGE fan of James Claffey. And I can't wait to read his next one. Highly Recommend.

  • Christopher Allen
    2018-11-11 22:32

    As I move through these finely wrought stories, a larger narrative takes shape, image for image, from Death’s lost battle with Birth to Death’s ineluctable reprisal. The purport of Blood a Cold Blue is nothing short of the well-examined life: a provocative, often grim and always honest, dissection of humanity.An image-rich, compact and fragmented style nudges Claffey’s prose toward poetry in so many of these pieces. Bared of its grammatical clothing, the author’s more poetic prose is like the nude human form: stripped down to its essentials—this last bit stolen from Claffey’s “Liver Spots.” Here’s what I mean:“Yellow stripes. A curtain. Summer dress. Strawberry blonde.Remind me of years ago. Thinner. Prettier. Not much older.Been there, seen that, walked the streets. Nice to put contextto abstraction. Young. Not so young. A beach, sand, toes, shineof sun, the hills pretty distant, your skin quite pale.”(from “Jam Jar”)This stop-motion photographic realism—just one technique in Claffey’s richly varied narrative palette—intensifies the resonance of each fragmented moment. Most of the over 80 pieces of sudden fiction in the collection examine life through the realist’s lens; yet Claffey certainly does not limit himself to realism.A bird trapped in a boy’s ribcage, a woolly mammoth in a post-apocalyptic basement, the Kafka-esque insect in “Carapace”—these occasional moments of magical realism lend balance to an otherwise elegiac collection. Elegiac. Yes, many stories in the collection are; but these are not “fabulist passages of an Irish childhood” (“The Tearing of Skin”). They are hauntings “illuminating every fear”: worried recollections of bedwetting, illness and the subtle presence of tyranny.Claffey’s work is not merely an exhaustive examination of life, but also quite a specific treatment of life’s assault on the human body—the heart, the brain, the liver, the kidneys, the bones and in particular the ribcage—as if Claffey is presenting life as corporeal punishment for our sins, and the author leaves no part of the body unmolested. From the skull to the toes, his characters are made to endure the inescapable misery of life and the rigid hand of Mother Church.The various images of the Mother in these stories are particularly harsh, bound to a stark Irish interpretation of Christianity: punitive, cold and superstitious—though Claffey treats the latter much less than other Irish writers I’ve read. These images are counterpoised by a gentler character: a nurturing woman, who feeds the narrator with a spoon-like arm in “Privilege,” who comes in dreams to give comfort, and who ultimately becomes The Virgin Mary. A reconciliation of sorts with both Mam and Mother Church? Maybe, but it’s only my reading of “My Mother’s Hands”; you’ll have your own.The collection will compel you to think—maybe overthink—about corporeal decay, the deterioration of relationships, the unthinkable separation of religion and the archetype of Mother, and, yes, Ireland—oh, and of course the semiotics of birds.Originally published at Books at Fictionaut

  • Ben
    2018-11-16 00:26

    Read it. And blurbed it, yo."In Blood a Cold Blue, James Claffey infuses every story with rhythm and rot, doing things with words that I've never seen before and don't expect to again."

  • Pamela
    2018-12-07 02:05

    James Claffey is a writer's writer--he's a writer one studies. His stories are works one dissects for craft. I found myself rereading sentences two, three times, after I had completed a story once through--you were often surprised by the hidden germ from which the story arose. This collection of flash fiction felt more like prose poetry to me. His imagery and unique approach to storytelling was so vivid, and sometimes jarring, that I found myself dreaming about bits from the text every time I read it at bedtime. It's a beautiful, gritty, unusual collection.

  • Peter
    2018-12-03 05:19

    Full of lovely, imaginative phrasing and vivid imagery, the pieces in Blood a Cold Blue are often closer to prose poetry than short stories. Claffey's lonely, often forlorn characters are full of longing and regret and haunted by the past, which might otherwise make for gloomy reading were it not for the beauty of the prose. A finely-crafted debut from a writer I'm eager to read much more from.

  • Robert Vaughan
    2018-11-26 02:20

    This fine collection of short fiction blew me away. The writing is lush, gorgeous, refined and deep. The stories have a lilting relatable touch, and the sadness is palpable. I had the great fortune of reading with James in Santa Fe in January, 2015. What an honor to hear some of these stories live, and to have lively conversations about writing, a walkabout, and so much more.

  • Ronlyn
    2018-12-02 02:07

    My blurb for his stunning book: "James Claffey's debut spans the distance of continents and the gulf between memories. At times beautifully surreal then painfully stark, his stories reach into those parts of us that long to be gathered and made whole again."--Ronlyn Domingue, author of The Mapmaker's War and The Mercy of Thin Air

  • Shannon
    2018-12-02 04:28

    Claffey's poetic prose of beauty and rawness flows in his collected stories in BLOOD A COLD BLUE. These are brief flashes of life and death, with a repetition that makes the small worlds familiar.

  • Epiphany Ferrell
    2018-11-30 01:24

    review coming