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Blood a Cold Blue

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  12 reviews
"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


Claffey is a collector of moments that throb to life, shapes appear out of t
...more
Paperback, 174 pages
Published October 4th 2013 by Press 53
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4.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  24 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Tara
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: flash-fiction
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 ...more
Scott Waldyn
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
'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
...more
Samuel Snoek-Brown
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Christopher Allen
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 nu
...more
Pat Pujolas
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 hi ...more
Ben
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 re ...more
Peter
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
review coming
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“Nicotine addicted, persecuted, her day is a maddening circle of tea and biscuits, baking, smoking, the necessary fiction of the housewife.” 3 likes
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