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Little Bridget and the Flames of Hell Paperback – February 1, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
So we depend on just the stories at hand as a basis of judgment. And what an inimitable collection this is. As the author has stated, `I consider it a privilege -- although it came as a big surprise to me to learn about it -- that I have written one of the very few novels that exist about the Irish in San Francisco. `Little Bridget and The Flames of Hell' is a collection of short stories that carries on that theme. Every story has something to do with the relationship between the Irish-Irish and the Irish-Americans in contemporary San Francisco. This continues to be a very active relationship, since immigrant Irish are once again quite evident in this city.Read more ›
Years ago, when I was a college undergraduate who dabbled in theater, I read that the difference between a skilled and a novice actor, is nowhere more clear than when they are asked to portray the state of being drunk. The simple, and wrong approach, is to mimic the mannerisms of a drunkard. The real art, is to recognize that what makes a drunk person act the way they do, is their struggle to pretend NOT to be drunk, and the the challenge of portraying that on a stage, is to be a person who is trying very hard not to be who, and where, they are.
This is what came to my mind when I read Terry's latest collection of short stories. He writes about characters who are drunk - drunk with longing, drunk with bizarre obsessions, Americans drunk with an imaginary Ireland and Irish drunk with a fantasy of America. A girl who longs for a visit from the Virgin Mary, characters who are overcome with fascination for the life they might have had, but chose not to follow. And the real mark of Terry's gift when it comes to understanding character, is that he moves confidently into exactly the same space, as the actor who is showing us what it really means to be reeling drunk. It's an uneasy place, where life is never quite what we expected or hoped, but it might be where all art comes from - from the friction that is created when hopes, dreams, and wishes meet, and bump up against, reality.Read more ›