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Little Bridget and the Flames of Hell Paperback – February 1, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc. (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161434910X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1614349105
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,750,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
At times we come across work by an author unknown to us and the impact is so intense that it leaves us wondering why this is a first encounter. Terence Clarke is that sort of writer. Look up information about him and as important as he is there is not a lot written about him. Where was he born? His style in this superb collection of short stories LITTLE BRIDGET AND THE FLAMES OF HELL is so Irish in poignancy and quality that he must have Irish blood in his veins (think John Banville, Seamus Haney, Colm Tóibín, James Joyce). But his brief bio states only that `Terence Clarke is a novelist, journalist, professional editor and filmmaker. He lives in San Francisco. Terence Clarke has written several critically acclaimed novels. He is a prolific and much-published short-story writer and an accomplished translator of writing of every sort from Spanish to English. He has written for corporate business and for television and video, as well has having ghostwritten non-fiction books and book proposals for a number of others. He has been called "an inspired -- and inspiring -- editor". `

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.
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Format: Paperback
[Full disclosure: I consider Terry to be a friend, and I am going to write an acclamatory review. But I'm writing these words because I believe them to be true and worth writing, and not simply because Terry is my friend.)

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.
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