Book Reviews: Bloodshot Stories by Jeff P. Jones
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Advanced Praise for Bloodshot Stories
You want it darker? Jeff P. Jones carries on in the trajectory that runs from Kafka through Philip K. Dick to Cormac McCarthy (with a sprinkling of John Barth thrown in). Whether inviting the reader to comb through the dank stacks of a Stalin archive, or sweat inside the soldered-closed cab of a post-apocalyptic dump truck, or become an atom splitting from the inside, or a single brain dispersing into the universe—these brilliantly researched and deeply imagined stories are never the expected. A stunning collection.
— Janet Burroway, author of Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (ninth edition)
Jeff P. Jones discovers the compelling themes of his Bloodshot Stories in wildly various locations, but always on the dark side. We read about a zombie on the high plains, the wide-ranging effects of an atomic explosion, a researcher examining Stalin’s early life to find his origins as a serial killer, a dying atheist’s grim final letter to his daughter, an old woman recalling her life while holding her pulsing heart in her hand. The subjects are mysterious and morbid but the prose is beautiful, and there are no missteps in this powerful and impressive collection.
— Ron Hansen, author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Hitler’s Niece
Lyrically written and poignantly detailed, Bloodshot Stories immerses us in the world of fable, fairy tale, and the grotesque. The characters in this wildly imaginative collection are driven by an urgency toward fates they can neither escape nor resist. In the tradition of the masters, from Poe to Conan Doyle to Neil Gaiman, Jones’s ability to marry the strange to the familiar, horror to the mundane, results in fantastic narratives that defy chronology and plant us firmly in a state of wonder.
— Kim Barnes, author of In the Kingdom of Men
The boundaries between the living and the dead are dissolved, and resolved. Jeff Jones writes with passion and wonderful intelligence about the many characters who move through his wintery landscapes, wrestling with the human condition. Bloodshot is a brilliant collection.
— Margot Livesey, author of Mercury and The Flight of Gemma Hardy