Reviews by Mark S Menikos

Claire

by Leslie Burton Blades

You will probably not be able to admire these people. You almost certainly won't "like" them. (I didn't). But you will be moved by them.

I had never heard of Leslie Burton Blades, and would have missed the opportunity to become familiar with his work, which—as far as I can tell—appears to be limited to this novel, and a comedy play he co-authored with Milo Hastings.

This is an astonishingly powerful story. I was completely immersed in it. The premise appears at the top of this page. It should not spoil anything for anyone to say that a third character appears later on, and that the entire story revolves just around these three people. I was not surprised to discover that Blades worked on a play, because the emotional intensity and narrow focus make it easy to visualize the story on the stage, or indeed—as a movie.

Born of mining people in Colorado, Blades lost two fingers and the sight in both eyes at age 9 when on a dare from some playmates he set off a giant firecracker. This comes as no surprise when the complex and flawed personality of the blind "hero" of the story is gradually made clearer throughout.

You will probably not be able to admire these people. You almost certainly won't "like" them. (I didn't). But you will be moved by them.

Reviewed on 2009.11.02

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