Sometimes Heaven Is Overrated!
Challenges of the Gods proves a powerful
start to a captivating new series......
These compelling stories huddle around the twitching candle flame of real life. The simple, unpretentious writing turns an honest eye toward the grit and grace of ordinary people making decisions in the context of their relationships, good and bad and in between. The stories touch on love gone sideways, love rediscovered, and love everlasting. A strong sense of place, a subtle use of language, and a captivating pace (sometimes without action) dominate throughout—as do lead characters who are richly realized despite a brevity of words. Indeed, the work strikes a forbidding balance between sharing and withholding nuggets of insight. Stories like these can twist you unexpectedly, and stay with you a good long while.
A collection of miniature marvels, A Bigger Piece Of Blue might be a debut release for Dan T Cox but the quality and originality of his stories are simply superb. The short story is a slippery genre and hard to master but Cox is proof that this splintered genre is as vibrant and dynamic as ever with his prose exploring such disparate topics as anguish, fear, joy, love and the search for meaning in our lives. Stylistically and thematically there are undeniable hints of Hemingway and Murakami with Cox exhibiting more craft in a brief few pages than many of his long fiction contemporaries will realize in a lifetime. Each story here is earnest, visually powerful and authentically engaging but it’s in tone and insight that Cox’s mastery lingers. From George Howard's story in Ten Years Dead, “George was forty-seven by then, and his heart pumped an emptiness throughout, a ghost blood.” To The Enemy Of Swagger, “Like Marlene Dietrich without the accent. It was one of those voices that suggested you already knew one another/” There is an intensity in his brevity and a lightness of touch that plays less to the loftier questions of his chosen subjects than to the more intimate stories of the individuals they encompass and on this level he ensures there’s something here for every one of his readers.
A simply superb collection of stories from an exciting new voice in contemporary short fiction. Dan T Cox is definitely an author to watch and A Bigger Piece Of Blue is recommended without reservation.
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Dan T. Cox was born in 1953 in Corvallis, Oregon. He grew up in Oregon’s North Santiam Canyon, earned a journalism degree from the University of Oregon, became part of Portland’s advertising creative community, and now lives in Ridgefield, Washington. His short stories have appeared in literary journals such as Weber Studies and Skyline. A Bigger Piece of Blue: Stories is his debut book.
“It’s daunting to offer up a debut book of short stories to the reading public,” said Cox. “But I believe it can be equally daunting for book lovers to face their own secret feelings that get triggered to life by something or someone portrayed in good stories. After all, we all get to face the music sooner or later when it comes to our relationships. We all make decisions in the context of those relationships. And we all face but one ultimate question: did I decide wisely? That’s what the book explores.”