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Talkin’ squirrel blues
Who speaks the most sense, a dead blues singer or a live squirrel? Moses McNamara isn’t sure.
After his girlfriend suddenly leaves him, Moses must rebuild his shattered life. His companions in this quest include a trendy squirrel, an elderly neighbour and a blues singer with six strings and a grudge.
Moses was never the world’s most motivated marketing copywriter. After a disastrous performance review, he feels lost in a career he hates, glaring at a cruel world through defeated eyes.
When his self-esteem is on the floor, Moses meets Floyd, a talkative squirrel who helps restore his confidence. He also consults his neighbour, Jesse, an old man with little patience for the young man’s martyr complex. And through it all, Moses listens to Fingers Flaherty’s songs. The melodic ranting of the belligerent bluesman helps Moses to keep his own problems in perspective.
Can Moses find a new love to help him forget the girlfriend who walked away? Or will the past always rattle in his brain like a half-remembered song? As his romantic quest becomes more complicated, Moses doesn’t always know whose advice to follow: the well-dressed squirrel or the dead blues singer.
Which one would you listen to?
Dimestore Avenue Blues
Jesse believes that the future will be better. One day, he’ll make up for all his mistakes and achieve perfection.
That belief had sustained him for most of his sixty-five years. It helped him get through the bad times, those days when the brandy failed to drown the sorrow and shame. When sleep unleashed painful memories that refused to fade.
He still has some bad days as he lives out his autumn years in Dublin. But his worst days were in New York in 1976. After that city had nearly crushed him, he’d fled to Dublin, a broken man. But he was determined to rebuild himself, brick by brick, improving day by day.
Back in the 1970s, Jesse was a successful young ad man on Madison Avenue. He’d succeeded because he was willing, indeed eager, to do anything to advance his career. He’d endure countless dinner parties where cloaks and daggers dangled behind the wine and cheese. He’d sleep with anyone who could bring him closer to his goals. And he’d punch those who stood in his way. It all seemed like a good plan, right up until the day he brought a pistol to work.
A Blanket of Blues
Everybody gets the blues sometimes. Fingers Flaherty had them all the time. He lived the blues and sang about his every ache.
Flaherty’s blues gave him nothing but hardship, sore feet and a shattered heart. Every one of his songs told a fraught story. His characters walked many a dark path and twisted lane on their troubled journeys.
And now they get to share their tales, wrapped in dark humour and a blanket of blues.
A collection of short stories inspired by Flaherty’s songs, A BLANKET OF BLUES presents its varied cast at turning points in their lives. Some yearn for change, whereas others seek self-improvement. And others want nothing more than a little peace of mind, even for just a few hours. Each character struggles through the daily conflicts and irritations of his or her life, fighting back with proud confidence, caustic wit, mule-headed defiance and a dash of reckless optimism.
Each story raises its own questions. How can Moses make a connection with any woman when they all think he’s an alien microbe? Why is Brendan Behan laughing at a hapless father as he makes his way to the nightclub to find his hooligan son? Will God listen to a hypocrite’s prayer and welcome a bitter troll into heaven? What ghosts haunt Mad Mick on his midnight rambles? Is it safe to borrow money from Harry the Hobbit during a recession? Why does Sophia want to insert her beret-clad boyfriend into a guillotine? Can Chai make peace with the dead mother, who only adopted him because there were no rabbits left in the pet shop? And can any of these characters find the positive mental attitude to beat their Irish blues?
As Flaherty strums those dark chords on his battered guitar, let his edgy lyrics take you on a journey through Dublin’s back lanes and bright streets, its dingy pubs and affluent apartments, its sweaty clubs and freezing hallways. A city where there’s music in every argument. Where every stranger wants to tell you a tale. And where everybody sometimes loses their way. Even the most philosophical taxi drivers.
A city that Fingers Flaherty wrapped around himself. A city that became his blanket of blues.