Blissfire by D.e.e.L
Indulge yourself with these ten stories surrounding the endless chase for bliss that we are all constantly running. Each story focuses on a character that is striving to find that happiness that will change everything. Some chase after their dreams, others need to fill the wounds of their hearts, and some even need to be reminded of who they truly are. From down into a bottle to writing under a bridge, bliss comes to us in many forms. Each story pushes and compels you into the next as you meet new people and learn their worlds of mind. Written in a poetic tone, this collection offers a read from the heart.
*I received a review copy as part of the blog tour.
Blissfire is a collection of ten short stories, written in a poetic and lyrical way. The author, D.e.e.L., said that he was chasing his own bliss while writing the stories, and it really felt that way. These stories are personal, gritty, and in some cases, hard to handle.
I really like the concept of this collection. It’s about finding yourself, and figuring out what makes you happy. What’s interesting is how in most of the stories, the narrator’s have very different concepts of what makes them happy.
In each of these stories, there are a lot of hard lessons learned, and the narrators go through a lot, sometimes emotionally, sometimes physically. Sometimes it felt a little over the top, and other times it felt like the stories came to too abrupt an end.
For example, in the story “Blissfire,” we learn that the narrator has left his family and spends his time trading sex for food at diners along the road. He sleeps in his van, but between getting sunburned and hurting his back, he decides at some point to spend money for a motel one night. Then seemingly out of nowhere, **SPOILER ALERT**, he dumps a canister of gas all over his room and himself, and lights himself on fire. For me, there was a disconnect between him being unhappy with his life and his family and him killing himself in such a major, traumatic way.
I did really like the story “Losing Focus on Reality.” In it we follow an alcoholic former investigator who has forgotten his past. **SPOILER ALERT** In a creative attempt to show him they still love him, his family sends him on a case that involves finding himself and regaining his memories.
Since these stories were written like prose poetry, there were a lot of gripping lines that stood out to me. A few of my favorites:
Knife to his heart, he has fallen.
Until they were done seeing what it was like to ruin someone’s attempt at immortality.
[…]she laughs and calls me a tourist trapped in the body of a resident[…]
Yes, some of those are very morbid, but I found this to be a pretty dark book. Bits of lightness are sprinkled in, but you have to pay close attention.
What’s also nice, and what I think makes the book feel so authentic, is that so many of the characters turn to writing to find their bliss. For one, that is the only way to find any happiness. But for other characters, writing is a release, a cathartic experience that helps them get through their troubles. And interestingly, for those characters, they always wanted to write but it wasn’t until they found themselves in terrible circumstances that they allowed themselves to try this form of bliss.
D.e.e.L’s bio at the end says he’s been writing most of his life, like many writers, and I got the feeling that writing is this author’s bliss. I hope he continues writing and we see more books from him in the future.
Genre: Literary, Poetry
Published: November 17, 2012, ~100 pages