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Dirty Work's Mark SaFranko Mark SaFranko Blossoms and Blood's Full Cover Blossoms and Blood's Reviews Download a PDF sample of Blossoms and Blood BlossomsAndBlood Buy Blossoms And Blood on Amazon Buy our Books on our Paypal Shop Return to MurderSlim.com

"Blossoms and Blood is a fantastic coming-of-age story that plunges us headlong into the cruel world of a young daydreamer injected with the poison of first love -- a child becoming a teenager with all of its accompanying sorrows and joys in America during the Sixties. This novella is much more than an expansion of a section of the critically acclaimed God Bless America. Mark SaFranko makes it a work in its own right: the young Max Zajack, an altar boy and already a loser (a Red Sox fan when he should be rooting for the Yankees) discovers the pain of obsession for a young girl in his seventh-grade class at Saint Faustyna's School. What was only an episode in the rich novel from 2010 is here a deep probing into the psychology of a kid who's experiencing 'love' for the first time, the desire for possession, the feeling of unexplained urge and need."
--- Tom Buron, from the introduction to Blossoms and Blood

"Taking one's life as the model for one's literary art seems to be a dying art in American lit. SaFranko's adherence to this venerable tradition has redirected him, in recent years, to the European market's archivists of that Old Style Greatness in this case, publication by the United Kingdom's Murder Slim Press. Consequently, his work has received lesser exposure stateside, despite the fact that the New Jersey author got his start via an encomium from John Fante's son Dan Fante (as detailed in the P.S. section of Hating Olivia). One can only hope that more of his fellow citizens come around to joining Europeans in thinking highly of this very talented writer."
--- Zack Kopp, Rain Taxi

"It's ironic that Max is shamed by his desire for Astrid, because he treats her not as a sex object, but as an angel. Everything in the author's choice of words--which are precisely those a young adolescent would use--shows this. Safranco brings the reader intimately into Max's suffering. The title describes in itself the painful split between sexual desire (lust in the eyes of the church) and worship (also resulting in suffering in that the adulation is for a mortal creature and therefore "selfish"). A stringent moral consensus has gripped Max in a way he cannot escape.
"Astrid is a blossom. For Max, the natural act of an adolescent's blooming need for a creature not himself, not a parent, not Jesus, tortures him. It makes him look up to a vicious moron, engage in bullying himself through jealousy, and reject a girl who does show interest. A male reader can relive his own adolescent angst in Blossoms and Blood. And he certainly does not have to be Catholic. There's a universality here that makes it hard to put the novel down. Max is no fool; he is intelligent and serious. He is Everykid. Of course, you have to look well beyond Astrid to find his torturer."
--- J.A. Gertzman (Amazon.co.uk)