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review 2018-03-17 13:00
A world of heartache and pain
Blanky - Kealan Patrick Burke

A sad deeply moving short story from one of my fav authors Kealan Patrick Burke. Stephen Brannigan and his wife Lexi are mourning the tragic loss of their daughter Robin. Unable to comprehend this life changing event both parents have resolved to live apart and deal with the grief in their own particular way. Stephen is tormented by dreams and visions and finds comfort with an old blanket that used to adorn Robins cot. Lexi living with her parents reaches out again to Stephen and the two once again find comfort in each other's arms.


An unforeseen event occurs that throws the healing process into confusion and Stephen in his utter despair seeks out the market trader who sold Lexi the baby blanket as he is convinced this is the route of all evil and the cause of his despair. But is Stephen suffering a mental breakdown? Can we believe his narrative? Stephen purports to love and worship his wife and daughter but can we trust his mental state?..."I may have lost my mind for a time, but grief makes everyone crazy. Losing someone makes you lose yourself, makes you yearn for the impossible"....


A beautiful, uneasy and difficult to read short novel by Kealan Patrick Burke. As with so much of his writing the emotion and sadness is laid bare for all to see.... " you must try to get on with things or the grief will destroy you. You must put away the reminders of loss to have any hope of surviving."......"I feared that when Robin died, Lexi buried me right alongside her."...."The seasons were changing and the house was old attuned like arthritic bones to alterations in temperature."..... The ending expertly complimented the themes of loss and heartache and it would appear that nothing could save the Brannigan family as they..."went to lay with the Goddess of Grief. Recommended.

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review 2018-03-16 17:26
BLANKY by Kealan Patrick Burke
Blanky - Kealan Patrick Burke


BLANKY is a powerful novella, full of grief, pain, and horrors previously unknown-those both real and imagined.


You can't let Kealan deceive you with that innocent looking cover. Any of you already familiar with his work wouldn't fall for that anyway. This is a tale that touches on everything it is to be human, both good and bad.


The time we spend with our families, even the irritating or angry times, are all something special. We may only want to focus on the fun, good memories, but that's not reality. BLANKY makes you think about, made ME think about- exactly what reality is.


With this story, be prepared to bring a piece of yourself and leave it upon the altar of Kealan Patrick Burke.


My highest recommendation. Period.


*I bought this novella with my hard earned money and reading it cost a small piece of my soul.*

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text 2018-03-16 15:00
Blanky - Kealan Patrick Burke
The Devil and the Deep - Ellen Datlow
Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples
Mystery Walk - Robert McCammon,Nick Sullivan


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review 2017-10-11 15:57
Blanky by Kealan Patrick Burke
Blanky - Kealan Patrick Burke

Blanky is a grief saturated read that will ring true for anyone who has ever lost anyone prematurely.  It nails those dark, hopeless feelings that envelop you in the early stages of grief. It’s sad and it’s scary and it packs an incredible punch in so few pages. This kind of writing, the kind that is able to creep into my heart and shatter it, is what  keeps me coming back to books when there are always so many other things trying to pull me away from them.

“One rainy night I put her to bed and when I woke up, she was dead. That was the beginning of the end of my world. This is the rest of it.”

Steve is drowning in grief and he is all alone. His wife, unable to deal with their loss, has left to live with her parents for a while and Steve’s isolation and sadness is a living, breathing, soul sucking thing.

"We always said nothing would come between us, that there was nothing we couldn’t conquer. I know at the time we never imagined in a million years it would be something this fucking apocalyptic, but still...I meant it then and I mean it now. We’re stronger together than we’ll ever be alone.” “I know, but...I see her in you, Stephen. She had your eyes, and it got so that looking at you felt like looking at her, and all I could see was the accusation, the blame. I couldn’t bear it. I still can’t.”

Ouch, right? Talk about raw emotion. The writing here is so strong that it almost physically hurts to read these thoughts and experience the sadness that engulfs both of them.

One day Steve ventures into his deceased baby’s room and finds her blanky. The blanky that he could’ve sworn she was swaddled in when she was handed over to the paramedics. The blanky that should not be in her room . . .  Finding the blanky stirs a series of events that become increasingly sinister. Is Steve experiencing something supernatural or is it something far worse? I’m not a jerk and am not going to be the one to tell you!

This story gets all the stars. It is bleak and it may haunt you but I think all of you horror people should read it.


I'm going to use this for the American Horror Story square.


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review 2017-09-25 22:57
Blanky - Kealan Patrick Burke

I was taken off guard by just how sad this novella is, and how deeply it hit me. Steve Brannigan is a man trying to hold himself together in the weeks after his young daughter’s tragic death. He is consoling himself with whiskey and soon quits his teaching job. Newly separated from his wife, the only company he has is the silence of his empty house.


... except for the thumping coming from upstairs.


This is the first story I’ve read by Kealan Patrick Burke, but it won’t be the last. His deceptively simple prose is key to the ingenuity of this short, horrifying tale: with only a few words or phrases he filled me with deep sadness, or fear. Think of early Ray Bradbury, but meaner. Having recently gone through a tragic loss of my own, this balls-to-the-wall rumination on grief and regret hit me especially hard.


Read for ‘Witches’ in Halloween Bingo. There is a witch, of sorts, at the center of this tale, but to say more would be a spoiler.



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