BLOODFATHER book cover   Bloodfather
David Ireland

Cover by Helen Semmler

Dustjacket synopsis:

"Davis Blood is born on the wooden butcher's table at Bellbird Corner. A precocious child, he asks questions and looks for answers to the mysteries of the world.

"The redoubtable Aunt Mira tricks him with riddles and plays games of verbal illogic and paradox. She speaks of 'being hit over the head with blunt concepts', of 'uninhabited behavious'. Aunt Ursula teaches him rhymes, dignity and a framework for his ideas. Although confined to a wheelchair she opens up many corners of the world for him. His father takes him to the church of the Dissenters, his mother sings her inner song, and all around him the natural landscape, the household dogs and cats provide him with raw material.

"Bloodfather unfolds concentrically, each part revealing another dimension in the development of the young Davis Blood. The novel plumbs the depths of the creative consciousness of the young artist at a turning point."

"The novel is a delight, Davis Blood is a truly memorable character..." - Helen Daniel

First Paragraph:

Midwife Althea Chappell hurried to Legge's Butcher Shop at Bellbird Corner, part of that strange land between city and country called 'outer suburbs'; belonging to neither. She asked for several traditional items to help her deliver the woman lying on the butcher's block, which had been covered with a blanket and some spare aprons. The steel counter was too cold in August.

'It's either very big, or twins.' she said when she felt the abdomen of Lillian Blood, who knew it was twins. She was a good midwife, and liked to be in charge; glad no doctor was present. The mother had collapsed in the shop with her meat order incomplete. After the whole rump and the dogs' meat she gave a terrifyingly loud sneeze, and doubled up with pain. Jim Legge decently put up a Closed sign. It was Wednesday morning.

From the Viking hardback edition, 1987.

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Last modified: December 8, 2004.