Just finished reading Mark Haddon’s collection of short stories (Pub. Jonathan Cape) published this month, although a number have appeared previously elsewhere, and several have been long- and shortlisted for various awards including the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and BBC National Short Story Award. Having read some pre-pub glowing reviews my expectations were high. If you want cheering up, these dark tales are probably not for you (most pretty grim). No real favourites among them either, although the jungle expedition ‘The boys who left home to learn fear’ was the one I enjoyed the most. The imagery and descriptions in ‘The Pier Falls’ are terrifically evocative of the 1970s seaside but I found the blunt reportage-style a bit grating.