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The Pier Falls

Nine dazzling stories from the beloved, bestselling author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The stories that make up The Pier Falls take many forms--Victorian adventure, science fiction, morality tale, contemporary realism--but they are united by the talent and empathy that have made Mark Haddon a household name. Lyrical and uncompromising, these tales span from England to Mars, ancient Greece to the deepest Amazon. Drawing inventively from history, myth, folklore, and modern life, The Pier Falls reveals a previously unseen side of the celebrated author.
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About the Author

Mark Haddon is the author of the bestselling novels The Red House and A Spot of Bother. His novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and is the basis for the Tony Award-winning play. He is the author of a collection of poetry, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, has written and illustrated numerous children's books, and has won awards for both his radio dramas and his television screenplays. He teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and lives in Oxford, England.


"Truly spectacular. . . . While reading these terrific tales one wonders how a single mind can create such diverse fiction as Mark Haddon has done here." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "[Haddon is] a virtuoso stylist. . . . One reads in a state of surrender." --Chicago Tribune "Gripping. . . . [Haddon is an] expert and innovative world-builder. . . . His voice can convey the authority of ancient fairy tales." --The New York Times"The nine stories in [The Pier Falls] are exuberant, lusty exercises in juxtaposition: intimacy and estrangement, exoticism and domesticity, innocuousness and malevolence, the cataloguing of minute detail and the expansiveness of the zoomed-out lens." --The Guardian "Haunting. . . . It is rare that an author can write with such depth and clarity." --Austin American Statesman "The Pier Falls is pure genius and I'm jealous of every word." --Douglas Coupland "[E]xpert and innovative. . . .Mr. Haddon s. . .voice can convey the authority of ancient fairy tales." John Williams, The New York Times [A] tour de force of memory. . . . Haddon s capacity for literary variation in this collection is admirable. The Buffalo News [D]evastating. . .eerily precise and dangerously suffusing. . . . It's one thing to know and write brilliantly about how the world works. It's an entirely different thing to write with deep assurance about what happens when conventions are broken, relationships are scrubbed of ordinary decencies, and the mind shatters. Reality, in Haddon's stories, is endlessly decaying. . . . Mark Haddon. . .is a virtuoso stylist and a fabricator of many forms. . . . One doesn't read Haddon to wonder how he'll write himself out of devastating circumstances. One reads in a state of surrender." Chicago Tribune The nine stories inMark Haddon s debut collection are exuberant, lusty exercises in juxtaposition: intimacy and estrangement, exoticism and domesticity, innocuousness and malevolence, the cataloguing of minute detail and the expansiveness ofthe zoomed-out lens. . . . [T]he collection s centerpiece, Wodwo . . .is one of the best new stories I ve read foryears. The Guardian "[M]esmerizing. . . . [P]rovocative. . . . The Pier Fallssucceeds in many of the same ways asThe Curious Incident, showcasing powerfully sparse language, a keen interest in placing human nature under a microscope and the imaginative construction that s become Haddon s trademark. But this collection is an even greater achievement, unveiling a versatility to match the lasting emotional impact of Haddon s writing. Impressive in its scope and revelatory in its survey of man s faults and strengths, The Pier Fallsis a certain contender for the best short story collection of 2016." Paste Magazine The Pier Falls is a wide-ranging and wonderfully diverse collection. . . . [A] virtuoso performance from Haddon, whose constantly-shifting stylistic choices make every story a capable piece of standalone art. Any one of them, viewed on its own, would be an exquisite reading experience. . . . Each one is a gracefully-constructed reminder that Mark Haddon is a rare and incredible talent. From top to bottom, first word to last, The Pier Falls is exceptional." The Main Edge Delightfully dark. Lit Hub s 16 Books You Should Read This May Exquisite His prose is limpid, blackly funny and shiny with particularity He writes with the craft of Julian Barnes or, even, Truman Capote. Andrew Billen, The Times (London) A descriptive tour de force Haddon treats [his] central message with virtuoso subtlety, counterpointing his characters fates with their dreams and ominous intimations The real redemption in these superbly gripping stories comes from their canny human detail, and the vivid, unsettling clarity they bring to our lives. Phil Baker, Sunday Times (UK) Outstanding. Imogen Lycett Green, Daily Mail (UK) Every line makes you believe what he writes, his eye misses nothing The stories are willed experiments, imaginations darkest what-ifs their execution is outstanding. Kate Kellaway, Observer (London) This collection could easily be the book that he is eventually remembered for. Alex O Connell, The Times (London) A masterful collection Haddon is a consummate storyteller and The Pier Falls reveals a writer at the peak of his imagination. Some of these stories have already been shortlisted for awards and one suspects the whole collection will justifiably follow suit. Hannah Beckerman, Sunday Express (London) A showcase for Haddon s talent. Anthony Cummins, Daily Telegraph (London) A sustained set of powerfully told stories... It's as if Ian McEwan had never turned nice. David Sexton, Evening Standard (UK) Mark Haddon is a master of haunting detail. This title story is a tour de force and the other eight are diverting reminders of just how transporting a perfectly constructed short story can be. Olivia Cole, GQ (UK) Brilliant. Glamour (UK) This compilation of startling short stories hints that the best is yet to come from Mr Haddon. He can pull you into the heart of a new world with just two or three sentences, and deploys this talent with apparent ease. Club Life [Y]our jaw...will drop when you pick up this exemplary collection.... In pristinely detailed prose, Haddon shocks us with the strong sense of our humanity. The meticulously described collapse of a pier in a faded coastal town, one woman s moral choice while trapped at a seemingly abandoned space station on Mars, an adventurer s final letter as he lies dying in the jungle all show how, as much as we d like to sink into the predictable, we face jolts and forking roads that bring out our best or worst, often revealing, as one narrator says, those disabilities which become skills in the right context. Library Journal (starred review) "With the same sense of compassion and artistic dexterity that earned him a following with The CuriousIncident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) and The Red House (2012), Haddon presents nine widelyvarying tales.... The collection is best characterized by its opener, an unnerving narrative about a seaside pier s collapse, which bonds victims through horror and hope.... As funny as they are dire, Haddon s entertaining stories are reminders that tragedy is inevitable, but that we thrive in spite of it."--Booklist "[A] sustained set of powerfully told stories about how utterly alone we are, how closely death tracks us, how all life is chance.... It's as if Ian McEwan had never turned nice." EveningStandard(London) From the Hardcover edition."

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