The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon


Praise for The Pier Falls:

‘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

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

Imogen Lycett Green, Daily Mail

‘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

‘This collection could easily be the book that he is eventually remembered for.’
Alex O’Connell, The Times

‘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

‘A showcase for Haddon’s talent.’
Anthony Cummins, Daily Telegraph

‘A sustained set of powerfully told stories… It’s as if Ian McEwan had never turned nice.’
David Sexton, Evening Standard

‘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

‘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

A startlingly good, gripping read, precisely because it forces our imaginative confrontation with the darkness around us’

‘I read these nine stories in Mark Haddon’s new collection, The Pier Falls, over nine consecutive days – one bracing plunge every 24 hours.  Anything more would have amounted to a violation of my own imagination.  Anything less would have registered as disrespect for the devastating power of these eerily precise and dangerously suffusing episodes in the lives of mostly lost, lonesome, or abandoned people… Mark Haddon … is a virtuoso stylist and a fabricator of many forms …One reads in a state of surrender
Chicago Tribune

‘The Pier Falls is unique, certainly in my experience, in that every story is brilliant…any one of nine could be singled out as a genuinely great work of literature  .It sounds like I’m exaggerating; I’m honestly not, and it really is that good. The only story collection I’ve read which bests this one is Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths
Irish Independent

In this article in The Observer, Mark explains how, in order to find his voice as a short story writer, he had to escape the legacy of Chekhov and Carver.

Read Mark’s interview with Alex O’Connell from The Times below: