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Thursday, 14 April 2011

'The Half-Life of Songs', David Gaffney

The Half-Life of Songs (Salt Modern Fiction)The Half-Life of Songs, David Gaffney
'The Half-Life of Songs' is a collection of flash fiction and/or micro stories. The opening story, 'A Certain Type of Man' sees a group of four barbers deciding to leave an old shop sign up when they open their business. Fortunately, 'The customers of Widnes didn't care that the new barber shop was called the Lingerie Lounge' - it's an irresistible opening to a collection that is bizarre, funny and tender. The collection is made up of more than fifty stories, so I'll briefly mention some of the stories I liked best. 'Delivered by Sharks' sees Bill Smethwick moving about with an 'over-chiropracted slink' in a £1 pair of leather trousers. In 'Emergency Kisses' a woman asks about industrial breathing equipment for her husband, requesting something 'to make his breathing quieter, like a silencer.' In 'The Buddy Holly Electrician' an electrician moves in with a couple as a kind of relationship talisman and 'Come and Play in the Milky Night' tenderly exposes the surprising, secret life of Maureen, a stalwart woman who has been 'woven into the fabric' of the village.
Read some of Gaffney's stories here.
Read reviews of 'The Half-Life of Songs' here and here.

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