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Dot, Dash (Salt Modern Fiction)

Dot, Dash (Salt Modern Fiction) [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Pinnock
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description


In these wonderful short, very short and very very short stories, Jonathan Pinnock takes aim at all the foibles and vanities we think we succeed in hiding. Not content to just pull back the curtain, Pinnock sets fire to it and chuckles as it blazes. Yet he also executes something of a conjuring trick, making us laugh, but also making us feel, think. Like Nan, whose granddaughter recreates Cairo in her bedroom for her before she dies, we fabricate our own reality: we see and hear what we want and ignore what we don't. Dot Dash is sending us a message, and yes, it may be through yellow plastic ducks, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't listen. (Tania Hershman )

Product Description

Prepare to enter a world where nothing is ever quite what it seems, where elephants squat in living rooms, plastic ducks fall from the skies and even the rabbits can’t be trusted. The fifty-eight stories in Jonathan Pinnock’s Scott Prize-winning collection Dot Dash show a vivid yet disciplined imagination at work.

These stories, many of which have individually won prizes, are populated by a rich variety of characters, including a tightrope-walking couple with marital issues, a graffiti artist with an agenda and an interviewee who’s about to find out some awkward truths about himself. Very few of them turn out to be completely innocent, and none of them remains unaffected by the experience.

Jonathan Pinnock’s unashamedly entertaining fictions explore what happens when the macabre and the absurd crash headlong into everyday life. As writer Tania Hershman says, he ‘isn’t content to just pull back the curtain, but sets fire to it and chuckles as it blazes’. With this incendiary first collection, he invites readers to pull up a chair and watch the flames rise.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 398 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing (5 Dec 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AIL2E96
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,192 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding short stories 19 Nov 2012
These are modern tales in modern settings. Many are macabre, hard hitting and shocking. In `Convalescence', for example, it is alarming to find the narrator's life has been saved by a brain transplanted from an executed murderer. Even more horrifying are the story's final moments - but you must read them for yourselves, I won't give out any spoilers. Similarly, `Nature's Banquet' starts lightly enough with `Blossom in the trees, dew on the meadow grass and the pungent whiff of steamy cowpats' but becomes darker as the protagonist takes pot shots at baby rabbits, tucking the soft and bloody bodies into his belt to make himself feel like a `real countryman'. The climax, an inverted fairy tale, is the stuff of nightmares or a living death. I don't suggest you read `The Problem with Pork' too late at night, either.

Yet there are light and humorous touches throughout the stories in this superb collection. `Return to Cairo' is a perfect example as is `A Perfect Plague of Yellow Ducks' and, my own particular favourite, `Advice re Elephants'.

And there is compassion too, conveyed by unexpected juxtapositions such as the poignancy in the very brief tale `The Drought' : `When she met him, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shone once more. The drought lasted the rest of her life.'

I am glad this book won the Scott Prize and that Salt has published it in such a beautiful edition. I guarantee you will want to read these stories over and over again, each time finding more to appreciate and think upon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sharp 9 July 2013
I bought this collection after reading, "The Amazing Arnolfini and His Wife", which I loved. It contains "dashes" - short stories, and "dots" - micro-stories. Jonathan Pinnock sets up fantastic but not always comfortable scenarios, which reveal fears and flaws. His sci-fi, horror and humorous patchwork is both entertaining and accessible. My favourites included the very moving, "Return to Cairo", the humorous, "Canine Mathematics" and the telling, "A Plague of Yellow Plastic Ducks". Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dot Dash – Delight 14 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dot Dash is one of those rare books that just can’t be faulted. Filled with stunning short and very short stories (hence the title), this book delivers some incredible tales that captivate and enthral the reader.

Each individual story offers a unique viewpoint on everyday objects and interactions that we all take for granted, and twist them into truly mesmerising and inspirational tales that will leave the reader caught off guard and permanently second guessing potential outcomes. For example, what would happen if attending a job interview you committed a murder, or discovered that the recent operation you had resulting in being given the transplanted brain of a serial killer?

As well as the more abstract tales, this title is also filled with heartfelt stories filled with emotion and compassion, such as “Farwell Symphony”, where a dead composer’s final symphony is performed for the first time, and traditional stories that are told from an unusual perspective, such as in “The Last Words of Emanuel Prettyjohn”. Whatever the subject matter though, this book delivers a refreshing, enjoyable and riveting read.

One of the books greatest strengths is the quality of the writing – the incredible narrative immediately conjures up wonderful imagery and the easy to read style makes this book almost impossible to put down. Simply put, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this title and would have no hesitations recommending it to fans of abstract,exciting short stories.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ranging from remote tribes in South America who measure success and happiness in yellow rubber ducks (A Plague of Yellow Plastic Ducks) to boiling frogs (Frogs) to the every day, Dot Dash has something for everyone. Bordering on the weird, and always ever so slightly abnormal, Pinnock makes you think whilst reading his stories, and for quite some time after as well.

One of my favourites was The Last Words of Emanuel Prettyjohn, the story about a mute boy. There are a lot of different characters in it, all with distinct voices: "He were a funny wee babby, that one." (Alison Fish, midwife), "Oh, I remember him all right. Bloody nuisance." (Harry Philpott, schoolteacher), "We all thought he was a bit of a freak, to be honest." (Jack Wilson, classmate). It was also very funny in parts and made me laugh out loud.

Another favourite was Proper Job, a micro fiction piece about shoes which made me chuckle (and sing a bad rendition of the Spandau Ballet song in my head on the way home from work).
Proper Job
"Get a proper job," said old man Blahnick. "Shoes will never make you rich." But young Manolo knew better. "Gold!" he thought. "Always believe in your sole."

Highly recommended for anyone who likes to read short, shorter and the very shortest of stories, preferably with a tendency towards the slightly peculiar.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Little Stories, Big Ideas 8 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
After ploughing through a string of four over-long and largely disappointing novels, Dot Dash turned out to be just what I needed. It's quite a slim book, weighing in at a shade under 200 pages, but it contains 58 stories. As implied by the title, these are arranged in sequence, with "dots" (very short stories, many of them small enough to fit the 140-character limit of a tweet) alternating with "dashes" (more traditionally sized short stories). The "dashes" tend not to extend over more than four or five pages, so - if you so desired - you could gulp down the entire selection in a relatively short space of time.

I've enjoyed many of Jonathan's stories online in recent years, and so it wasn't a surprise to find myself enjoying this book too. There were some old favourites - such as rZr and Napoleon, The Amazing Arnolfini and His Wife, and Advice re Elephants - but the majority of the stories were new to me. I have to say I got more from the dashes than from the dots, on the whole - microfiction is interesting (and I've tried it myself with varying results), but even when it's done particularly well it often seems more like a demonstration of the writer's skill and/or imagination than a genuine story with real depth. That said, there are some impressive examples throughout the book, and having them interspersed with the longer pieces produced an interesting effect - whenever I got to the end of a story, it proved almost impossible not to read the microstory that followed it, and more often than not I would then find myself reading the next story as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, weird, beautifully written, exotic... in other words very,...
A mind-bending collection of short and very short stories from the able pen of a master short story writer. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Dave Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best short story collections I've read
From guerrilla artists taking revenge on a corporate world to a tribal culture formed around rubber ducks. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Curiosity Killed The Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Street for the eyes
Great to dip into and savour, short (sometimes unbelievably short) but thought provoking, amusing and sometimes scarily twisted.
Loved every one of them.
Published 19 months ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky stories that make you think
Really enjoyed this, the 'dots' are short, one or two sentences with excellent plays on words. The 'dashes' are longer, great stories told in different voices from different places... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Olympic owl
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy and fun
A very easy and fun read with a number of the stories really providing a satisfying ending, if you like short, contemporary fiction with a few dark laughs then you can't go wrong.
Published 20 months ago by Pete Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely hilarious and Thought Provoking
A beautiful cover and astounding work inside - a non-stop roller-coaster of outstanding characters, punchline after punchline and finger-pointing at vanity, greed and excess. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Helen J Beal
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas present SOS? The answer's Dot Dash
If you're not sure what to buy for someone important in your life, I guarantee Jonathan Pinnock's short story collection Dot, Dash (Salt Modern Fiction) is the answer. Trust me. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Oscar Windsor-Smith
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