David L. Haynes's debut is an extraordinary, alarming excursion to a world populated by the suffering, the delusional and the criminally insane. It is a place where death comes unexpectedly and violently, at the hands of pschycopaths, riflemen and cruel accident. These are tales of ingenious cruelty and sudden death in which menace and hilarity go hand in hand. "The Typing Pool" features the tyrannical director of a detention camp, a man in search of a secretary, whose competitive dictation test ends, as planned, in the execution of all but one of the applicants. In "Bones", an uxorious man, fearful of his habit of falling out of love, takes a potion designed to bring blissful fidelity only to begin a strange descent into necrophilia. "The Cruise" opens us to the diary of a bored wife on a cruise liner who inadvertently murders her husband. Elsewhere, we meet a sadistic hotelier whose pleasure is the kidnapping of foreign arrivals at London's Victoria Coach Station, a homicidal corporal who wipes out his own platoon, the incredible Doctor Octor, the worst doctor on Harley Street, and Orson Beadle, travelling purveyor of sex toys, who finds within a fearsome pub a gaggle of willing male initiates. These, the stories that make up "The Suicide Kit", for all their freaks and grotesques, are imbued with a brilliant, brutal humour.
"Roald Dahl on Ritalin" Time Out
"Genuinely Excellent" Ally Ross, The Sun
"Imagine Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected adapted for the screen by Tarantino" The Independent
"Beautifully drawn characters" Guardian
"Grim, black and pared to the bone, Cannon Fodder sees David L Hayles hit full stride, matching deft descriptions with savage and bewildering punch-lines" The Telegraph
David L Hayles is the author of two short stories collection, both of which features tales involving Orson Beadle and his sidekick Monteith. He is also responsible for the revealing journalistic classic "Which Sleeping Bag?" (see picture). He is currently working on a third collection of stories, and a follow-up to "Which Sleeping Bag?" entitled "Which Garden Sprinkler?".