Top positive review
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A PURDY GOOD DOUBLE-BARREL SUCCESS
on 23 October 2006
This book is a trailblazer, surely a one-off, something truly unique. Just 116 pages long, containing as many as 58 (yes, 58) short stories in all, none of which is longer than 300 words or so (some are even shorter), it is nonetheless a masterpiece. I was going to say "a masterpiece of its kind" except that this book has no kith or kin. And that's a lie. Because there are created things it reminds me of - it recalls for me the pithiness and truth of Japanese haiku perhaps, but not prose. And yet, as prose,it is totally satisfying. Yet weird.
Imagine, if you will, that Edward Hopper's Nighthawks (and his other New Yorkers) refuse to remain silent and speak up for a change - and speak in English accents (for God's sake!)and ship out of New York to make landfall in English places. And then imagine, too, that Ray Bradbury is commissioned to write the script with his sci-fi head in gear.
Well, that's David Gaffney and that's SAWN-OFF TALES.
It's odd-ball, it's cranky; it's whimsical and inventive and frightening. It's appalling and enthralling too. It's hilariously funny. It's wonderful gear, a really refreshing change: it's fiction as fiction should be - heading out into the great creative unknown, and devil take the hindmost. And truth to tell, I know far more Christmas stockings that would cheerfully gobble this book up in preference to the latest Dean Koontz or John Grisham.