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The Half-Life of Songs,

David Gaffney

The Half-Life of Songs, David Gaffney


Publication Date: 01-Nov-10 | ISBN: 9781844717750 | Trim Size: 198 x 129 mm | Extent: 208pp | Format: Paperback

UK & International Distribution: Grantham Book Services | Publishing Status: ActiveShop online at HiveFind your local bookshop




This is David Gaffney’s latest collection of micro stories. We see a world where thinking is illegal, belly dancers’ blood is used to fertilize tomato plants, pensioners in leather trousers dance to two-step garage, and an architect steals crested newts and hides them in his bath.

The stories are often beyond odd yet always ordinary, a warped backward-talking world of Lynchian surreality, allowing an emotional insight into the rich interior lives of social outsiders, the broken and the easily-breakable, perpetually on the fringes of our world.


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Half open; ; A certain type of man; Talking about Emmy-Lou; Everything’s gone turquoise; The history brush; Having it like Pontefract; ; ; Half aware ; ; Towns in France exactly like this; Junctions one to four were never built; Buildings crying out; Everlast; The forcing of air; Live feed; ; Half There :; ; The Three Daves; Are Friends Electric?; You Would Have; I Liked Everything; ; Half Here: ; ; Wooden Animals; Remaking the Moon; Do the Voice; Pathfinders; Emergency Kisses; Celia’s Mum’s Rat; ; Half Gone:; ; We are the Real Time Experiment; Delivered by Sharks; Previously Loved; The Ones we Left; Shaky Ron and the Chewing Gum Robots; ; Half Awake:; ; Double Digging; Away Day; Gelling; Candy Girl; One Thing Deeply; Don’t Thank Me Thank the Moon’s Gravitational Pull; ; Half Alone:; ; How the Taste Gets In; Desire lLnes; To Cause Amusement; Spoilt Victorian Child; Heart Keeps Holding On; Domino Bones; ; Half Loved:; ; Some World, Somewhere; The Next Best Thing; Portraits of Insane Women; Monkeys in lLove; Is Your Thought Really Necessary?; ; Half Whole:; ; The Valued Coach Driver and his Spiral Wife; Music Like ours Never Dies; The Buddy Holly Electrician; Keep Them on, Love; What You See is There; Coned; Not Static; ; Half Closed:; ; The Only Man with Fire; People who Don’t Belong; So Much Noise; The Half-Life of Songs; Come and Play in the Milky Night ;


“Loaded with potent charges, insidious and cumulative in their effects. In Gaffney’s fiction thoughts take physical form, and the material world has a surreal vitality … The stories are sometimes haunting, and sometimes comic. The Half-life is an appropriate metaphor for the lingering effect they have on the reader.” —Nicholas Clee TLS



“About Sawn Off Tales:
Sad, funny fables recalling evanescent moments of connection and happiness. One hundred and fifty words by Gaffney are more worthwhile than novels by a good many others.” —Nicholas Clee The Guardian


“About Aromabingo:
A triumph of the blurring of literary boundaries with a dose of unabashed comic bravura and honouring British writing with the awkward, self-conscious, yet jagged aplomb it so deservedly needs.” —The Short Review


“About Never Never:
Gaffney’s strength is creating strong characters, and this debut brims with them. With a ruthless eye and pitch-black humour, Gaffney explores a consumer culture in which exploiting the welfare system is both a necessity and an addiction, and in which hypocrisy is endemic” —The Observer


“Gaffney has produced the kind of book that makes you wish you spent more time locked in your imagination and less time dismissing irreverent thoughts. I wish Gaffney was allowed 15 minutes of time with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant to make his vision come to life.” —Lianne Steinbery The Big Issue


“About Sawn Off Tales

Witty, clever, poignant, Gaffney's micro fictions work as funny routines, moving insights and illuminating character sketches.
” —Time Out



David GaffneyDavid Gaffney comes from Cleator Moor in West Cumbria, and now lives in Manchester. He is the author of three critically acclaimed short story collections – Sawn-off Tales (2006), Aromabingo (2007) and The Half-life Of Songs (2010) – and the novel Never Never (2008). He has written articles for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times and Prospect magazine

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Sawn-Off Tales, David Gaffney

Sawn-Off Tales,

David Gaffney

- £9.99
David Gaffney’s compact, surreal tales are filled with poignancy and wit. Each story goes off like a tiny depth charge in the mind, leaving you with the trace memory of some new urban myth — comic, absurd and disturbingly true.
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