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Dot, Dash,

Jonathan Pinnock

Dot, Dash, Jonathan Pinnock


Publication Date: 05-Nov-12 | ISBN: 9781844718825 | Trim Size: 198 x 129 mm | Extent: 192pp | Format: Paperback

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




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.


Not So Much a Rough Guide; rZr and Napoleon; The Drought; Convalescence; Surveillance; Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions; Steaming; The Amazing Arnolfini and His Wife; Pulse; Breathe In, Breathe Out; Fair Trade; Nature's Banquet; Internal Affairs; Return to Cairo; Think Tank; The Problem With Pork; After the Rapture; Natural Selection; Less Than Deadly; Possible Side Effects; Misunderstandings; Mr Nathwani's Haiku; The Experiment; Anniversary Feast; Perfect Moment; How I Became a New Man and What Good It Did Me; Love Story, Day One; The Guitarist's Inheritance; Love Story, Week One; So What Are You Up To These Days?; Love Story, Month One; Fishermen's Tales; Love Story, Year One; Hidden Shallows; Opposites; Advice re Elephants; Big Teeth; The Birdman of Farringdon Road; Making Conversation; Piss and Patchouli; "I Love You"; A Plague of Yellow Plastic Ducks; Frogs; Mirror, Mirror; Inbox; The Magnolia Bedroom; Tribute Act; The Last Words of Emanuel Prettyjohn; Bad Grammar; Farewell Symphony; Under the Statue; At Nana's; Proper Job; After Michelangelo; Sidelong; Canine Mathematics; Upwardly Mobile; Somewhat Less Than Thirty Pieces; Acknowledgements; Dots; Dashes


“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


“Jonathan Pinnock’s stories are wickedly funny, dripping with irony, often macabre, and always subversive. He’s a master at finding original situations and carrying them through to a thought-provoking twist.” —John Harding, author of Florence and Giles


“Jonathan Pinnock writes compelling tales with a deliciously wicked glint in his eye.” —Ian Skillicorn, Director, National Short Story Week



Jonathan PinnockJonathan Pinnock has written all sorts of stuff and has been published all over the place, including the BBC. His novel “Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens” was published by Proxima in September 2011 and was followed in October 2012 by his Salt short story collection “Dot Dash”. He blogs at and tweets as @jonpinnock.

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