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David Rose’s debut novel Vault won high praise upon its publication in 2011. Now, Salt is pleased to present Rose’s long-awaited collection of short stories – a series of captivating tales that showcase his exceptional talent as a writer.
Rose has always been best-known as a master of the short story, and his work has featured in several magazines and anthologies. Posthumous Stories, written over the past twenty-five years, turns a sharply-focussed lens on an extraordinary range of lives: from a road crew installing speed humps, a divorced man living rough, and a childless children's entertainer, to the son of a famous artist, the dedicatee of a violin concerto, and an honorary member of the Beatles. Also included here are ‘Private View’, the author’s first published story in Literary Review and ‘Tragos’, a mesmerising tale based on the Raoul Moat case.
The wonder of this collection lies in its elegance; Rose’s prose, described by the Guardian as “sinewy and spare” is astounding; perfectly crafted. His stories unfurl with an uncanny ability to fix themselves in the memory – crisp, succinct and finely wrought. These are vignettes of remarkable potency; subtle, tantalising and unexpected, which will stay with you long after the last page is turned.
‘In recent years every magazine worth its salt has featured a David Rose short story. Although bewilderingly various and multiphonic, they were always unmistakably him.’ —Bill Broady, author of Swimmer
‘This is the way all novels should be written. Vault is the sort of book that sucks you up and spits you out, grabbing your attention from the first line and ending with a sharp bang.’ —Philistine Friendly
‘Vault’s a wonderful book that demands rereading on completion, written with such control that you’d be forgiven for thinking its author had a dozen novels just like it stuffed in a drawer somewhere, just waiting for someone to hunt them down. I was lucky enough to discover Vault when it came out, back in April, and I felt then like I’d just located a big, gleaming white ‘X’ on the barren sands of mainstream publishing — where courage, bravery and risk are frowned on, even derided.’ —Gavin James Bower
‘English author David Rose has an underground reputation for sly invention and the stories here wrong-foot you from the title onwards – Rose is alive and well in his sixties. He calls his foreword Afterword and subtitles one story A Novel. There’s a tale assembled from lines out of Kafka and another that takes the form of a Borges-like commentary on a fictitious novel, with excerpts. The prevailing mood is semi-Dystopian, with the standout piece describing an eco-activist who graduates from prankish PR stunts to more lethal action.
Edgy, erudite, full of multilingual puns and allusions to art and classical music, this is the work of a writer following his own instincts rather than those of a marketing team. You can see why he’s loved but also why he’s not better known.’ —Anthony Cummins
‘David Rose is one of the more hidden treasures of the British short story. Posthumous Stories – a title as misdirectional as the contents themselves – collects 25 years of his work, euphorically paranoid, slyly narrated, often hilarious, always quietly undermining both the narrating voice and any comfortably receptive position the reader might take up.’ —M. John Harrison