The Half-Life of Songs

The Half-Life of Songs

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The Half-Life of Songs is the long-anticipated sequel to David Gaffney's critically acclaimed collection of flash fiction, Sawn Off Tales, in which he managed to cram whole plot arcs and 3D characters into tiny broken shards of fiction. In this latest collection of micro stories, David Gaffney opens up a world where thinking is illegal, where belly dancers' blood is used to fertilize tomato plants, where pensioners in leather trousers dance to two-step garage, and where an architect steals crested newts and hides them in his bath. The stories are 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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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 15mm | 208.65g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • No
  • 1844717755
  • 9781844717750
  • 1,386,241

Table of contents

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
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
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
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
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
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Review quote

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 * Times Literary Supplement * 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 * About Aromabingo:

Offbeat, unsettling and yet frequently hilarious, Aromabingo is a solid step on from the accomplished Sawn Off Tales and proof that David Gaffney is one of those names to watch. * Bookmunch * 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 * 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:

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 Sawn off Tales:

Utterly brilliant. Hilariously demented and wonderfully succinct. David Gaffney's Sawn-Off Tales are little McNuggets of pure gold. -- Graham Rawle About Sawn Off Tales

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

David Gaffney lives in Manchester. He is the author of several books including Sawn-Off Tales (2006), Aromabingo (2007), Never Never (2008), The Half-Life of Songs (2010) and More Sawn-Off Tales (2013). He has written articles for the Guardian, Sunday Times, Financial Times and Prospect, and his new novel, All The Places I've Ever Lived, is due out in spring 2017. See
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Rating details

18 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 22% (4)
4 61% (11)
3 11% (2)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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