David Collard

Living Hells

Darker with the Lights On


Little Island Press 208pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

‘Hell goes round and round. In shape it is circular, and by nature it is interminable, repetitive, and nearly unbearable.’ That comes from Flann O’Brien’s comic masterpiece The Third Policeman and it’s the Jesuitical precision of ‘nearly’ that comes as a jolt. Similar, exquisitely calibrated degrees of suffering occur with satisfying regularity in David Hayden’s debut short-story collection. Twenty infernal episodes play out in a high-definition afterlife featuring the repetition and interminability that come with the territory.

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