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  • Published: 5 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9781473523432
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

The Pier Falls

The first collection of stories from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The first collection of stories from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Porpoise.

'Terrifically compelling' Guardian

A seaside pier collapses.
An expedition to Mars goes terribly wrong.
A thirty-stone man is confined to his living room.
One woman is abandoned on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean.
Another woman is saved from drowning.
Two boys discover a gun in a shoebox.
A group of explorers find a cave of unimaginable size deep in the Amazon jungle.
A man shoots a stranger in the chest on Christmas Eve.

'The real redemption in these superbly gripping stories comes from their canny human detail, and the vivid, unsettling clarity they bring to our lives’ Sunday Times

  • Published: 5 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9781473523432
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

About the author

Mark Haddon

Mark Haddon is a writer and artist. His bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, was published simultaneously by Jonathan Cape and David Fickling in 2003. It won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Award. In 2012, a stage adaptation by Simon Stephens was produced by the National Theatre and went on to win 7 Olivier Awards in 2013 and the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. In 2005 his poetry collection, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, was published by Picador, and his play, Polar Bears, was produced by the Donmar Warehouse in 2010. His most recent novel, The Red House, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2012. The Pier Falls, a collection of short stories, was also published by Cape in 2016. To commemorate the centenary of the Hogarth Press he wrote and illustrated a short story that appeared alongside Virginia Woolf's first story for the press in Two Stories (Hogarth, 2017).

Also by Mark Haddon

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Praise for The Pier Falls

Highly anticipated collection.


The Pier Falls, published May, is a collection of nine brilliant short stories, perfect for dipping into when you have a spare moment.

Kerry Potter, Glamour

Mark Haddon is a master of haunting detail. This title story is a tour de force and the other eight are diverting reminders of just how transporting a perfectly constructed short story can be.

Olicia Cole

A sustained set of powerfully told stories... It's as if Ian McEwan had never turned nice.

David Sexton, Evening Standard

He is a master of the short form…his imagination is even darker than we had thought.


The real redemption in these superbly gripping stories comes from their canny human detail, and the vivid, unsettling clarity they bring to our brief lives.

Phil Baker, Sunday Times

A masterful collection… Haddon is a consummate storyteller and The Pier Falls reveals a writer at the peak of his imagination. Some of the stories have already been shortlisted for awards and one suspects the whole collection will justifiably follow suit.

Hannah Beckerman, Sunday Express

He can pull you into the heart of a new world with just two or three sentences, and deploys this talent with apparent ease… Haddon’s work is easy to relate to because it’s underpinned with razor-sharp clarity about what it means to be human.

Club Life

Brilliant collection… Seamless prose… It feels as though Haddon is leading you into the deepest underworld of human endeavor and behavior, yet holding your hand gently as he guides you into the labyrinth. Outstanding.

Imogen Lycett Green, Daily Mail

He writes with the craft of Julian Barnes or, even, Truman Capote.

Andrew Billen, The Times

Shows the breadth of his ability.

Alex O'Connell, The Times

Terrific dark collection in which each story is as absorbing and powerful as the last. Not to be missed.

Fanny Blake, Woman & Home

Echoing humanity. The title story is an exercise in style. Staccato sentences, like a ticker tape of headlines, describe the fall of a pier.

Donal O'Donoghue, RTE Guide

A knockout. From the breathtaking first piece, The Pier Falls is powerful and emotional.

Good Housekeeping

Bleak but arresting stories.

Sunday Times

Diverse in style but united in emotional power… Lyrical new collection… All showcase his virtuoso gifts as a stylist and the deep well of empathy that have made his bestselling novels so compelling... The Pier Falls showcases Haddon’s immense gifts of invention and penetrating insight.

Northern Ireland Homes & Lifestyle

Mark Haddon has become a master of the short story…this new collection intrigues and horrifies by turn

Country & Town House

Gripping tale… Told with forensic precision.

Paddy Kehoe, RTE Online

Exuberant, lusty exercises in juxtaposition… Such contrasts not only power each piece but also act as a form of call and response across them… Terrifically compelling collection.

Alex Clark, Guardian

Superb new collection… This impressive collection is both bleak and brilliant and shows a writer at the top of his game.

Mernie Gilmore, Daily Express

Impressive but forbiddingly lightless collection. There’s no doubt about Haddon’s skill.

Tim Martin, New Statesman

Have you ever read a book that made you gasp out loud and nearly burst into tears? The title story…had that effect on me… Haddon is able to give human tragedy the due solemnity it deserves but without being po-faced. A wonderful collection.

Anne Sexton, Hot Press

Guaranteed to keep me riveted.

Karen Byrom, My Weekly

Gripping… Packs the action and themes that might power a very full novel into less than 70 pages

John Williams, New York Times

Scintillating first foray into the shorter form… Beautifully crafted… A challenging and idiosyncratic talent, with a memorable way with words.

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

This is a top-notch collection… It veers into unexpected territory, and the evolving surprises are mesmerizing… 'The Pier Falls' leads the collection. It is a perfectly controlled little masterpiece… So chilling that one imagines its author could carve out a second career as a horror film scriptwriter.

Lionel Shriver, Financial Times

Haddon’s debut collection contains a suite of ambitiously scaled and event-packed tales, self-consciously eclectic both in setting and subject matter… The Pier Falls is a bracing, remorselessly lucid depiction of a sudden and expansive moment of chaos… Each of these stories grip. Like the news at its queasiest, most shocking or grimly inevitable, you frequently want to look away but are compelled to keep reading.

Colin Barrett, Irish Times

This collection brims with incident both curious and exciting, and yet displays a cool, almost detached observance of unfolding drama that is impossible to look away from.

Hilary White, Irish Independent

[Haddon] portrays the nightmares of our own society…with astonishing deftness, mixing black humour and pathos.

David Platzer, Tablet

The Pier Falls had me gasping in disbelief.

Chris Catchpole

[It was] grim and compelling… [A] ripping, gripping yarn – narrative velcro.

Craige Raine, Spectator, Book of the Year

I savoured all the atmospheric short stories in The Pier Falls.

Elizabeth Reapy, Irish Times, Book of the Year

An enthralling short story collection; dark, immersive stories with lots of action. The writing is tight and inspiring.

E. Reapy, Irish Independent, Book of the Year

[A] searing collection of short stories that thrill and chill in equal measure.

Claire Allfree, Metro, Book of the Year

I was also captivated by the dark A Pier Falls, a brilliantly written collection of bleak and brutal short stories.

Mernie Gilmore, Daily Express, Book of the Year

I adored The Pier Falls… Each story is wildly entertaining and well written.

Dave Rudden, Headstuff, Book of the Year

[It] proves the capacity of a short story to immerse the reader fully in a fictional world.

Anita Sethi, Guardian, Book of the Year

This short-story collection is thrilling and exquisitely written. I gave out several copies as Christmas presents.

Claire Fuller, Sunday Telegraph

A superb collection of stand-out stories… The Pier Falls is unique in that every story is brilliant… It is, simply, and ultimately, an absolute pleasure to read

Irish Independent

The title story…is so good and so awful I read it with my hand over my mouth… His global smash hit The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time...hit the mark. Here, he hits it again, and again and again


An exquisite writer.

Fiona Wilson, The Times

Mesmerisingly good stories, hugely varied, skilfully written, full of deft touches and narrative shocks... an absolute treat

Marcus Berkman, Spectator, *Books of the Year*