#whatbeckyread: The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon

I am excited writing about this book as it is one of the best books I have ever read! If you love reading a selection of short stories then you are going to love The Pier Falls.

The Pier Falls is written by Mark Haddon whom wrote the international best selling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Pier Falls contains nine stories all from different time periods and different areas. The first story The Pier Falls is a third person account of a pier falling in the 1970’s. The first pages sets the scene. It is a sunny day, people are eating pineapple fritters, a father is shouting at his daughter to not go deeper than her waist. A mother is hammering a windbreaker into the sand. A rivet fails, one of eight with five rivets already gone from the January storms. Dolphins are turning in their blue prison, as a reader you feel the count down is on until catastrophe strikes. Then, as you are read the aftermath, the pace quickens you feel the mad panic everybody has.

Bunny is a different kind of story. We are enticed in with all of these sweet treats Bunny loves “He loved Mars Bars and Kit-Kats. He loved Double Deckers and Galaxy Caramels and Yorkies…” we begin to learn that he is very obese and that he cannot really leave the house anymore. His mother comes to visit him and he has carers that wash him but Bunny is generally alone. One day Bunny meets a woman called Leah. Leah’s husband had pushed her out and she was looking to borrow a strimmer when she knocked on Bunny’s door. A friendship starts to develop between Bunny and Leah as she gives him the sweet food that he craves. Leah argues with Bunny’s mother when she finds all of the empty sweet packets hidden away.

Wodwo was one of my favourite stories along with The Pier. This story is set at Christmas time and a stranger knocks on the door of a family house after seeing them through the french windows. He is invited in (due to it being Christmas) and then presents from his coat a sawn off shotgun, Gavin manages to grab the shotgun and shoot the stranger dead. The next year follows Gavin and how the shooting has affected his mental health.

Finally, another cracker of a tale is The Weir where a man rescues a woman from the river but the woman is angry that she has been saved as she wanted to die. The story explores their relationship thereafter.

I absolutely loved this book to the extent that I would buy my own copy. Each story is written very well and is so completely different from each other even though the majority of the stories have the same theme showing a dark side to human life. If you want a book that is well written and has variety then you are not going to go far wrong picking The Pier Falls!


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