Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sawn-Off Tales” as Want to Read:
Sawn-Off Tales
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sawn-Off Tales

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  17 reviews
David Gaffney's compact, surreal tales are filled with poignancy and wit. Each story goes off like a tiny depth charge in the mind, leaving you with the trace memory of some new urban myth - comic, absurd and disturbingly true.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Salt Publishing (first published January 1st 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sawn-Off Tales, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sawn-Off Tales

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  141 ratings  ·  17 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Sawn-Off Tales
Carol
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
My first taste of 'Flash Fiction'; complete short stories in around 200 words. David Gaffney is apparently the master of this genre. Some are amazing; complex characters, themes and plot lines with careful crafting and tension, and with 'killer' endings. But, I've either missed something or most are pretty inconsequential. Reminds me of the 'mini sagas' but longer. Give me an 800 page Victorian classic any day, with plenty of chocolate.
Peter Caffrey
Gaffney’s short flash pieces meander between the brilliant and the banal, and whilst he is undoubtedly a talented creator of short fiction, some of the stories felt as if they’d been created as space fillers. That said, the stronger pieces are well worth the investment.
tomwrote
Jul 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
A pick and mix of flash fiction. Well crafted but perhaps limited by the format.
Sef Churchill
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious, shocked, addictive

A multitude of entertaining tiny stories from David Gaffney. Once started, impossible to put down. Five stars, all round excellent.
Laura Turner
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sawn Off Tales appear to be short stories which offer a form of snapshot. However as the title of the collection suggests, rather than giving the reader a posed and contrived instance, they are violently abbreviated and unexpectedly truncated. The real treat with Sawn Off Tales is that whilst this is the case, each tale does have a feeling of completeness, even if it is merely the recounting of an impulse, an emotion or the most wistful of memories.

While the highly abbreviated nature of the col
...more
Oleg Shevelyov
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it
The book started off very well, I was actually amazed at how skillful the author was to make work those ultra-short stories. I was very inspired also and was eager even to try myself in flash fiction genre. However the more stories from the book I read, the less enthusiastically I became.

Closer to the end I couldn't wait but finish the book as soon as possible. I really liked only a few stories, some were curious, most didn't make me feel anything at all. I admit that probably I didn't understa
...more
Canavan
✭✭½

This collection includes 59 stories. My favorites:

“Intimate Zone” ✭✭✭½
“We Like It Here” ✭✭✭½
“Light Lunch” ✭✭✭½
“With Tongues” ✭✭✭½
“Kick Inside” ✭✭✭½
“The Funny Way I Feel Inside” ✭✭✭½
“Doctor Logic” ✭✭✭½

All stories published 2006.
Becky
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gaffney shows he is a master of the flash fiction form with this wonderful collection. I bought this book a couple of years ago and picked it up last night on Day 2 of caffeine withdrawal because I couldn't concentrate on a novel. These are humorous stories contemporary British life and people's idiosyncrasies so perceptive about that they consistently make you feel uncomfortable. I love how he waltzers idioms into preposterous tales that are, at the same time, recognisable. A perfect book to re ...more
Deaddad
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read these 58 short short stories (most only a page and a bit in length) in four sittings. I thought the novelty of the form might wear thin or the stories would blur into each other. But they remained distinct, imaginatively engaging and unpacking (or semi-unpacking) a greater depth of story than their meagre length might suggest. I read a review that said this was a hit and miss collection. I saw them mainly as hits - poignant, wry or surreal - but with a few that really packed a punch. I th ...more
russell barnes
Hmmm, a bit of a curate's egg this one. If you like John Hegley you'll notice a lot of similarities: They feel like poems in length and rhythm, and deal in the minutae of everyday life in a wry and whimsical way. Sometimes it worked really well, like snatches of half-heard drunken conversations in the pub, but most were like half-heard boring conversations in the Post Office. ...more
sisterimapoet
A nice little collection of short shorts - great to dip into when you've only got a minute or two of reading time available. At times it felt like there was a formula that Gaffney was working with. It became possible at times to predict the tone of the pieces. But there were enough that shook the mix up. At times funny, often odd, occasionally truly touching.
David
Jul 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite being such short delightfully absurd little koan-like stories, I found I really needed to spend a lot of time with each one. There was so much going on in such a little space that if I didn't slow down and turn them over in my mind a bit I missed things. They seemed almost like poems in that regard. Gaffney is amazing on how he packs so much in so little. I am definitely impressed.
Maggie
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Quirky, bizarre and very clever.
Santino Prinzi
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
These flash fictions are simply wonderful. Stop reading this review and start reading this book.
Stephen Shieber
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great set of short shorts with plenty of wit and a dash of the surreal.
Alan
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Lively, funny tales from a British writer. Short and mostly sweet, sometimes a bit weird. Should be 4 stars but can't get it to save 4 stars!
Ayreon
rated it really liked it
Nov 08, 2012
Dylan Turnbull
rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2018
Adam Greenow
rated it liked it
Apr 09, 2015
Chloe
rated it liked it
Oct 15, 2013
Jay Eales
rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2018
Fergus Evans
rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2013
Tim Craig
rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2019
Kate
rated it it was ok
Sep 13, 2017
Chris Sawle
rated it it was amazing
Oct 29, 2012
Michelle
rated it really liked it
May 29, 2018
Katrina
rated it liked it
Feb 18, 2013
Steveking
rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2012
Katie
rated it it was ok
Nov 03, 2017
Rav Vadgama
rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The World at Night (Night Soldiers, #4)
  • Berlin Game (Bernard Samson, #1)
  • Reheated Cabbage
  • The Blade Artist
  • The Polish Officer (Night Soldiers, #3)
  • If You Liked School, You'll Love Work
  • Our Kind of Traitor
  • The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins
  • Mission to Paris (Night Soldiers, #12)
  • Kingdom of Shadows (Night Soldiers, #6)
  • The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10)
  • Mexico Set (Bernard Samson, #2)
  • Tales of Muffled Oars
  • Agent Running in the Field
  • French Exit
  • Lanny
  • El laberinto de los espíritus (El cementerio de los libros olvidados, #4)
  • The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War
See similar books…

Related Articles

There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
47 likes · 16 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »