I’ve never been tempted to read “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, but after “The Pier Falls” I just might be. If this collection of short stories is really good, then it’s because Haddon is a super story-teller. One or two may be a bit off-the-wall, or far-fetched, but that doesn’t seem to matter as he hooks you very quickly with his slightly sparse and direct prose. The stories are all a little dark with an undercurrent of “that’s how the world is sometimes, folks!”, but – as the blurb on the cover of my edition says – ‘terrifically compelling’. Just don’t expect to feel buoyed by being shown how great life is!