Wattle & Daub (Paperback)
Etruscan Press, 9780998750835, 236pp.
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
A young woman's fear of the living thing in the walls of her apartment. An office-based streaker with an axe to grind. A malingerer attending a prayer meeting. Automatons that finally recognise their creator. The historically inaccurate account of a disgraced 13th century crusader. A terminally ill man resorting to hypnotism to quit smoking. A letter from a cursed man -who refused to buy a round of drinks at a wedding. The madness of an isolated couple infecting a lonesome estate agent. A human resources manager describes office conflict taken a step or three too far. An aged altar boy recalling his days on the pulpit. The couple who conceive an alarm clock and must deal with its constant alarmist nature. A brain-dying man recalls his last receding memories of a run-down funfair... In Wattle & daub the world is a mysterious, menacing and peculiar place. Characters inhabit their individualized zones with a mixture of ignorance and apprehension, ever at the mercy of changes to their circumstances, or else striving to make sense of their own shortcomings and disappointments. Dragged forward by an ear-twisting narrative force, the stories in this debut collection meld and stretch into truly new directions. Unsettlingly funny/bleak backgrounds inform, wattle & daub and introduce singular oddball characters to a coldly unconcerned world. Every page is mined with humour, sympathy, and blistering language that mark Brian Coughlan as a unique fabricator of short tales.