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Description - Stump by Niall Griffiths

A newcomer has arrived in a small Welsh seaside town - a one-armed Liverpudlian. Seeking to rebuild his life, if not his body, he is attempting to lead a life here unlike any he's lived before: a normal one - shopping, gardening, signing on, visiting friends, all the usual diurnal activities. Over a hundred miles to the north, however, two men in shellsuits are leaving Liverpool, heading south in a rickety old car. They have been sent by their gang-boss to wreak terrible, violent revenge, but have only a rough idea of their quarry: a one-armed man, maybe living somewhere in west Wales, in a small town by the sea.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099287582
ISBN-10: 0099287587
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 128mm x 14mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 6-May-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Stump by Niall Griffiths

US Kirkus Review » A downtrodden man with one arm is halfheartedly pursued by two equally hapless hit men, all in the semi-opaque but exuberant brogue the Welsh author (Kelly + Victor, 2003, etc.) is known for. The one-armed guy (let's call him Stump, as he is technically unnamed) has left-well, fled-Liverpool on a tip that he's wanted by the mob. And he's basically right. Alastair and Darren, two incompetent and mostly disinterested thugs, have been dispatched in an unreliable vehicle, armed with a Reader's Digest map, to the small town in Wales where Stump has holed up after being ditched by his sort-of girlfriend, Rebecca, who is definitely responsible for the price on his head and partly responsible for the loss of his arm (she helpfully injected him with smack while his arm was in a cast; the tip of the needle snapped off, and gangrene did the rest). Stump puddles around his yard, takes up gardening, teaches himself to brush his teeth, eat cereal and masturbate with one hand, and endures the peaceful boredom of having given up sex (except for the above), violence, and alcohol (while gaining the universally colorless language of the 12-step program). Meanwhile, his would-be assailants are wildly bored as they botch their mission in between chomps of crisps and shouts of "cunt" and "who-er," while debating hard (and probably relevant) choices, such as whether one would prefer to lose an arm or an eye in a bar brawl. Many moments encapsulate the toll taken by everyday violence: Stump picks yellow flowers en route to a drug-laced tryst with his girl, as he "vaguely recalls trying to hit her," and the two men recount a bar fight in which a man did lose an eye-only afterward realizing that his young son witnessed it all. Griffiths is best when he captures those small moments that punctuate the casual boredom of intermittently savage lives. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Niall Griffiths

Niall Griffiths was born in Liverpool in 1966 and now lives in Wales. He has published six other novels: Grits, Sheepshagger, Kelly + Victor, Wreckage, Runt and A Great Big Shining Star. The film of Kelly + Victor will be released shortly.

Books By Niall Griffiths

One Moonlit Night by Niall Griffiths
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Great Big Shining Star by Niall Griffiths
Paperback, November 2014
Ronnie's Dream by Niall Griffiths
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Runt by Niall Griffiths
Paperback, April 2008