LONGLISTED for the 2022 EDGE HILL SHORT STORY PRIZE!
'A funny, sad, sharp and beautifully disarming collection of stories: a place where the world of the quotidian with its train commutes, work lanyards and office emails, becomes dreamlike, absorbing and wonderfully strange.'
– Wendy Erskine, author of Sweet Home
'A glorious, shimmering and strange collection. Pester inhabits familiar spaces only to skewer them with a signature style and humour. A must read.'
– Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch
'Ben Pester’s vertiginous and stunningly weird stories are acts of inversion: office life is rendered terrifying and strange, while elements of cosmic horror – alien lifeforms, menacing and hungry holes – possess an eerie banality. Engaging with these enigmatic variations is less like reading and more like plunging; a funny and disturbing experience that I won’t soon forget.'
– Chris Power, author of Mothers
'What a wonderfully twisted collection of stories this is – full of subversive portraits of familial love, memory and grief. There is a temporal weirdness running through these stories that creates something unexpected in each of them, and an ironic playfulness to the sentences that has caused me to fold over so many of the pages, wanting to read them again.'
– Ross Raisin, author of A Natural
'Ben Pester's debut collection is brilliant and strange. It sneaks around the border of horror, like an anxiety dream but in the best way. I loved it.'
– Evie Wyld, author of The Bass Rock
From the extraordinary mind of debut writer Ben Pester comes a book of stories in which the everyday – work, parents, friends – is not quite what it should be. Taken together, it forms a collection of things we are doing right now, in this lost and terrifying world we are gamely attempting to inhabit. Things like worshipping an imaginary being while trying to be productive; or slowly dying and having nothing to say about it except how tiring it was building the kitchen extension; or having hot martinis with the ambassador in a hotel that ought not to be there. Unsettling, original and occasionally monstrous, these are stories that light the contours of the ordinary world with a shimmering unreality.
“Weird... and wonderful.”
– Anthony Cummins, The Guardian
“Everything is wrong, in the right way.”
– Nicholas Royle, Times Literary Supplement
“... imaginative, witty, and ingenious, a collection for our times in its depiction of capitalism, poverty and the daily grind of office politics.”
– Sam Mills, The London Magazine
“He’s toying with us, and we know that he is, and it’s great fun.”
– Monica Cardenas, Litro Magazine
Ben Pester lives in North London. His work has appeared in Granta, Hotel, Five Dials and other places. When not writing fiction, he is a technical writer. He lives with his wife and two kids.
Am I In The Right Place? by Ben Pester