ABOUT Marc Nash

Marc Nash
Experimental novelist, interrogator of our slippery language, mutator of the novel's form, purveyor of ideas.Favourite writers, Delilo, Selby Jnr, Winterson, Kafka, Houellebecq, Pelevin, 



52 pieces of flash fiction, some everyday, some mythic, all with a precision of language and a startling use of metaphor and image. From child soldiers to aged actresses; shaman to fairground knife throwers; spousal poisoners to charity giver; bingo caller's stalker, werewolves, vultures, hitmen and women, toy pandas, dancers, lovers and a recalcitrant apple tree. All and more contained within this finest collection of the shortest form of story telling. 

As part of the #fridayflash community on Twitter, I wrote a new piece of flash fiction every week for a year. Though I returned to novel writing at the end of it, the flashes kept coming and tugging at me to be written. Here are the best 52 of the 70 or so I wrote. Flash fiction allows you to tell different types of story in a different way, because the 1000 or so words allows the reader to keep every one of them in mind as they read, which can't be done with a 75,000 word novel. These stories leap straight inside the mind and emotions of each character, because the writer doesn't have the luxury of extensive description. That enhances a certain intensity of emotion.

If you've never read flash fiction, then this is the place to begin. And if you're already a fan, then you'll appreciate this anthology. 52FF is a powerful collection of stories encompassing a wide range of subject matter and human experience. The style ranges from the deceptively simple to experimental, and each piece is rich in language and wordplay. Best of all, I've found many of the stories so thought provoking that I've read them several times - which makes this volume worth every penny. (My favorites include "If IT Were THEE" and "Bowing Out".) - Lisa Vooght, USA

52FF is a concoction of short (and sometimes not so sweet) “Flash Fiction” stories all under 1000 words each. 

The majority of stories were thought-provoking vignettes with an underlying nefariousness portraying the horror of both fantastical and real life situations, which work on our human weaknesses (anxieties, fear and loathing) with a twist of satire and black humour thrown in. 

In the Nursery, is a poignant example of this heady cocktail of emotions and descriptive prose, by which the author, Marc Nash, tells this heart-rending story through the eyes of a stuffed panda in the room of a child’s psychologist. There’s a wide variety of stories to read, from the violence suggested in a seemingly harmless game of bingo in The Caller to the Bingo Caller’s House Calls “House”, to Badges and the stark loneliness of Lost Sole, where Nash’s very British, analytical voice bubbles to the surface. My favourite story has to be Bittersweet, another fine example of how the author cleverly plays around with words, metaphor and new ideas showing a strong love for language. 

With 52 stories, you can deal a story-a-day, there’s a gritty, down-to-earth quick appetiser to appeal to your varying taste-buds. A great “loo book” too, and I mean that in a good way! I felt, that in some cases, there were a couple of scenes as opposed to complete short stories with beginnings, middles and ends, however, these tended to be more experimental and came across more like poetry, or an alternative style of prose, which I rather liked as they enhanced their individual potency. This made for a good read as I never quite knew what to expect from one story to another, making 52FF very hard to put down. 

At the end of the book there is a additional nice touch, the story prompts, which led to the ideas behind each piece of flash. A unique and effective idea. I found myself going back and re-reading some of the more mysterious ones armed with this additional knowledge, as though privy to inside information and looking for the things I may have missed, like one does when watching a film for the second time. 

Overall, I do enjoy flash fiction and I think, Marc Nash, has done very well with his collection of 52FF. Whether you are new to this form of creativity, or a flash fiction fiend, 52FF is an electric mixture of small servings covering many flavours to chill, shake and stir you! What provides some thematic unity, as well as satirical bite, is the darkness, which lies around the corner in many of these stories. A veritable cocktail of real life incidents, metaphors and hidden meanings of an imaginative mind! AlternativeRead.com

lash fiction is a fascinating form - unlike a traditional short story, the structure is often subtle. You might need to look for the beginning, the middle and the end. The resolution may not be obvious to you. Some aspects of a particular piece may not occur to you until after the second, third or even fourth reading. I love this concept and I think Marc Nash has understood it perfectly. Some of his pieces are smash, bang, inyerface stuff but deliver subtleties on a second reading. Others seem opaque at first but obvious later. Some are funny then sad. Others are sad then funny.

Nash includes a "prompts" section at the end, which provides the inspiration behind each of the pieces. These I thoroughly enjoyed - they made me read some of the stories over again and with completely new eyes.

I loved the obvious fascination with words and images. I loved the many layers hidden within the brevity. And I loved the darkness and the satire. This anthology is a gift that keeps on giving. I read it much more quickly than the story-a-week that Nash recommends - such is the plight of the reviewer - but it's made me think and I know it'll be saved on my Kindle for regular revisits.

Recommended to all those who like strong, energetic writing and those who enjoy the creativity in the new formats so suited to this brave new digital world we find ourselves part of. The BookBag

Other Book(s) By Marc Nash