Above the Fat

Short stories by Thomas Chadwick

At the top of a high-rise tower, buffeted by a gale, a desperate man clings onto a ledge and feels the passing minutes drag out into eternity. In a city swallowed by rising floodwaters, two friends embark on a leisurely stroll while the surging waves lick at their heels. A struggling entrepreneur stakes his future years on a plantation of trees that won’t reach maturity for a decade; a browbeaten bachelor stews over a lifetime’s disappointments in the moments it takes him to knot a tie; and when an arrogant chef devotes precisely two minutes to frying the perfect egg, he realises, as the seconds tick down, that dementia has robbed his father of half a century’s worth of memories.

Step inside the twilit realm of Thomas Chadwick: a place where the flow of time stalls and swells, halts and hastens, in utterly unpredictable ways. Urgent demands collide with outbreaks of eerie calm, stretches of idleness dovetail with sudden insistence on action, and an inertia without end can bloom from the limbo between the delayed departure of a boat and the arrival of cataclysmic climate change. Combining gentle lyricism with absurdity and biting humour, and finding poignancy in slippages between past, present, and foreboding future, Chadwick’s stories conjure up rare magic and cast a disorienting spell. Placid evenings distend into weeks of trouble before sundown, months of anxiety are distilled into a single heartbeat, and, from dawn to dusk, the duration of an entire day is neatly contained between the covers of a book.


Thomas ChadwickThomas Chadwick grew up in Wiltshire and now splits his time between London and Ghent. His stories have been shortlisted for the White Review prize, the Ambit prize, and the Bridport prize, and longlisted for the Galley Beggar prize. He is an editor of Hotel magazine.


Above the Fat will be published on April 15, 2019. To pre-order the book, just select your preferred purchase option and you’ll receive it before the publication date.

Above the Fat (Paperback, UK Postage)

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Above the Fat (Paperback, Rest of World)

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