Drink, drugs, and the uncanny: Hings by Chris McQueer
Hings is an adrenaline-paced collection of short stories with surreal twists and riffs on the everyday using puns, weird ideas, and ridiculous scenarios. Drones taking over a postman’s life, everyone’s knees on backwards, the korma police, and a shed with a banging techno night are just a few of the things that crop up in McQueer’s laugh-out-loud short stories. Lengths rang from a few short, sharp pages to a longer tale of a bowls rivalry told in little chunks, making Hings perfect to pick up for a laugh or two, or settle down for a binge on the dark and ridiculous fueled by drink, drugs, and the uncanny.
There are laughs from the first page and the book immediately grabs you in with a hilarious and disgusting story of Sammy deciding to try whelks for the first time. It is packed full of Scottishness, working class life, deadpan comments, and jokes about Harambe and Buzzfeed’s Scottish content. McQueer’s characters are mostly looking for ordinary things—a good time out, money, pals, get through another day at work—but the fucking weird turns up too, making Hings a witty take on everyday life if it got a bit stranger.
The comparisons with Irvine Welsh and Limmy are obvious when you read it, but McQueer is really a master of the hilarious short story, packing in twists and turns in very short spaces and making it hard not to laugh out loud (and cringe occasionally). Hings is one for anyone who likes provocative and fresh short fiction and Scottish humour, or wants to prove they’ve read more than just those Buzzfeed Scottish tweet articles.
[Note: Hings can be preordered here. Cheers 404 Ink for the proof copy!]