Clock Without Hands by Gerald Kersh
Tradepaperback – Valancourt Press – 204 pages
First published in 1949.
Best known for his gritty novels of London life and his weird and often horrific short fiction, in Clock Without Hands (1949) Gerald Kersh delivers three novellas, each very different but all showcasing the virtuosity of his storytelling. Clock Without Hands relates the unexpected and macabre impact of a sordid murder on the mild-mannered neighbour who witnesses the crime. In Flight to the World’s End, a desperate boy flees his cruel life at an orphanage, only to discover a harsh truth about the world outside. And in Fairy Gold, a clerk plays a malicious practical joke on his impoverished co-worker, with unpredictable and startling consequences.
Gerald Kersh (1911-1968) published more than thirty books, including the noir classic Night and the City (1938) and Fowlers End (1957), which Anthony Burgess called “one of the great comic novels of the century,” as well as hundreds of short stories which were once ubiquitous in British and American magazines. But though he has been championed by Angela Carter, Harlan Ellison, Ian Fleming, Michael Moorcock and others, Kersh has undeservedly fallen into neglect since his death. This edition of one of his lesser-known books is the first-ever reprint and includes a new introduction by Thomas Pluck.