Instruction Manual for Swallowing

WINNER of the 2011 Arts Foundation Fellowship in Short Story Writing.

Shortlisted for the 2010 Sunday Times Short Story Award.

Longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize.

Robotic insects, in-growing cutlery, flesh-serving waiters in a zombie cafe...

Welcome to the surreal, misshapen universe of Adam Marek’s first collection; a bestiary of hybrids from the techno-crazed future and mythical past; a users’ guide to the seemingly obvious (and the world of illogic implicit within it). Whether fantastical or everyday in setting, Marek’s stories lead us down to the engine room just beneath modern consciousness, a place of both atavism and familiarity, where the body is fluid, the spirit mechanised, and beasts often tell us more about our humanity than anything we can teach ourselves.


'There's a transgressive thrill to Adam Marek's debut collection of short stories that's not simply a result of the potency of the subject matter... delightful.' -The Guardian

'Early McEwan meets David Cronenberg.... genuine, unsettling talent' - The Independent

'Marek is terrific at setting an off-kilter mood.' - The National Post

'I had been writing, badly, and then I picked up Marek’s Instruction Manual and read the first story in one gulp in the bookshop and thought: "Stories can be like that?" Smart, funny, spawned from Marek’s characteristically wicked imagination and his preoccupation with weird science...' - Holly Dawson

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The 40-Litre Monkey
Meaty's Boys
Testicular Cancer vs. the Behemoth

Book Details

1 Nov 2007

About the Author

More by Adam Marek

The Stone Thrower

Pulsing at the core of Adam Marek’s much-anticipated second collection is a single, unifying theme: a parent’s instinct to protect a particularly vulnerable child.