Grey Dawn and Leaden Heads : Archie Aston’s Short Stories

Archie Aston and a bicycle

Do you know this moment towards the end of a night out on the town, when it’s a bit cold, and getting home seems like a Herculean labour?
The next day, it seems more useful to think about daytime stuff, concern for the image projected to others returns into one’s self, alongside a life-affirming idea of who you are, who you can be, and who you’re going to be.

This mercury hour between grey dawn and a leaden head as toxic as it is demonic solicits the ghosts of a haunted Saturday night as its shadowed figures grow into grimaces and caricatures of themselves.

Here in Archie Aston’s collection, the security men from the transport system are magnified into a block of bullish aggressors, the piece of dirty metal found in a doughnut becomes the object of scientific pursuits of the highest level, and the slightly brutal-looking guy at the bar turns into a mythographer of the most chilling torture chambers.

You’re let into a ducked-down universe, where for a moment, the things that happen waver between reality and incubus, and the places it happens look somewhere just between an urban planning fail and dystopic film set. We flirt with painful debasement of human life and ridicule, we partake of the finest, and funniest, inspiration.

Unapologetic and deliberately rough around the edges, Archie Aston has written a short collection of stories that are easy to follow, and yet strangely deep and sticky in their unassumingly scatological and flippant charm.

Totally awesome!


Archie Aston was born in Birmingham, UK in 1986 and currently lives in Berlin, Germany. There’s Nothing Wrong with Running Away is his first short story collection, which can be purchased here on Amazon :
Review by : Polly Trope, Hellenist, novelist, and literary critic in the making, who loves an indie street angle on things. Polly Trope is the author of Cured Meat. – See more at:

Writer and Surrealist. Literophone Operator : sit in a fluffy cubicle & be on the phone to poets. Author of "Cured Meat: Memoirs of a Psychiatric Runaway" - Guardian Best First Book Nominations 2014. Interpreter of Ancient Tales.

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