Tartarus Press


The Servants and Other Strange Stories is a sewn hardback book of 283pp, printed lithographically with silk ribbon marker, printed boards, and head and tailbands.


First Tartarus Press printing


ISBN 978-1-912586-55-4


£45.00 inc p&p


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Ebook: £7.99

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The Servants

and Other Strange Stories


John O'Donoghue


The Servants and Other Strange Stories includes an Irish short story that never ends, a ghost story set in Keats’ House, an encounter between ‘the little people’ and an Irish midlands town. The collection also contains three novellas featuring a woman caught up in the Irish Famine, a private eye who discovers a secret Dublin police unit, and a man who is shipwrecked on an abandoned island off the West Coast of Ireland only to find it’s not so abandoned after all.


At the heart of the collection is ‘The Servants’, which tells the story of Seamus, a robot who has a vocation to the priesthood. Set in an Irish version of Asimov’s robot universe, the novella pays homage to Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, and Flann O’Brien’s De Selby.


Ranging from mystery stories to science fiction, The Servants and Other Strange Stories is Irish story telling at its best.


Contents: ‘The Irish Short Story That Never Ends’, ‘Bitter Chill’, ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, ‘Refugees’, ‘The Spot in His Eye’, ‘Letters from a Famine’, ‘The Heart’s Needle’, ‘The Servants’, ‘The Islanders’, ‘Acknowledgements’.

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John O’Donoghue is the author of Brunch Poems (Waterloo Press, 2009) and Fools & Mad (Waterloo Press, 2014); the memoir Sectioned: A Life Interrupted (John Murray 2009); and the short story collection, The King From Over The Water (The Wild Geese Press, 2019).


His short stories have been published in The Irish Times, The Irish Post, The Stinging Fly, HOWL Magazine, The London Magazine, Aesthetica, and The Frogmore Papers.


Sectioned was awarded Mind Book of the Year 2010. ‘The Irish Short Story That Never Ends’ was awarded The Irish Post Listowel Writers’ Week Prize in 2016.


John O’Donoghue  has a PhD in Creative Writing from Bath Spa and lives in Brighton.


Praise for The Servants and Other Strange Stories:

"These clever and very entertaining stories occupy the borderlines where different eras, different places, and different genres intermingle. They can be frightening, these nebulous zones, but they also contain all the possibilities of human life, where uncertainty is to be welcomed, rather than shunned. With tales of robot priests, mysterious islands and ghostly poets, O’Donoghue is an expert guide to the borderlands and the people who dwell there. The mist beckons."

Jeff Noon (Vurt, Pollen, Automated Alice)





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