An expedition to Mars goes terribly wrong. A seaside pier collapses. A 30-stone man is confined to his living room. One woman is abandoned on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. Another is saved from drowning. Two boys discover a gun in a shoebox, and a group of explorers find a cave of unimaginable size, deep in the Amazon jungle. Here, Mark Haddon demonstrates two things: first that he is a master of the short form, and second that his imagination is even darker than we had thought.