Gale treads David Lynch territory: these stories have a slight edge of surreality, as they peel away the veneer of social and sexual ‘normality’ and uncover something more exotic and dangerous underneath. But unlike Lynch’s work, these stories are essentially comic. Bad things happen, certainly; people die, but even death is a cue for transformation. And, neatly sidestepping politically
correct clichés, it is more often than not the young people who are the prudes, and their elders who have learnt to swing. Patrick Gale clearly knows his business. He pulls it off with verve to spare.