The short story collection,
A History of Sarcasm is now available to buy from

Here's a sample story from the collection, Some Facts About Me

Praise for A History of Sarcasm 

"A wonderful collection of decidedly weird short stories. Every single one of them is a gem. If you don't believe me, why not linger for a while and read the first one, a dysfunctional love story told in alphabetical order? I think you'll like it." 
Scott Pack,
Me and My Big Mouth

“The writer William Burroughs once called language “a virus from outer space”, and there’s a sense of that in A History of Sarcasm, where Burton holds words up to the sun and lets the light shine through them.”

David Swann, author of The Last Days of Johnny North   

"Frank's characters are startling, fragile, hilarious and chilling. If you haven't had a chance to delve into Frank's world yet, and you're not afraid your visit might turn into a long-term, straight-jacketed order of commitment, I highly recommend it. Every time I think he can't outdo himself again, he ups the ante and takes it one stupendous step further." 
Deb Hoag, author of
Crashin' The Real

"...these stories are intriguing and erupt into the reader’s experience in a much larger way than the few thousand words of a short story might suggest ... clever and affecting ... the author’s voice and style are so strong and individual ..."
Jane Prior, Dundee University Review of the Arts

The Blurb

“Sometimes stories that I’ve used to mythologize my childhood resurface in my mind as actual memories … Perhaps if you tell a story enough times, it will become the truth.” 

This admission by Mark Greensleeves, the compulsive liar in the story, Some Facts About Me, sums up Frank Burton’s sharp, surreal and subversive short story collection, A History of Sarcasm.  The seventeen stories in this collection blur the boundaries between fact and fantasy through a series of obsessive characters and their skewed versions of reality.  Among them are a man who insists on living every aspect of his life in alphabetical order, a girl who believes she is receiving secret messages through the TV, a paranoiac who is pursued by an army of giant lobsters, and an academic who turns into a cat. 


Funny, dark and relentlessly off the wall, this collection brings together the best of Frank Burton’s published work with some brand new stories.



The Stories


Aabehlpt (First published in Etchings    

The Illusion of Security            

The Day She Melted  (First published in Polluto

Voom and Bloom (First published in Polluto)

Some Facts About Me

The Opening  (First published in The Beat    

The Wondering (First published in Twisted Tongue

The World  (Broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Opening Lines, April 2009) 

Joost First (first published in Etchings

M (first published in Gobstopper)    

A History of Sarcasm (First published in Etchings)

The Point  (First published on

Walter Walks Sideways (First published in Skive Quarterly)

Multiple Stories            

Monica Gets Messages

The Irony          

The Nature of Human Happiness 



The Prodigals 

The Prodigals is a free online novel published by Philistine Press in 2011.  The full text can be read at  It can be downloaded in various ebook formats. 

The Prodigals follows the lives of four troubled young men in Manchester - Brian, Howard, Declan and the novel's anti-hero, Travis McGuiggan.  It's a book about friendship, religion, drinking, cruelty and love.  It's also a book about leaving home and returning. 


(n) A reckless, irresponsible person; a person who spends lavishly or squanders money. 

The Prodigal Son: 

(as in the Biblical parable) 

1. a disobedient and irresponsible son who wastes money on a life of pleasure and later returns home to ask for his parents' forgiveness.
2. a person who acts irresponsibly and later regrets it.

Praise for The Prodigals:

"I am really struggling to categorise it here – but I think that’s a good thing, because there is already far too much genre fiction out there which is all too ready and willing to be pigeon-holed.  And although I have reservations about whether “The Prodigals” will be everyone’s cup of tea, I enjoyed it – and I liked the fact that it was unconventional and ambitious in its approach (especially as traditional publishers aren’t generally publishing that kind of fiction any more because it’s seen as too “uncommercial”)."

Paul Samael, Free Fiction Review


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