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Defeated Dogs

by Quentin S Crisp

Tallest Stories

320 pages

This book is the fifth original fiction collection from one of the true eccentrics of modern British writing – stories that blend erudite skill and a startling emotional intensity, classical elegance and unexpected experimentation, sophisticated miserablism and innocent beauty.  A fairy tale as dark as they come amid a shattering clash of two opposing and poisoned personalities.  A Meyrink-tinged dream of atavism and Italy that awakens the dreamer to philosophy and fate. A quiet and perfectly observed journey through the far reaches of Japan.  Myth-working fantasy haunted by the motley ghosts of Lord Dunsany and Matsuo Bashô, and by the imps of postmodernism.  A vision of the afterlife where heaven and hell are entwined in torturous symbiosis.  The sinister Black Dog folklore re-imagined as a cosmology of thanatophobia. 

For all the diversity of styles in evidence, they are united by the author’s distinctive voice – a window into a crepuscular human world torn between magic and reality, earth and infinity.

“To call Crisp’s stories simple would be to malign them; to say that they are complex would be to slander, for the highest art is that which, in its directness, its naturalness, says what it has to say without pretence.”

-Brendan Connell – from the Introduction


  • Introduction by Brendan Connell
  • The Fairy Killer
  • Dreamspace
  • Tzimtzum
  • Sado-ga-shima
  • The Gay Wolf
  • The Temple
  • Lilo
  • Non-Attachment
  • The Broadsands Eyrie
  • The Gwyllgi of the Lost Lanes


Quentin S. Crisp was born in 1972, in North Devon, U.K. Leaving A-level college without grades, he spent five years working with the Wolf and Water Arts Company before going on to study Japanese at Durham University. He graduated in the year 2000. His first collection of fiction, The Nightmare Exhibition, was published in 2001, by BJM Press, while he was teaching English in Taiwan. He returned to Japan later that year to research Japanese literature on a scholarship at Kyoto University, studying in particular the works of Higuchi Ichiyo. He returned to Britain in 2003, since when he has had fiction published by Tartarus Press, PS Publishing and others. He currently resides in a garret flat in South East London, and is editor for Chômu Press.



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