Released on 11 February 2016.

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3.5 based on 41 ratings & 7 reviews on


Many of Legoland's fifteen stories begin with Woodward's sharp and unflinching eye alighting upon an apparently everyday detail or situation, but then a sudden twist takes them to an unsettling place where life's normal rules no longer apply.

Whether he's writing about domestic subjects - such as in 'The Unloved', when a woman in a dysfunctional marriage finally leaves home after decades of misery; or tackling large issues on a global stage - the tyranny of dictators in 'The Fall of Mr and Mrs Nicholson'; or the invasion of an unnamed country in 'The Flag', each story is full of Woodward's blacker-than-black humour, fearless surrealism, and gift for phrase-making.

The collection also includes Woodward's brilliant story 'The Family Whistle', shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, in which a woman's husband returns home from war, only to discover his wife thinks he's been back for years because another man has already claimed his place.

Legoland celebrates Woodward's gift for clarity, wit and surprise: his lithe prose and willingness to ignore convention carrying us from comedy to tragedy and back again, sometimes in a single story; it confirms him as one of the most gifted and original writers of our time.

In the media

There are echoes of Milan Kundera and Roald Dahl in these dark and gleeful explorations of the surreal . . . Woodward's stories astonish: they seem to offer a predictable direction, then swerve elsewhere. And just like the toy that lends the title story's playground its name, these narratives are meticulously designed, building into dazzling and surprising structures...the stories range in genre from realism to pseudo-fairytale and in geography from postwar Germany to Colorado...remarkable...a gifted writer
Gerard Woodward falls squarely between the comic lunacy of American short-form virtuoso George Saunders and the everyday rhapsodies of Raymond Carver
Time Out
With a lesser writer, such idea driven pieces might be gimmicky, but Woodward pulls off a surreal conjunction of ingenious strangeness with deeper anxieties.
Sunday Times