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Taking Doreen Out Of The Sky
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Taking Doreen Out Of The Sky

4.5 of 5 stars 4.50  ·  rating details  ·  6 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Alan Beard’s stories evoke a disturbing world of supressed passion and unpredictable violence. They are by turns comic, tender and unsettling. The setting is a recognizable one of music, football, stolen sex and cheap drugs. Characters struggle with their conflicting desires and try to come to terms with loss – of a job, of a marriage, of illusions. Framed by the complex u...more
Published (first published 1997)
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This review is a placeholder, a review marker, because what I want to say is not necessarily corresponding with the keys that I am pushing down at the moment. And this is my fault. What I want to write is beyond what I'm going to be able to clack-clack down now. This, quite possibly, is unfair to the writer. Alan, if you are offended, you have my address. Have at me.

So...this book is deceptive. It quietly traveled in my bag with me for weeks and weeks, and I read it very slowly, story by story...more
For a long time I was too preoccupied to really get these stories. They are not the sort of stories to immediately transport you. But they do transport you, when you're ready. The title story is sad and beautiful. It's a good place to start.

The world of Alan Beard's stories, in and around Birmingham, is wonderfully detailed. The stories are poignant: people in or out of work, in a relationship or marriage, or looking to be in one... I really like Beard's description, his characters' observations...more

I can’t imagine this remaining out of print. I am lucky enough to have procured a secondhand copy on amazon. Count yourself lucky if you get to own a copy too.

All the stories in this collection focus on lives the shape of roads and council estates in the English Midlands. One story, Cheer Up Lucky Lips Forever, involves the narrator’s train journey interrupted: he leans from a window to stare through a fog into his memories made physically real by coincidence, the same house that centres his tra...more
What haunts you? Sitting there late at night, in the silence, while that beer on the table gets warmer, and the rollback of the years flashes before your eyes? In many ways, the tales in Alan Beard’s superb collection feel like ghost stories. Not in the traditional sense -- no white spectres wandering the halls or loud rappings on the walls from unseen hands. Rather, the citizens of the council flats in and around Birmingham are all haunted by their own past. What could they have been? Or how co...more
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Alan Beard's stories have appeared in magazines such as London Magazine, Malahat Review, Panurge, Critical Quarterly; ezines such as Vestal Review, Taint magazine; anthologies such as Neonlit, England Calling, Tell Tales 3. His first collection came out in 1999 (Picador) and was called Taking Doreen Out Of The Sky. His second 'You Don't Have to Say' came out in September 2010 from Tindal Street Pr...more
More about Alan Beard...
You Don't Have to Say Going the Distance Background Noise The Heebie-Jeebies The Best British Short Stories 2011

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