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

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  11 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Set in the West Midlands, a collection of short stories which deal with themes such as music, football, stolen sex and cheap drugs, featuring characters who struggle with their conflicting desires.
Published (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-11)
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Feb 15, 2016 Elyse rated it really liked it
These stories explore the frailties which exist in all of us.
Alan's prose is textured ....I never knew what was coming.
Surreal & real..darkly funny...thoughtful and unsettling.
At times I laughed...other times I was just shaking my head!

Here is a 'sample' of Alan's writing from one of the short stories called:
"Cheer Up Lucky Lips Forever"

"When I was young the sky was mine. I was always getting close to it – – up trees,
on roofs, the iron bridge. I loved hilltops, exhausted from the climb l
Apr 25, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it
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
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
Nov 06, 2009 Abailart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction

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
Jun 24, 2012 Ken rated it it was amazing
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
Charlie Hill
May 24, 2016 Charlie Hill rated it really liked it
To mark the occasion of the publication of his first collection of short stories, Mark Haddon took to the Guardian to make a pronouncement on the form. The result was a lame piece of provocation. His hymning of ‘enjoyability’ above all other desirable characteristics of a story was tired and empty, and his overall ‘argument’ was riven with internal illogicality. But what got my particular goat was his rejection of ‘stories in the Chekhov/Joyce/ Mansfield/Carver idiom, an idiom that has become a ...more
Christopher James
Mar 24, 2016 Christopher James rated it liked it
I didn't dislike this book, but I think it's for a very niche audience, namely Brits from Birmingham. Hey, good on Alan Beard for exposing what I'm sure he'd call the "troubled mundanity" of the U.K.

I had a hard time getting into in the beginning, but I eventually learned to appreciate the flow of his writing, and the way his stories unraveled.
Angie rated it it was amazing
May 30, 2015
Elizabeth Halloran
Elizabeth Halloran rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2016
Rustyjoint rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2012
Ann rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2011
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Alan Beard is a short story writer with two collections 'Taking Doreen out of the Sky' (Picador 1999, also on Kindle) and 'You Don't Have to Say' (Tindal Street Press, 2010). He won the Tom-Gallon award and was longlisted for the Edge Hill prize; stories in 'Best Short Stories 1991', and Best British Short Stories 2011 (Salt) and many places including 'Critical Quarterly', 'Malahat Review', 'Londo ...more
More about Alan Beard...

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