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Departures: Seven Stories from Heathrow

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Seven short stories from bestselling author Tony Parsons, based on his week as Writer in Residence at Heathrow airport.

Here is Heathrow as it has never been seen before – a secret city populated by the 75 million travellers who pass through every year, a place where journeys and dreams end – and begin.

From the brilliant twenty-something
Paperback, 99 pages
Published October 27th 2011 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  292 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
Borrowed from my library's e-book service!

I really liked the concept for these collection of short stories, written by Tony during his week long residency at one of the world's busiest airports Heathrow. These are mainly for an adult audience, but there were an array of characters (and animals!) featured throughout. They were quick, easy to read, some of the stories I enjoyed more than others. I'm unsure if I would re-read this collection again since there were moments of info-dumpin
Aug 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: aviation
I hate you, Tony Parsons, and your facile, predictable, saccharine stories. If I were to submit one of these stilted tales with their massive infodumps to the People's Friend, it would be rejected with a one-line form letter. Yet other people apparently like this stuff. A much bigger mystery than what goes on behind the scenes at Heathrow's Animal Control unit, in my opinion.
Sara Jovanovic
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a small book with big messages. I am a fan of Parsons' laid-back attitude towards life. He makes no dreamy promises, life can be hard and cruel, but it's also filled with beautiful human stories, the one that will make you smile, or make you think-hey, this is me. Those stories seam simple and short, but they describe life as it is, for better or worse. Definitely, worth giving hour or so of your life to read them all at ones.
Jelena Antic
Aug 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Pete Young
Nov 12, 2012 rated it liked it
In August 2011 Tony Parsons became writer-in-residence at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, and these seven interlinked short stories are the result of that fruitful week. Having been connected with Heathrow for most of my professional life I thought this collection might be a bit of an unrewarding ‘busman’s holiday’, but it’s the details of the working lives of other Heathrow mavens that really caught my eye, and for readers unconnected with Heathrow other than when just passing through these stories will ...more
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I've always had a soft spot for short stories. I enjoyed all the stories in this book but especially the one about the old man who hangs around the airport. The stories offer a look into the behind the scenes activities in an airport which was interesting.
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Visiting the book fair last month, I’ve found this small book. I like Tony Parsons a lot, and I was wondering how I didn’t know about this book. I’ve found out that he spent seven days at Heathrow as official airport writer just to write these seven heart-warming stories of life.

Departures is a book made of seven stories. I’ve never been at Heathrow before, but these stories made me feel like I’ve always been there.

There is a boy who likes to watch the airplanes leaving and coming.
Michele Brooker
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This has made me want to read more Tony Parsons!
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great set of stories from a good writer.

Loved the stories were based on an airport. The stories are full of insight of the kind of people who pass through the airport and about those who make it possible for them to do so.

Perhaps I enjoyed them more, because as a student of the craft, I could see how he worked the details of an airport and used it to weave stories. Also I am always fascinated by the airport and the kind of stories it contains.

Parsons does a good job of
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gabriella Cseh
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great! Imádtam minden elbeszélés, pedig már rég elszoktam a novellák olvasásától, mert nem tudtam az elmúlt pár évben lekötni.
Megható, bájos, emelkedett történetek, amik megmutatják, milyen remek emberek dolgoznak Nagy-Britannia legnagyobb repterén.
Nyilván vannak irodalmilag sokkal értékesebb művek is. De nem kell minden regénynek-novellának olyan emelkedettnek vagy éppen mélynek lennie, hogy az ember elfáradjon az olvasásában.
Szívből tudom ajánlani Mindenkinek.
Anel Musanović
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Iako možda izgleda kao kratka knjiga, kao knjiga koja vam ne može puno reći - varate se. Pisac na jako jednostavn način prikazuje ono što vidimo svaki dan, ono pored čega hodimo svaki dan. Ljude i njihove živote, tužne i sretne priče. Ono najljepše. Topla preporuka za ovu jako neobičnu knjigu.
Victoria Marks
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nov 20, 2013 rated it liked it
British writer Tony Parsons spent a week inside of London's Heathrow Airport as a writer in residence, during which time he wrote this short collection containing seven stories about various professionals working there, from animal caretakers and customs agents, to pilots and runway maintenance workers. There are also two stories that mainly focus on travelers, those being the first story "The Green Plane" and the story "The Final Call."

My first impression of this collection was luke
Pretty junky tbh
Susan Barnes
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
This is a pleasant collection of sevens stories related to the staff and travellers who frequent Heathrow Airport in London. The stories are all stand alone however there is some overlap where characters reappear in later stories.

All the stories are interesting snippets of life in a busy airport. People using the airport vary from the rich and famous to drug mules, to hopeful romantics and to average families. Each one has a story to tell.

The staff also cover a cross sect
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Még nem volt szerencsém az íróhoz, úgyhogy nem tudtam, mit várhatok tőle. De kifejezetten tetszettek a történetek. Az elsőnél átéreztem a nő félelmét, én még életemben nem repültem, és tuti be lennék tojva az első utam előtt. Neki ugyan nem az első volt, de hát na, vannak dolgok amiktől az ember fél.
A második történetnél kicsit irigyeltem Tim-et, bár nem lehet egyszerű munka, biztos, hogy rengeteg gyönyörű (és veszélyes) állattal találkozhat.
Jazz munkáját viszont biztos, hogy semmi pénzér
Jan 17, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm a very big fan of Tony Parsons and I was left wanting more from this collection of short stories.

I was truly excited to see what Parsons had written after spending a week at Heathrow Airport as a writer in residence. Parsons for me failed to deliver.

With the seven stories, I felt that Parsons had created characters with no depth, no passion, no motivation and was lukewarm at best. I just felt that he was disconnected from his characters which is very unusual for Parsons as that is his bigg
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I got this book out as I wanted to read something quick and easy in a few days. This book was really interesting as it was 7 semi-true stories about the different aspects of Heathrow airport. As someone who loves travelling and finds airports fascinating it was a fun light read. I would definitely recommend it as a quick beach, flight or journey read. Just what I needed to get me back into the swing of reading. I feel like I have been so busy atm that I haven't had much time to read, so it was n ...more
Christina Rochester
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh I'm so sad that this already over. I loved most of these short stories and the way that they all intertwined gave me a little thrill. I think my favourite had to be the one following UKBA, and afterwards I was disappointed to find that my own medical conditions would prevent me from joining their ranks. But at least thanks to Tony Parsons I had the opportunity to follow them for a day.

These really are some lovely little stories although you may want a tissue handy for Fur Actually
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, fiction-general
Charming collection of feel-good short stories about a large airport. (Heath Row, but I'm sure it could be any large airport.) Though I thoroughly enjoyed the stories myself, it occurred to me this would be a great book for an adult to read to an older child. (Eight or nine and up.) I read to my kids well past the age that they could read by themselves. It's a lovely shared family activity.
Lazar Jovanović
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this collection of the stories really slowly, because I really wanted to enjoy every single one the most I possibly can. And it was worth it. Tony Parsons really did not waste his time at the airport. Well written stories with strong messages. Easy five-stars for this one. I expected nothing less from him.
Miroslav Rakovic
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2_star
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-read
I enjoyed learning certain original facts about heathrow such as the animal centre or the tower but was not particularly impressed with the style nor the sequence of chapters. Could have been much more interesting and original. Read June 2013
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good collection of short stories, giving an insight into various aspects of Heathrow life. As usual with Parsons accurate in detail but also big in the human side of everyday life. Last story nicely wraps together several of the threads from previous stories. A very nice read.
Sapphira Toh
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Charming short stories with heart. :)
Rebecca Chan
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Simple but heart warming stories, a quick but enjoyable read.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Very average book of short stories
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Goodreads Librari...: 9780007458653 2 19 Aug 14, 2012 03:52PM  

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There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Tony Parsons (born 6 November 1953) is a British journalist broadcaster and author. He began his career as a music journalist on the NME, writing about punk music. Later, he wrote for The Daily Telegraph, before going on to write his current column for the Daily Mirror. Parsons was for a time a regular guest on the BBC Two