On this wet and wild Friday, I’m coming to you with another Audible blog tour of something rather wild in itself. Bleak Alley, written and narrated by Shane Dunphy, focuses on an estate of land known as the Black Alley Triangle, and just some of the stories that have occurred there. These are not your friendly bedtime stories.
What is morbid fascinates us as humans, or there wouldn’t be any such thing true crime, or even crime fiction. This collection of audio stories is the epitome of morbidly fascinating; horrifying, but intriguing to the point you can’t turn it off.
The social systems in play are bewildering as modern day occurrences and yet startlingly familiar for anyone who has watched any stereotypical documentaries focusing on situations sometimes referred to as “poverty porn”; those at the bottom of the food chain, those just scraping by. People often can only scrape by using unhealthy coping mechanisms, techniques, and contacts, and this whole cycle is what we observe in sobering, hard hitting and shocking Bleak Alley.
Shane Dunphy talks with passion about his history of social work and his own home roots in a place similar to Black Alley, weaving a clear story of his desire to improve things for people alongside telling the tales that need to be told. He is a natural storyteller, and this past paced collection is broken up with true history snippets; tales, then, of Irish gangs past as well as present.
We meet people from all positions through Shane’s eyes, and this is enlightening as well as terrifying; hearing from gang members and drug addicts, children and parents, the trip through Bleak Alley is not one that will leave you quickly. This audiobook comes with my recommendation but also my caution; to remember that these are real lives. Fiction may be easily dismissed when it is harrowing. Fact cannot.
My thanks as always to Midas, Audible UK, and to Shane Dunphy for opening my eyes.