• Bleak Alley

  • Stories from the Margins
  • By: Shane Dunphy
  • Narrated by: Shane Dunphy
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

True crime within the dark heart of Irish gangs. Featuring original Irish folksongs written and performed by the author, Shane Dunphy.

He seems like a typical 16-year-old boy except that Mikey is walking the knife edge of crime. He’s tough and good with his fists, but when journalist Shane Dunphy is offered the chance to write his story, he discovers a lost, vulnerable child, in danger and desperate for help.

Shane descends into the perilous underworld of organised crime and discovers that the glamour of gangland life is riven with brutality and murder. Far from providing a means of survival for boys from broken families, the price they pay is often with their life.

With skill and empathy, and no little courage, Shane attempts to rescue Mikey from the clutches of warring gangland leaders and to restore the love and harmony of Mikey’s family which has been shattered by poverty and bad blood.

For fans of Peaky Blinders, Bleak Alley is the first in a series of true crime stories from the heart of Irish gangland life. The author provides extensive historical analysis of the rise of Irish street gangs and their outlaw Celtic culture, as well as original Irish folksongs.

Bleak Alley examines serious issues of social deprivation, state indifference and lawlessness with the pace and intrigue of a high-class thriller.

©2019 Shane Dunphy (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Bleak Alley

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Amazing, Honest, Truthful

I had the pleasure of hearing your voice for the first time. The book was wonderful. I absolutely adore Cliff and Becca. I love history, I love learning, and I love people. I feel as though I can relate a bit. Wanting love, acceptance, and someone to care. Thank you for writing this book Shane. Much love always from Cleveland, Ohio USA.

Alicia Walker

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Amazing story

Shane is one of the best story tellers I know. Hearing it in his own voice, with brief diversions into the history that caused the gangs to become a part of city life, was extremely interesting. Can’t wait to hear the next one.

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  • RM
  • 02-27-20

Amazing story

Amazing book the author’s ability to show the separation between the world was amazing and true. Great book

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  • Munchie
  • 02-20-20

Fantastic read!

Shane, this book was superb! You did an amazing job of helping Mikey! I really enjoyed the story and the flow of it was great. I highly recommend this book, shane is a warm, caring, compassionate journalist and anyone who reads his work wont be disappointed, the fact he reads his own book makes it all the more special! Thanks shane for an amazing and well written book!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Andrea Spencer
  • 02-15-20

Perfect

Absolutely brilliant. Enjoyed this book amazingly. Highly recomend even if just for the knowledge you will gain

5 people found this helpful

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  • josie
  • 02-11-20

good narrator needed.. Shane is a great writer but

I love Shane's books to read.
but his talents do not stretch to narrator

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-30-20

Interesting insight into the 'gang' phenomenon.

I'm sure there is a very good reason Shane Dunphy narrated this book but I think he should stick to writing, which is very good. I found his voice very monotonous and many times impossible to know who was saying what. Narration is an art like writing and should be left to the e
professionals. Saying that the book is good, it's an interesting topic and certainly gave me a new perspective to think about when reading about the gang feuds happening around the world.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-07-20

Another cracker from Shane

I really enjoyed this book, although I must admit I preferred "The Bad Place" but this was just as nerve wrecking and gripping. Hard to believe this is part of everyday life for so many people. Shane is not just a great writer but a wonderful person to help so many people and putting himself in danger to do so. well done Shane.

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  • Emily Clarke
  • 09-20-20

Increased understanding for gangland Ireland

The author has compiled a perfect insight into gangland Ireland. By covering gangs all down through history we gain an understanding of how they came to be what they are today. The use of songs provided a heartfelt intermission for the listener to gather up the story and return to learn more. For me personally there was so much I knew, but in fragments and the author achieved the task of binding it all together for the listener and maintained my interest throughout. The kindness of the author is evident as the story unfolds we loose our judgement of the situation and the people caught in these gangs emerge for us. I wholeheartedly respect the author for being able to illustrate that not everyone who comes from violence or abuse goes on to be violent or an abuser. It carefully shows how broken homes can provide the perfect fodder to build up the allure and appeal a gang has to offer. You see that what makes sense in gangland doesn't translate to mainstream living. Equally what is acceptable and commonplace in the everyday amongst people whose closest brush with crime is points on their licence; amongst gangland Ireland it's intolerable and doesn't fit. "The weight of history between us." Isn't that what holds the volume between worlds, our limitations on how much we can understand another. In order to do so we must be willing to venture in. The author has given us a sharp and concise visitation into a world we're only spectator's in, but shows how with certain choices any of our lives could have paved this way. I like how the author remained true to his purpose, it is evident throughout how much he cared for Mikey and possibly seeing him as an example of save one, save some, save more, because every kid that is freed from gangland Ireland is an example of how a different life can be lived. Gangs find people and use their positives as a tool to manipulate and I think the Author found a way through the negatives.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-13-20

wow brilliant storytelling

really loved listening to this story every character I found I just want to know more and more well done Shane great performance and I loved the music kept me want to know more and more

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  • james Mac
  • 03-12-20

It was great

Interesting view from both sides of the devise of those living in deprived areas & the ever ending spiral of issues that come with living ‘in the mix ‘

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  • Michelle Maher
  • 02-27-20

brilliant

it was excellent as is every bit of work this man does.. Can't wait for March

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  • jamie
  • 02-22-20

exceptional as always

brillant from start to end. I liked how it drew parallels in the changing of chapters/stories.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bettina Stone
  • 02-10-20

First Audible Book.

Fantastic, couldn't put it down, loved it like all Shane Dunphy's other books highly recommend it