Short Story Review: ‘Beer Trip to Llandudno’ by Kevin Barry

Story Title: ‘Beer Trip to Llandudno’ by Kevin Barry
Collection/Anthology?: Dark Lies the Island (Jonathan Cape)
Briefly: A party of close-knit ale loving Liverpudlians hit Wales, in search of the perfect tipple.
Afterthoughts: This is the story that recently won Kevin Barry the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which is no mean feat because the other five stories on the shortlist were of exceptional quality (you can read my review of all shortlisted stories, HERE). However, reading this one it’s easy to see why it excelled against the others. When I finished ‘Beer Trip to Llandudno’ the first time I said that it had the potential to win the STEFG12 award, and lo and behold it did.

What makes this story so special is the profound sense of camaraderie and friendship that it emits. It’s a theme that Barry admits himself (in this video interview here with the brilliant, Nikesh Shukla) is much ignored by other writers, yet he takes it by the hand and stamps his ownership on it, and magnificently too.

Pacy and energy-filled, ‘Beer Trip to Llandudno’ is one of these stories that warms the heart (with its subject matter), and tickles the soul (through its humour). Classic Kevin Barry.

Rating: ★★★★½

This story was read as part of a review of Kevin Barry’s latest short story collection, Dark Lies the Island. If you want to find out more about the book, or you want to read other reviews from this collection, then I invite you to pop along to my forethoughts post for this title. I also invite you to take a trip over to the publisher page for this title.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).