Tall And True Short Reads

Both Sides of the Story – Bad News – Part One

Episode 31 (12 August 2021)

Bad News – Part One (England, 1993): The evening news was depressing—all bad as usual—and the weekend weather looked just as gloomy. I got up and went to the kitchen. “Do you want another wine?” I called back to my wife. No response. I’d swear she’s going deaf, but she hears everything I mutter under my breath.


Both Sides of the Story – Bad News – Part One

Show Notes

Season One: Episode 31 (12 August 2021)

Both Sides of the Story is a collection of short stories from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. The collection consists of four self-contained vignettes and a fifth piece that ties together and resolves the five stories. The podcast version is presented in six instalments with an introductory episode.

Copyright notice: Both Sides of the Story song written by Phil Collins from the Both Sides album (1993).

Read Both Sides of the Story – Bad News: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/both-sides-of-the-story-bad-news

Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

I wrote Both Sides of the Story for the Ian St James Awards in 1994. The inspiration for my short story was the 1993 Phil Collins hit song of the same name.

As the protagonist in Bad News observes, the print and TV news back then was full of stories about “bad people who got what they deserved and their victims”. However, after watching the Phil Collins Both Sides music video on MTV and its juxtaposed scenes of violence and backstories, I wondered if I could show both sides of the news in a short story. Or, as the protagonist’s wife asks, could I “look behind the news. [At] what causes people to betray and abuse others?”

Both Sides of the Story consists of four self-contained vignettes, Westminster, Bosnia, A Council Flat and The Gym. And the fifth piece, Bad News, that ties together and resolves the questions raised in the larger story.

I commented in the Introduction episode, quoting from my 1994 diary, how Bad News was the most difficult of the five parts of Both Sides of the Story to write: “Struggling with ending of story. Pivotal last scene is in danger of sounding trite.”

Twenty-five years later, when I revisited the short story in 2019, Bad News once again proved the most difficult of the vignettes to transcribe. And in the end, it required more edits and structural changes than the other four parts combined.

Perhaps this is a testament to its importance in resolving Both Sides of the Story?

Thanks for listening to this episode of Tall And True Short Reads. You can read all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com.

You can also buy my ebook collection of Both Sides of the Story from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The final episode from Both Sides of the Story, Bad News – Part Two, will be released shortly. In the meantime, please check your podcast feed for earlier episodes and other short stories. And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. Doing so helps other listeners find the podcast.

And please support this podcast by telling your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads produced using Audacity. Thanks to Josh (VoiceOverMaster) Meyer for Audacity recording tips and tricks.

Podcast episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.

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