Tony Beckton — ‘Beyond Reason’

I’ve been involved in quite a few reading sessions where people (including me) have read out loud pieces of writing. They can be quite intense and draining experiences so I found it hilarious to watch a series of piss takes of the whole reading aloud process on ‘Bellamy’s People’ tonight. The book in question was probably by the least literary character of the whole lot — Tony Beckton — an East End Kray wannabee (hilariously played by Simon Day). The book is called ‘Beyond Reason’ and it’s an autobiography/confessional about his life of crime — supposedly forty or so years banged up in prisons and mental hospitals. The prose style is a clever blend of monosyllabic repetition (‘we changed cars’) and some incongrously flowery prose about his anguish. It also alternates between the banal and the surreal — a rhesus monkey is used as an accessory in a robbery and cheese and Christmas cake are weapons used in prison.

It can be seen for the moment on the iPlayer— Tony Beckton’s reading starts about 15 minutes of the way through and there’s about 5 short clips spread over the remaining 15 minutes.

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