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Smut: Two Unseemly Stories [Kindle Edition]

Alan Bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
Kindle Price: £4.68 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

The Shielding of Mrs Forbes





Graham Forbes is a disappointment to his mother, who thinks that if he must have a wife, he should have done better. Though her own husband isn't all that satisfactory either. Still, this is Alan Bennett, so what is happening in the bedroom (and in lots of other places too) is altogether more startling, perhaps shocking, and ultimately more true to people's predilections.







The Greening of Mrs Donaldson





Mrs Donaldson is a conventional middle-class woman beached on the shores of widowhood after a marriage that had been much like many others: happy to begin with, then satisfactory and finally dull. But when she decides to take in two lodgers, her mundane life becomes much more stimulating ...


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Product Description

Review

'Frank, funny and entertaining' --Financial Times

'A marvellous little book' --Independent on Sunday

Review

"'Beautiful and filthy' - Simon Hattenstone, Guardian"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 214 KB
  • Print Length: 161 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250003164
  • Publisher: Profile Books (5 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SAC9PW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,508 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alan Bennett has been one of our leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His television series Talking Heads has become a modern-day classic, as have many of his works for stage including Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, A Question of Attribution, The Madness of George III (together with the Oscar-nominated screenplay The Madness of King George), and an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. At the National Theatre, London, The History Boys won numerous awards including Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards for Best Play, an Olivier for Best New Play and the South Bank Award. On Broadway, The History Boys won five New York Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critcs' Circle Awards, a New York Drama Critics' Award, a New York Drama League Award and six Tony's. The Habit of Art opened at the National in 2009. His collection of prose, Untold Stories, won the PEN/Ackerley Prize for autobiography, 2006. The Uncommon Reader was published in 2007.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quaint rather than smutty 24 April 2011
By PB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Readers used to Bennett's style should enjoy these two, rather short, stories. As usual, Bennett explores the oddities of peoples' lives and the strangeness of language. The first story is probably the better. The second is a bit 'clunky' and you get the feeling that Bennett rushed to finish it.

As always, the author creates people you can care about. There is nothing gross or too explicit in these stories. As is often the case with Bennett, the characters are quaint rather than smutty. My only real reservation is how slim this volume is (or must be if I wasn't reading it on a Kindle.) In a full price book, we might reasonably expect at least one more story.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter In The Darkness 20 Jun. 2011
By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In his dotage there can be little doubt that Alan Bennett
is, indeed, a National Treasure! It is his incomparable
capacity to dignify the small details of lives lived quietly
behind net curtains; his dry, droll humour and perhaps above
all his innate humanity which makes his work so enjoyable.

These two stories, read by Mr Bennett, in this fine BBC Audiobook
recording, produced by Gordon House, find him as his hilarious best.
His capacity to combine the ordinary with the grotesque in these
tales stands up well to the finest he has written in a long career.
His voice has become an old friend; a Maiden-Aunt of a voice whose
pursed lips seem evermore tightly drawn into a tight disapproving bud,
the better to deliver his unseemly observations! A voice overheard on
the top deck of a bus or across the liver and sausages on a butcher's
marble slab. The hidden and quietly improper voice of Little England.

Mrs Donaldson, in 'The Greening Of Mrs Donaldson, is a marvellous
invention. A widow who, to expand her horizons, takes on a job of
role-playing pathological conditions to medical students (another kind
of Naked Civil Servant' if you will!) I had not know that such an occupation
existed until now but Mr Bennett brings the gory details to life in all
their grisly scatological splendour! That her two lodgers also deliver
more than a little spice into her lonely world should not be begrudged.
Hilarity and pathos hold hands like familiar but uncomfortable bedfellows.

'The Shielding Of Mrs Forbes' is a wonderful confection too. A story
about secrets that are not really very secret at all.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four hours of listening pleasure 18 Jun. 2011
By Peter TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Smut is available as a 4-CD audiobook as well as in print. The two stories - read unabridged by Alan Bennett himself - occupy two CDs each. While the printed book seems a little thin, roughly 2 hours for the narrated version of each of the stories (4 hours in all) is plenty long enough.

It wouldn't do to give away too much of the plot of either story - they rely for much of their effect on the unexpected - but both stories are about ordinary people whose public and private lives don't entirely correspond, and it's the friction between the facade and the reality that creates the drama and humour. The stories are subversive and very funny. The first - the Greening of Mrs Donaldson - is about a widow whose lodgers come up with a novel way of paying their rent arrears; the second - The Shielding of Mrs Forbes - is about an extended family where nobody is exactly what they seem, and they each spend much of their time trying to live up to the roles they have created for themselves. The sex scenes certainly have the potential to be raunchy, but it would be hard to take offence. After all, sex is perfectly normal: it's only our slightly odd unwillingness to talk about it that can make it seem smutty.

Bennett cleverly manages to retain the humanity and pathos of the individuals in his stories, while creating hugely entertaining scenarios for them. He is one of the best of our contemporary writers; that he writes satire and comedy makes his work no less relevant.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By hfffoman TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you liked Alan Bennett's TV monologues ("Talking Heads") or his autobiographical essays ("Untold Stories"), you might as well get Smut straight away. It has the same incisive wit and observation and delightful turn of expression.

If you aren't familiar with his writing, it is intelligent, entertaining, and funny, but in a deadpan, wry style, not laugh-aloud. His dour Yorkshire accent is perfectly suited to the style. For that reason I would strongly recommend the audio version, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was no print version.

Be ready for some very explicit sex. If you are unsure whether it would offend you, I would suggest giving it a try. Although there are some graphic moments, it is extremely witty and - I hesitate before using the word "unique" but Alan Bennet finds a genuinely unique and delightful angle on the subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining set of CDs 22 May 2011
By Post Scriptum VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While I generally agree with the reviews above of the fictions themselves (with the first story a little stronger, more nuanced and better paced than the second), I am commenting on the audio version of the book. It is a great treat to be able to hear the author himself narrate these two tales of mildy erotic mischief. With his wonderfully melancholic yet subtly playful tones and perfect timing, there are even more lines and exchanges here than on the printed page that make one laugh out loud at their precisely understated wit and insight. Lasting approximately four hours, this set of four CDs is not only an entertaining piece of fiction but also a marvellous memento of a great author's voice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very amusing
Published 3 days ago by linda brindley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect, purchase arrived really early and in lovely condition thank you, super seller will use again
Published 7 days ago by lynda duncan
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Quite a good read. Not Bennett's best
Published 1 month ago by macbee
4.0 out of 5 stars Quietly filthy
Alan Bennett's voice echoes inside your head as you read, as familiar as a favourite naughty "uncle". Unfamiliar readers beware!
Published 1 month ago by Rosemary
4.0 out of 5 stars Typically well observed Bennett- both seem to me to be ...
Typically well observed Bennett- both seem to me to be improbably but sometimes life is stranger than fiction for sure!
Published 2 months ago by Janet Crampton
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed - I can hear Alan Bennett's unique voice throughout
Really enjoyed - I can hear Alan Bennett's unique voice throughout. Some parts were uncomfortable to read but some real laugh out loud parts.
Published 4 months ago by Kim Insley
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for a Rainy Day (guaranteed to raise a smile!!)
Listened to this as a talking book, absolutely brilliant, especially as read by the great man himself, just couldn't stop laughing!! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jake
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Alan Bennett
Classic Alan Bennett - two more classically constructed, sexually highly explicit ( only an unwordly prude would take offence ) delightful stories from one of our master story... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jeff Thorogood
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book !!
Published 7 months ago by molliemoe
5.0 out of 5 stars but two excellent Alan Bennett stories
Not as Smutty as you might think, but two excellent Alan Bennett stories.
Published 7 months ago by Mr Graeme Lacey
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