A Life Like Other People's Paperback – 29 Apr 2010
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`A beautiful little book, full of love regret and the dignity of unremarkable lives.' --Daily Mail
`This poignant memoir is Bennett at his superlative best.' --Val Hennessy
`It's the small details at which Bennett excels, lending poignancy to otherwise unremarkable moments.' --Aberdeen Press & Journal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The acclaimed title piece from Bennett's bestselling collection Untold Stories.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It was worth re-reading even though I had a copy of the original on shelves a few feet away. I blame the reviewer in the Yorkshire Evening Post who did't say (or notice) that the work wasn't original. Partly my own fault as well for not checking carefully before I bought it.
We are treated to truly inspired reminisces of the author's earliest and formative years. The story of how his parents met, and their absurd wedding ceremony (or lack there of), his mothers mental illness, and his father's all consuming steadfastness. There is a poignant scene of visiting his mother in an asylum; a harrowing scene of searching for an aunt with Alzheimer's who's slipped away from her hospital ward. There are revelations of family secrets, as well as ribald stories of marital misadventure. Finally there is a heartrending scene in a nursing home between mother and son that left this reader gob smacked by the purity of the writing.
This volume (which I ordered from Amazon.UK) is a precious gift of memories and observations, anecdotes and personal judgments harsh, humorous and unabashedly honest
The simplistic and honest writing style is incredibly endearing. Scenes can be quite harrowing and emotional and yet there will be some slight comedy around the corner, its not intentional or planned it's just the way it is. Two scenes that really hit me were between him and his mother, which almost made me cry, and his mother searching for her sister in a dementia ward. I loved the story of his parents wedding and why there were no pictures as his parents didn't want any `splother'. You will have to read the book to find out just what that means and how they got around it and I cant recommend you do that highly enough.
His powers of observation of the most ordinary things and people are accurate - but he is never boring. He writes 'from life'.
The latter part of the book reflects on Alan Bennett's relationship with his family as they grow older and the challenges that arise.Read more ›
There were various bits with which I could identify. For example how the disadvantages of being "shy" are sometimes thought to be offset by perceived virtues. And the propensity of bored, elderly people to try to fill their days by doing things earlier and earlier.
My family background is as fractured and complex as Bennett's, but I doubt if a published autobiography would get many readers. But then I'm not Alan Bennett, and I don't write anywhere near as well as he does. I read this book quickly, which was not difficult because it is so good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
loved it couldnt stop reading it, could relate to so much of it coming from northern stock,Published 1 month ago by Karen Beevers
The first and last Alan Bennett I will ever read! His self-centered view of the world was mind boggling!Published 1 month ago by Likely lass
Another winner for me from Alan Bennett. Beautiful penned memories of his childhood and revelations ( some quite startling ) about his extended family. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sasha Bell
I don't think Bennett should have written this book. His attitude to his mother seems contemptuous but balanced by a sort of love, compassion and guilt. Read morePublished 2 months ago by carol thomas
Loving this book.....not finished as yet...but enjoying an insight of Alan Bennett's family and life...Published 2 months ago by shrek