Top positive review
60 people found this helpful
Beautiful writing and a joy to read
on 3 April 2006
I'm not going to presume to comment at length on Alan Bennett's writing. "Untold Stories" is by turns extremely funny, deeply moving, courageous, uplifting, brilliantly observed, and a treasure trove of expert knowledge lightly told. It covers an astonishingly wide range of subject matter from the seemingly "trivial" (although of course in the hands of a writer like Bennett, trivial details can reveal a whole world), to the "serious" business of politics, culture, society and history. I have rated it four stars because at nearly 700 pages it is extremely long, so there were a few passages here and there that I could have done without (e.g. gardening never being a particular interest of mine). But for every entry on gardening there are a dozen pieces on films, theatre, architecture, art and so on that enthralled me, so I have no real right to complain. This is an extraordinary book and one that repays the effort of reading it a hundred times over. Finally, I'd like to say that I am astonished by the reviewer below who accuses the author of being a snob: if nothing else, Bennett's kindness and humanity shines through every page of "Untold Stories" as plain as day.