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Writing Home Paperback – 6 Jul 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Writing Home
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Product details

  • Paperback: 482 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 3rd Revised edition edition (6 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571196675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571196678
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 5.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,762,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Simply the funniest and most poignant thing I've read all year... only fools and madmen will pass up the chance to read it. Writing Home is a must.' (Tatler) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A wonderfully entertaining collection of Alan Bennett's writings, and the companion volume to Untold Stories. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Alan Bennett is a man of great humanity, who writes openly about closed lives in a way that feels very special. My gran used to shop at Bennett's father's shop, and I live across the river from Armley, where he grew up, so this episodic personal history has extra layers to it.
Yet there are plenty of layers for even the most casual reader - this could easily be what I would call 'a bog book', although some parts would require quite severe constipation for successful completion in one go. There are snippets, remembrances, essays, criticism... This is basically a collection of all the best bits of Bennett's non-fiction writing.
There is barely a hair's breadth between much of this writing and that of something like 'Talking Heads', which carries the same level of affectionate honesty. Bennett seems to be such a dispassionate person, as if observing the world through glass, yet when one chooses to see the world from his happy-sad perspective, one is often moved to tears. I'm not sure I can explain it: sometimes it's like Mr Spock from Star Trek, mystified at humans in general, and human emotion in particular.
Bennett is not a religious man (although he had a religious upbringing), yet this book instills in me a sense of wonder at the ordinary things in life, and a hope that I, too, might see below the surface, even as I am staring at it, seeing nothing else.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have returned to this book several times. I have laughed till I cried at the hilarious observations and choked up at the most poignantly sad passages, both aspects of Bennett's writing especially evident in 'The Lady in the Van' reproduced in its entirety in this collection. A gem of a book from a rare gem of a man.
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Format: Paperback
Any book that can relieve the tedium, grime and discomfort of London's Northern Line from East Finchley to Totenham Court Road, has to be given space in the work bag - even if it means elbowing the tupperware box of sarnies. This delightful collection of poignant and often amusing recollections and observations are a joy from beginning to end.
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Format: Paperback
Fairly new to Alan Bennett, this book has given me the most enormous pleasure. It can be dipped into, or read in big doses with equal pleasure. He is able to show the reader the results of a fascinating life amongst the great and good, and also the very lowly. Very witty, but also thought-provoking.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An absolutely wonderful book. Touching, amusing, here is Alan Bennett at his very best, tenderly telling tales of his family and his upbringing in the West Riding of Yorkshire. I have the tapes which I play in the car and laugh from the start of the journey to the end. He is a great storyteller, but no matter how shocking the tale, it is told with great empathy and love for his family and his early life.
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By Aspen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 April 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I often find Bennett's take on things quietly waspish. Always an acute observer and raconteur about 'the human condition', he's not always the benevolent and dispassionate observer. But I can't fault the way he captures those nuances of behaviour or comment. He writes so well about people,morays and modern manners and this collection is a tour de force, particularly as it includes the lady in the van story. To be honest, I preferred the real life story of this idiosyncratic individual, but Bennett brings her life in a way whereby the whole situation gains wider understanding. An interesting and diverse collection, well representative of Bennett's work and either a great taster or welcome addition for Bennett fans. I've enjoyed most of it.
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Format: Hardcover
Not your usual diaries. 1st March 1994 is a stand-out. Simon Callow puts it nicely. In a review of the follow-up volume he says that AB 'has joined the ranks of the non-joiners'. Can we hope to hear these words repeated at his funeral? (Not imminent, I trust.) Bennett's own words at Peter Cook's funeral, reprinted here, tread the tightrope with extraordinary aplomb

Who knew Bennett would be the stayer among that fab four of review (variety's more refined cousin), those harbingers of the Sixties, the Beyond the Fringe quartet? This late developer and unwitting dissident was the awkwardest of the awkward squad. (And the toughest. Being a working class Yorkshire queer, he had to be.) Cook and Moore I can feel only contempt for now, given their promise and privilege. (Peter Sellers at least earned his notoriety.) Miller, Dr 'Renaissance Man' of yore, has spoken of his own regrets - though his choices were harder

And Bennett? Curously, while it's the playwright who both validates and bankrolls the man (besides giving him something to do with his day) yet, it's the MAN we're interested in: HE likes this joke; HE retails this goss; HE thinks this incident worth recording or is offended by that. Example from Gielgud: dining at the Dorchester during the war (the blitz, actually), on learning there was no butter his hostess expostulated "No butter? But what is the Merchant Navy doing?" And as epigrammatist, sly yet humane ('the limit of an actor's ability is.. a fairly comfortable place to be'; Gielgud 'has broken his staff but has kept his magic') he is, I think, without peer in our times.
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