Writing Home Paperback – 6 Jul 1998
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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.
A wonderfully entertaining collection of Alan Bennett's writings, and the companion volume to Untold Stories. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm plodding through this book but it's hard work and v v boringPublished 13 days ago by Liz Tuttle
Some parts were brilliant and very funny. When he wrote about the anecdotes other people had told him, especially the prostitute eating her fish and chips at the exact same time... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Prefab boy
Pure Alan Bennett, I am a huge fan of his work, and these diary entries give an insight into other aspects of his life, as well as background information about his more well known... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sasha Bell
I gave three stars because truthfully I got a bit bored halfway through. I enjoyed some of the articles and diaries,which were amusing, but could easily have given up - it all got... Read morePublished 1 month ago by jazzy2
I love most of Alan Bennett's work but I found this a bit of a trial as a lot of it was extracts from his diaries. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer