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A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine | [Tony Benn]

A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine

In this final volume of diaries, Tony Benn reflects on the compensations and the disadvantages of old age. With the support of a small circle of friends and his extended family, he continues his activities on behalf of social justice, peace and accountability in public life, to a background of political change and the international economic crisis.
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Publisher's Summary

In this final volume of diaries, Tony Benn reflects on the compensations and the disadvantages of old age. With the support of a small circle of friends and his extended family, he continues his activities on behalf of social justice, peace and accountability in public life, to a background of political change and the international economic crisis.

Following an illness in 2009 the diaries, kept for over sixty years, cease. Published here alongside these last diaries are Tony Benn’s highly personal insights into the challenges of old age and failing health, of widowhood, and of moving out of the family home after sixty years.

Finally, we share in Tony Benn's hopes for the future based on his years of experience and his natural optimism.

©2013 Tony Benn (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks

What Members Say


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  • Alan
    London, United Kingdom
    12/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lightweight entries from a heavyweight diarist"
    What did you like best about A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine? What did you like least?

    The unintentionally funny bits, largely revolving around how much the author likes somebody based on how much the person listens to and agrees with him. Eg: "I like X she really listens to me" and "X is a good guy, he agreed with everything I had to say".


    If you’ve listened to books by Tony Benn before, how does this one compare?

    No.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Jayston’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but I must say he does a very good "Benn" voice.


    Could you see A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    Yes. I think the only person allowed to play him would be Michael Sheen.


    Any additional comments?

    I always worry about people who are right about everything. Benn describes these kind of people as "sign posts" as opposed to "weather vanes" as if it were desirable to be so stubborn, undiplomatic, unempathetic and unpragmatic. However, the author's subconscious is less certain: "I dreamed last night that I was wrong about everything." Benn is a successful diarist but was an unsuccessful politician. He never had enough power, and unfortunately that is what politics is all about. There's no point knowing it all if not enough people believe you. It's all a shame really because I'm roughly on the same side of the political devide as him...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bookie
    UK
    3/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sincere and from the heart."
    What made the experience of listening to A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine the most enjoyable?

    Excellent narration.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Benn's scathing view of Blair is entertaining.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Jayston – was your favourite?

    He reads the part well, narrating in Benn's 'voice'.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    His insight into his own frailty is emotive.


    Any additional comments?

    Tony Benn has always seemed enigmatic. A somewhat unfathomable but nevertheless charismatic man, full of contradiction. A socialist with strong Marxist leanings, but one born to title and privilege. I've lived through his most influential times. He's one of a very singular few politicians who retained both their personal and political integrity. Even before it became fashionable to do so, Benn had seen through and denounced the sham Socialism presented by Blair.

    I haven't read his earlier diaries and I took this book as an audible download shortly before he died. With that poignancy aside, this record and his reflections are so incredibly relevant at a number of levels. Politically, he was something of a seer and a maverick. One who saw through sham, was beguiled by prospect of influence and remained true to his roots of socialism.

    As an individual, his fears and fragility come across so well. As a man, he's unafraid to express both his love and loss. That's exceptional. He explores the process of getting older with candour and humour. Unexpectedly, this book kept me awake until long past the wee hours over the last few nights. His insight, information and views have made me think about the loss of an apolitical diarist, a husband, father and grandfather. He comes across as an honest raconteur, a dedicated politician regardless of his political persuasion, a gifted individual who could view any situation with insight and compassion. But most of all, a man who loved his wife and family above everything. A moving and remarkable legacy.

    Michael Jayston's reading in this audible version is, in my view, outstanding. He captures nuance and inflection to perfection.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mat
    Farnham, United Kingdom
    11/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great insight to a great man"

    What a great listern and although Michael Jayston did a great job I didnt half miss the Benn lisp

    This listen certainly gives you pause when dealing with an older person as I believe i have been guilty of discounting them where Tony has stamp that assumption into the ground.

    Thanks Mr Benn

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    WEST SUSSEX, United Kingdom
    10/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen, Tony Benn keeps busy."
    What did you like most about A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine?

    Having been worried that Tony not narrating his own words for the first time would be a problem I was very pleased to find that Michael Jayston was a perfect casting to put over his authentic voice.
    It was good to hear how busy he was keeping during this period and as with other volumes of his diaries it is interesting to hear his perspective of times I remember well. In some ways this help create a greater understanding of his perspective in the diaries of times before my knowledge.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Hearing his excitement at still being able to occasionally find a role in significant events was great. Also hearing his joy at the comings and goings of his family was pleasing.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The account of his Elders' trip to Africa was very interesting.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Conrad
    Mitcham, United Kingdom
    3/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Honest and powerful."
    What did you like most about A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine?

    I liked the honesty of Tony Benn, and his reflections on life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It showed an honest account of one mans descent into old age.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Jayston?

    Tony Benn.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, if I had had all the time.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope there is more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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