The Lady in the Van
An eccentric old lady and her van are told to move on by the council, but a kind homeowner invites her to live in his garden. In this bizarre tale, the homeowner is Alan Bennett and the woman stays for 15 years. As heard on BBC Radio 4, this edition also includes the short story, "Uncle Clarence".
The Clothes They Stood Up In
The Ransomes have been burgled, robbed, cleaned out. Everything has gone, even the toilet paper. But, for the stuffy solicitor and his downtrodden wife, it marks a kind of liberation where nothing will ever be quite the same.
The Laying On of Hands
A darkly humorous story for our times in which the fragile state of celebrity encounters a universal leveller.
Father! Father! Burning Bright
Midgley determines not to let his dying father down and mounts a vigil by his bedside.
Whether comical or quirky, Alan Bennett's poignant stories are rightly regarded as modern classics.
©1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2005 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.; (P)2005 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
Alan Bennett's superb short stories offer amusing and thought-provoking listening. As a writer, he is a master of English prose. As a reader, once you adjust to his English Midlands accent and high-pitched voice, he is an excellent interpreter of his own work. The four stories included here provide an excellent introduction to his writing or a wonderful way to complete your collection. As always he creates more memorable moments in a story than most novelists do in books ten times the length.
I carefully considered using up a credit for this recording as I had not heard of it before, because as a huge fan of Mr Bennett's writing I wondered why I hadn't, maybe it wasn't as good as his other works. IT IS !!
I've already listened to this recording about half a dozen times in the month since buying it and enjoyed it everytime. It's high on my list of favourites at the moment.
I love the detail in Mr Bennett's writings, both stated and implied; so often much is said with very few words. Truths are revealed or even betrayed by what is said or unsaid with such subtlety and finesse to describe the human condition; there is always something we can relate to even if we would rather not.
If I had to choose a particular passage it would be the post script to "The Lady in the Van", after Miss Shepherd has died. His dealing with the van and its contents, what he discovers about his late friend.
A very interesting question. I don't think I would want to take any character out to dinner unless it was Mr Bennett himself, then one would have all of his characters at the table.
Beautifully crafted writing, charmingly read. Will leave you with some sadness of heart but also joy.
I JUST LOVE THIS AUDIO ,I think Alan Bennett stories are suberb ,I love The Lady and the Van ,He brings to life all the scenes and personalities .....and I have relistened to them each time enjoying his stories.It is also a good length ,I try to use my credits to get a good length book and even though this is shorter than a normal novel,it is so good its worth using up a credit on.
"If in doubt what to order : Order this."
An absolute must. Bennett has created such wonderful characters, all of which can be related to by the listener. So easy to place ones imagination into the individuals. Bennett has a wonderful speaking voice easy listening. Has the ability to evoke the listeners every emotion to associate with the characters and their circumstances. Not exceptional funny but listened to with a constant smile on ones face.
"'A master at work'"
All four stories have the listener intrigued, amused, sad, and evoke thoughts about ones own life. Alan Bennett's reading is a joy to listen too. Highly recommend this to anyone.
"Alan Bennett at his best"
I enjoy his stories that seem to ramble yet keep to the point in a strange way.
This is him at his best. You never really know where his stories are going.
Loved them all.
I listen to Alan Bennett to relax. Nothing will ever beat his Talking Head audio books but these stories are pretty close. The fact that he can attract the cream of British actors to read his stories shows how good he is.
Alan - more Talking Heads please and if you have not discovered these two sets of audio books yet - hop over to them they are master pieces, particularly Thora Hird and Julie Walters. Alan Bennett is a masterful story teller.
Simply love Alan Bennett's voice so the audio version seems to be special in that he is talking directly to me !
As always the straight talking and the unexpected twists he manages to insert in all his work just absorbs you
Have had Alan Bennett on audio tape and cd for years and have now progressed to owning a tablet so am now updating and looking forward to stocking my new library as I am an avid fan. This performance is top quality as usual but his Talking Heads is still my favourite .
"darker minus the usual humour"
I love Alan Bennett but I found these stories long and I began to loose interest. I guess I was looking for the great wit but it was not here.
Good all the same
"Perfect company on a looooooooooong drive..."
Sublime, and even more perfect to hear Alan Bennett narrate his own work. If you are an AB fan, you'll enjoy these three short stories.
Cracking entertainment and thoroughly enjoyable to listen to.
Brilliantly read by the author himself.
You feel like, you are actually there with him.
I will be Purchasing more of his work.
"Alan Bennett at his best."
I was attracted to this book because I had recently been watching and delighted by the re-run of "Talking Heads" on television. This book did not disappoint. All fans of Bennett will love it.
"A very good listen"
Alan Bennett four stories is a great buy. Each character comes alive as the story unfolds this is made more enjoyable by the fact that the stories are read by the author,Each story is completely different but has the entertainment value and enjoyment factor you come to expect from an Allan Bennett book.
There is almost no need to have Mr Bennett read his stories to us; his voice leaps from the printed page anyway. But it is always good to hear his distinctive flat vowels bring his characters to life. These people linger in your brain, long after you have listened.
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