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Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes | [Alan Bennett]

Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes

Two unexpected tales written and read by the best-selling author of The Uncommon Reader, Untold Stories and The History Boys."The Greening of Mrs Donaldson" - Mrs Donaldson is a conventional middle-class woman beached on the shores of widowhood after a marriage that had been much like many others: happy to begin with, then satisfactory and finally dull. But when she decides to take in two lodgers, her mundane life becomes much more stimulating…
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Publisher's Summary

Two unexpected tales written and read by the best-selling author of The Uncommon Reader, Untold Stories and The History Boys.

"The Greening of Mrs Donaldson" - Mrs Donaldson is a conventional middle-class woman beached on the shores of widowhood after a marriage that had been much like many others: happy to begin with, then satisfactory and finally dull. But when she decides to take in two lodgers, her mundane life becomes much more stimulating…

"The Shielding of Mrs Forbes" - Graham Forbes is a disappointment to his mother, who thinks that if he must have a wife, he should have done better. True, her own husband isn’t all that satisfactory either. Still, this is Alan Bennett, so what is happening in the bedroom (and in lots of other places too) is altogether more startling, perhaps shocking, and ultimately more true to people’s predilections.

©2011 Alan Bennett (P)2011 AudioGo Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Artfully entertaining…On one particular subject Bennett is incomparably brilliant: role-playing, which is the meat of both stories." (Simon Schama, Financial Times, London)

"Bennett’s humor consistently resides in the logic of the parenthetical aside, the comedy of the false appearances or misperceptions being challenged or disabused.…Mrs. Donaldson is not as unconventional as she thought herself, and no one around Mr. Forbes is where—or who—they pretend to be." (The Guardian, London)

"Tender and comic…This is Bennett’s world, where repression is never far from the sexual act….Good, old-fashioned British humor with the lightest of subversive twists." (The Independent, London)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (46 )
5 star
 (26)
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4.1 (37 )
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4.4 (40 )
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  •  
    11-05-12
    11-05-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    2
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    Story
    "A fun British story about unmentionable subjects!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If one enjoyes British humor this is a fun book on delicate subjects in story form.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes?

    I was not expecting the second story to be as good as the first, and if anything it was better. The openous of what are usually non open subjects, told in a delightful manner.


    What does Alan Bennett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His English accent that adds to this story


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

    The book is short, but I feel it is better enjoyed taking each story seperately.


    Any additional comments?

    The story takes a tongue & cheek view in the British style that would be hard to be so open about told by an American author or reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sima L'ville,NJ 05-07-12
    Sima L'ville,NJ 05-07-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
    Overall
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    Story
    "Great fun, totally absorbing. A welcome diversion"
    Where does Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best of any I have listened to so far.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters were so fully realized


    If you could take any character from Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Mrs. Donaldson. What a vivid character!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Glenside, PA, United States 03-19-12
    Susan Glenside, PA, United States 03-19-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "story seems dated, but narration amusing"
    Would you try another book from Alan Bennett and/or Alan Bennett?

    yes, i think so


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    raylan by elmore leonard


    Which character – as performed by Alan Bennett – was your favorite?

    Mrs. Forbes


    Was Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes worth the listening time?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    stories probably not as shocking as the title suggests

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wynne Palo Alto, CA, United States 02-01-12
    Wynne Palo Alto, CA, United States 02-01-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Alan Bennett's sly and subversive tales"
    What made the experience of listening to Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes the most enjoyable?

    Alan Bennett writes for the stage and is a veteran actor and comedian (Beyond the Fringe,) so when he reads his superficially decorous, decidedly unconventional tales of the various ways that love, desire, and received notions about what's age-appropriate mix and match, it is a treat. The delivery is so prim that you may have to listen twice to realize just exactly what it is he's saying.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes?

    Mrs. Donaldson is one of a team of volunteers that enact various medical conditions for the benefit of trainee medical students--the students, their professor, the other


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Charlotte, N.C. 01-07-12
    Jeff Charlotte, N.C. 01-07-12 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    23
    13
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    "Wonderful"
    If you could sum up Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes in three words, what would they be?

    This is my first run in with Alan (I'm from Mars) and it was delightful. This book covers the kind of smut you and your mum can chat easily about over tea in the morning. Rather, it is all about a master writer who has honed his skills of comedic understatement and in so doing brings the whole damn empire up a notch.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Just about everything.


    What does Alan Bennett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A really wonderful


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Biggar Thomas Connecticut 07-15-11
    Biggar Thomas Connecticut 07-15-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    211
    14
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    "Fabulous!"

    There is little doubt that the success of Bennett's audio works can be attributed to the skill of the reader, Bennett himself. This work is no exception, it is written and read with the same literary accomplishment that characterises all of Bennett's work. These two tales are at the same time hilarious, tragic and evocative - not of the reality - of the morality our times. I'll give them a rest but probably listen to them gin in a year or so. In the meantime, I'll just keep checking back here every month to see if there anything new by Bennett.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dundas Malibu, CA, United States 01-30-12
    Dundas Malibu, CA, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    30
    27
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    "The best is the humor; it's LOL funny."

    The best is the humor; it's LOL funny. The slowdown is the thematic play on Brit manners, which I found yesteryear and tiresome. There's redemptive ingenuity in the stories' plotlines.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • Tracey
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    5/25/11
    Overall
    "Bennett at his best!"

    I love Alan Bennett, the man can do no wrong. These two short stories revolving around sex in its various forms are funny and oddly sweet. Bennett is brilliant at forming flawed, human characters who are, if not likeable, at least relatable. A great quick listen, definitely one for a rainy day or a long journey.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    9/8/11
    Overall
    "Naughty, naughty"

    Both stories are great fun from start to finish and are the apotheosis of his front parlour hanky-panky delivered with a sure touch for the turn of phrase and twitch of net.

    There are some great set-pieces, particularly a visit to a police station - “there’s coffee on the go, but you’ve just missed the croissants” and a strategically placed mobile phone.

    Maybe it all fits together a little bit too snugly at the end, all the tops flattened and the corners tucked in - but ooh, I don’t know you can’t complain can you, I mean, two stories for the price of one........and wasn’t Alan thoughtful to read it to us as well, though I hear he’s not got that much else on at the moment, so he probably had a little bit of time on his hands and thought he might put it to good use. He always was a thoughtful boy...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Keighley, United Kingdom
    7/13/11
    Overall
    "Amusing"

    Very light, enjoyable and amusing stories. Excellently read by the author, whose observations are as sharp as ever.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Showering
    Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire United Kingdom
    5/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "anything by alan bennett is spell binding!"
    What made the experience of listening to Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes the most enjoyable?

    the unexpected oddness of the tales told in such a matter of fact way


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    graham, i loved his sanguine take on life


    Which character – as performed by Alan Bennett – was your favourite?

    they are all so beautifully rounded and intimately described, i can't choose!


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

    i don't know!


    Any additional comments?

    alan bennett is not only a magical writer but is the best reader ever, what a combination!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lesley Spain
    United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Bennett delights as always."

    Surprising stuff from Mr Bennett. Risqué and funny. Wonderful to hear Alan Bennett reading his own material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joanne
    Bromsgrove, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Two more great stories from the master of 'people watchers'. Once again, Bennett's characters are on the fringes of their communities, looking for ways to 'fit in', although not quite managing it. Doesn't disappoint - Bennett fans will be delighted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lynda
    Beckenham, United Kingdom
    12/16/12
    Overall
    "Very Witty and makes you Smile"

    As usual, Bennett never fails to amuse and no other reader could read it as well as Bennett himself with his low key throw away style. Would make an ideal Christmas or birthday present.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Simon Evers
    UK
    1/17/12
    Overall
    "Enormous fun"

    While listening to 'The Greening of Mrs Donaldson' walking down the road, I almost fell off the pavement I was laughing so much - and I certainly got some strange looks.

    Such good entertainment - a lovely pair of unlikely stories, superb narration (as one always expects from Mr Bennett), great characters. My only regret is that there were only two of them!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    United Kingdom
    11/23/11
    Overall
    "Alan Bennett by numbers."

    Although subtitled Two Unseemly Stories, perhaps only Bennett's most prudish fans would find either The Greening of Mrs Donaldson or The Shielding of Mrs Forbes offensive. Perhaps more accurately, what the two stories share is that in neither case are surface appearances, in fact, what they seem.

    Whilst enjoyable, I couldn't help the feeling that Smut was Alan Bennett by numbers: middle aged repressed ladies and their frightfully British take on propriety and marital relations being challenged. Its saving grace is, of course, that Bennett relates these stories himself, and surely there is noone better at reading his own work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom
    9/24/11
    Overall
    "Good value smut"

    If these 2 stories had been read by anyone other than Alan Bennett, they might just have been vulgar. But because he reads them, they manage to be both vulgar and funny. Very sly, too. I love everything he's ever written and narrated, and I did enjoy these stories though not quite as much as the genius of older (and longer) works. They aren't shocking, but they do venture into territory that I'd prefer not to listen to with my 14 year old in the room with me! A lovely treat listen, and I will listen again because as always, it's the details that make his work so enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results

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