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Publisher's Summary

Untold Stories, Alan Bennett's first major collection of prose since his best-selling Writing Home, brings together the finest and funniest of his writing over the last 10 years. Two recordings feature selected material from Untold Stories:

Part 1: Stories contains the title piece, and Part 2: The Diaries covers Alan Bennett's much-celebrated diaries for 1997-2004. Stories is a poignant family memoir recalling the marriage of Alan's parents, the lives and deaths of his aunts, and the uncovering of a long-held family secret. At times heartrending, and at others extremely funny, Untold Stories is a matchless and unforgettable journey into Alan Bennett's past.

©2005 Forelake Limited (P)2005 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

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Surprisingly Great

I'm not sure I really knew who Alan Bennett was until I listened to (and saw the excellent movie of) his wonderful play, The Lady in the Van (Maggie Smith). I still would likely never have searched for his Stories if not for Audible's free Juliet Stevenson interview. In that interview, Stevenson, asked to name her family's most beloved audiobooks, immediately and without hesitation names the Stories of Alan Bennett. I immediately acquired this volume, and now I see why Stevenson's family finds them indispensable. WOW. Like TLITV, these are true stories (in this volume, specifically concerning the author's zany family), fascinatingly brought to life by Bennett's masterful narration. Bennett has a mildly dour, ruefully wry delivery; he's sort of a British Garrison Keillor, only more sparklingly intelligent, deadpan, dry-witted, and hilarious. I've already bought and begun listening to Volume 2, which is even funnier. Highly recommended for Anglophiles who want something fun to listen to on the road or while doing chores. Side benefit: Listening to these stories may inspire you to write up your own family's stories for posterity!

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue McW
  • 06-18-14

Masterpiece by a Master writer

What made the experience of listening to Alan Bennett the most enjoyable?

Alan Bennet's voice is so perfect

What other book might you compare Alan Bennett to, and why?

Alan Bennet can't be compared to anyone really - he has his own unique style, blending humour with pathos and quiet social comment.

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

He has such a unique way of looking at life, particularly with regard to his mother's depression and his father's way of coping - but don't be put off, there are many humorous anecdotes throughout.

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

Quiet humour, silent tears.

Any additional comments?

Everyone should read one Alan Bennett book to enrich their lives.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Retief
  • 01-13-18

Bennett at his best.

I have read the Untold Stories book and hear Bennett's voice as I do. The audiobook is a real treat and use it whilst driving. You get used to the strange looks of other motorists who wonder why you're laughing your head off alone in the car! Cannot recommend this or any other Bennett book highly enough.

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  • avagardro
  • 10-17-17

unsurpassed. No one is like Alan Bennet

Whenever i feel stressed or life is getting to me I listen to Alan reading one of his own books to me and all is right with the world again.

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  • Wendy H.
  • 09-08-17

loved it

I need to listen to other books but I think I'll be disappointed by any other narrator. ...and of course brilliantly written.

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  • Hedgehog
  • 12-22-16

Delightfully read by author himself

Always pleasing when authors care enough about their own work so that if they are able, read themselves.

How Mr.Bennett teases so much out of everyday observations and revives memories of an age long gone.

Great stuff -as ever.

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  • Henry
  • 02-22-15

Moving and insightful

I'm not sure I can do the book justice in a review. An honest and moving account of a family growing old. The account offers surprising perspectives.