Part 1: Stories contains the title piece, and Part 2: The Diaries covers Alan Bennett's much-celebrated diaries for 1997-2004. They are an erudite collection of witty yet poignant recollections told in his own unique voice. Whether appreciating the simple pleasures of nature, or commenting on religion, politics or the arts, his observations are incisive, funny, and yet always meaningful.
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- Gretchen SLP
A Must for Anglophiles
I loved this volume in the series only a little less well than Volume 2. The Diaries may be a disjointed series of disconnected musings, but they're still Bennett. And as read by Bennett, his observations on life, personal relationships, theatre, actors, and politics are not just fascinating but ESSENTIAL if you're an anglophile like me. The last two chapters are so interesting I played them over two or three times. In particular, I found Bennett's commentary on 9/11, homelessness, the police, Tony Blair, Bush/Cheney, torture, and the Iraq War years worth the price of the book all by themselves. Ditto his humorous anecdotes and flawless imitations of famous actors such as John Gielgud and Alec Guiness.
I'm hopelessly addicted to Alan Bennett now (ever since The Lady in the Van, and the free Juliet Stevenson interview in which she describes his audiobooks as her family's favorites). I've already purchased Volume 3, and can only wish that Audible would help to make the Untold Stories series a better bargain by offering the entire series for a single credit (which would not be unreasonable, since each Volume is so short).
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