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Summary

A unique collection of eight Alan Bennett stories, read by the author. Alan Bennett is one of Britain's best-loved authors and an acclaimed storyteller. This exclusive compilation includes eight of his best tales, collected together for the first time.

Here is his celebrated, iconic memoir 'The Lady in the Van'; as well as two fascinating autobiographical accounts of his family and childhood. 'Uncle Clarence' sees Bennett visiting the grave of a relative who died in Flanders in 1917; while in 'Hymn' he joins forces with composer George Fenton and the Medici String Quartet to explore his musical memories.

Bennett's incisive, acute observations shine through in his fiction too, with wry, moving and darkly humorous meditations on death ('Father! Father! Burning Bright' and 'The Laying On of Hands'), sex ('The Shielding of Mrs Forbes) and middle-age ennui ('The Clothes They Stood Up In'). His gift for affectionate satire reaches its pinnacle in 'The Uncommon Reader', a delightful tale in which the Queen discovers the pleasures of literature.

Poignant, compassionate, wise and witty, the stories included are 'The Lady in the Van', 'Uncle Clarence', 'The Clothes They Stood Up In', 'Father! Father! Burning Bright', 'Hymn', 'The Laying On of Hands', 'The Uncommon Reader' and 'The Shielding of Mrs Forbes'.

©2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about Alan Bennett: Stories

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  • Overall
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Consummate story-teller

I greatly enjoyed this collection of short stories: the pleasure enhanced by Alan Bennett’s inimitable reading-style. The stories vary: some have a moral theme clothed in gentle humour, others find comedy in mundane lives and quite a few are more racy tales about homosexual relationships, a preoccupation understandable after his recent revelation about his sexual orientation after decades of discretion.

5 people found this helpful

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Delightfully Bennett

A collection of great Bennett stories read by Alan Bennett himself.

Each story has a twist, a turn, and lots of humour, all beautifully written and presented. Most have relationships and their links with community at their centre. Great if you're a Londoner because you recognise so much; great if you don't know London because it introduces you...

Bennett the story teller, Bennett the playwright; Bennett the humorist - all on delightful display here... Vintage Bennett it is... the listener cannot but enjoy!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 21-12-17

Brilliant, obviously.

Painfully honest observations and a familiar view of the world for me at 56. I know these people.

2 people found this helpful

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No chapter headings

Once again the listener is left to work out where each story starts - please can we have chapter headings Audible!

1 person found this helpful

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A quite brilliant understated writer.

Allan Bennet is an absolute pleasure to listen to. I find his writing humourous and his narration so soothing.

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Funny and touching, as to be expected of Alan Bennett

Wonderful story writing, brought to life by Alan Bennett's reading of them. Made me laugh out loud in parts.

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Jjust wonderful.

Alan Bennett is our greatest playwrite and author and no one reads his work like he does. The best listen ever. 11/10

3 people found this helpful

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Superb

Of course this is amazing, it's Alan Bennett reading Alan Bennett.
Had me in tears of laughter. Love him x

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Alan Bennett 's genius for observation

These stories are written by a man who is used to ordinary people and their ways, their language and in the way they relate to each other. His ability to describe what he sees and hears, to the reader, is what makes his work such a joy to read. His writing is about ordinary things with which the man in the street is often familiar. A.B's sense of the ridiculous is second to none and his use of the language to put into words the absurd actions and conversations which he has witnessed coming from the people around him, makes him for me, the funniest writer on the planet.

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Excellent but ruined by last story

Loved the story Laying on of Hands and Uncommon Reader. Beautifully performed, poignant and very funny