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Four Stories - Alan Bennett

Four Stories

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Alan Bennett

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Pages: 288 (Paperback)

ISBN: 1861978197

Pub: Profile Books

Pub date: 2006-09-07

Amazon.co.uk Sales Rank: 109058

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Reader Reviews:


3/5 stars

Diversions (4/5 people found this helpful)

Is there a literary form which really suits what Bennett's best at? It's the story-telling embedded in conversation he's wonderful at capturing, and which so runs through these stories, especially (for me), 'The Laying on of Hands' and 'The Clothes They Stood Up In'. But in fiction, I guess he gets diverted. A curious turn of phrase or tired cliche and he's diverted for a whole paragraph, just riffing or playing with it. Like a kid walking past a sweet shop, he just can't resist it. But story and character do suffer. And the endings...well, he doesn't like doing them, which is why the diary form suits him best, when he can stop and move on when he's tired by an idea. For example, the first story here has a wonderful opening, some sharp observations and very drole moments, and then a contrived and rather embarassing ending. But who cares! A page by Bennett is worth twenty by many writers.

4/5 stars

For, free, too, won., (3/5 people found this helpful)

Stars? 4,3,5 and 3 respectively so `4' maybe. `The Laying on of Hands' is a tongue in cheek account of how a clergyman and another clergyman are caught up in a memorial service for services rendered before embarrassed celebrities. `The Clothes They Stood Up In', well the Ransomes' are burgled and all is not what it seems as the event triggers a kind of enlightenment for Mrs Ransome. All too late or just in time? `Father Father Burning Bright', is a wonderfully observed account of events surrounding a dying man's family which are true to life as ever. `The Lady in the Van', an ordinary perhaps overrated piece about an eccentric lady on the road and in the garden - as true again as is typical of Bennett. This is not `Talking Heads', but 4 is fair.

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Categories

Amazon.co.uk places this book into the following categories:

Books -> Special Features -> Look Inside!
Books -> Special Features -> Custom Stores -> Fiction -> Short Stories
Books -> Special Features -> Custom Stores -> Fiction -> Women Writers & Fiction
Books -> Special Features -> Custom Stores -> Fiction Complete -> Short Stories
Books -> Subjects -> Fiction -> Authors, A-Z -> B -> Bennett, Alan
Books -> Subjects -> Fiction -> Short Stories -> General AAS
Books -> Refinements -> Language (feature_browse-bin) -> English
Books -> Refinements -> Format (binding_browse-bin) -> Paperback
Books -> Refinements -> Font Size (format_browse-bin) -> Regular Size
Products -> All product
Products -> Books

 

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