Monday, August 01, 2005

Three Stories

Last week I finished reading "Three Stories" by Alan Bennett. This was my first foray into the wry wit of Bennett, and hopefully will not be the last. The three tales in one volume are actually novellas. The first one, "The Laying on of Hands" is about the memorial service of a man who was a masseur to all and sundry (famous people, ordinary folk, even including the priest) and what happens when the service gets a bit out of hand. The second story was "The Clothes They Stood Up In", which I think was my favourite. It tells of a middle aged couple who arrive home one day to find their apartment completely empty of their belongings, and the way their mindset changes as a result. The final story is "Father! Father! Burning Bright", another fantastic story of a man whose father is dying in a hospital, and the family's reactions to it as they come and visit (as a nurse, I found this one particularly amusing!). This book is in a word FABULOUS. The writing is superb, the characterisation enviably succinct and well-formed. You read a few sentences and you're hooked straight in there. If only I could write half as well as Mr B, I could die a happy woman.

Interestingly, the chap at SWSL has just reviewed Writing Home, which also looks a treat.


At 12:38 pm, Blogger Ben said...

Cheers for the link! Glad to see you enjoyed 'Three Stories'.

At 2:24 pm, Anonymous Keris said...

I haven't read any Bennett myself, but I read something about him once that I love.

He was supposed to be doing an interview with one of the papers, but then took exception to the fact that the paper described him as 'winsome'.

He pulled out of the interview with a note which said 'Winsome, lose some'. Hee hee.


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