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The Complete Talking Heads by Alan Bennett

The Complete Talking Heads

by Alan Bennett

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it's Alan Bennett. further commentary would be superfluous. ( )
  mirrordrum | Jul 20, 2010 |
These stories were each presented on TV by a single person speaking to camera. They are brilliant character essays by a superb writer.
  PeterClack | Dec 10, 2009 |
Alan Bennett has been called England's National Teddy Bear, so beloved is his work and person. It's a sweet moniker, but misleading to those who may not have yet read Bennett. Insightful and compassionate with a wit so sharp it effectively amputates sentimentality, this is a Teddy Bear with laser eyes and sharp claws that are only just retracted.

Bennett's character sketches in Talking Heads are devastating. The grown man whose safe little existence begins to unravel as he discovers his dear old mum has taken a lover, the vigilant, upright busybody who ends up in prison for invading her neighbor's privacy, the widow of "Soldiering On" whose emptiness of purpose is revealed through her inability to grieve--each uncomprehending character Bennett has created in these astonishing soliloquies is undone by his or her brave and steadfast unwillingness to acknowledge the bare-knuckled truth of human emotion.
Bennett is not cruel in revealing the weaknesses of his characters, but he is uncompromising in revealing those weaknesses. This is the Teddy Bear who brings to the picnic sharp knives that cut through the bread and fat prepared and packaged by his companions.

Also highly recommended are Bennett's Writing Home, and any and all of his other plays, including the much-lauded History Boys, the ironically titled The Old Country, his wry novellas, especially The Uncommon Reader; and, for those who just must have the soft and fuzzy version of the Teddy Bear, listen to Bennett's reading of Winnie the Pooh, or go see his stage play of The Wind in the Willows. ( )
1 vote starlightink | May 1, 2008 |
Collection of radio scripts, with Bennett intro and some illustrations.
  petefenelon | Oct 12, 2005 |
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In memory of Innes Lloyd 1925-1991
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"We met it with love," he cries, as if love were some all-purpose antibiotic, which to Geoffrey it probably is.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031242308X, Paperback)

Alan Bennett's award-winning series of solo pieces is a classic of contemporary drama, universally hailed for its combination of razor-sharp wit and deeply felt humanity. In Bed Among the Lentils, a vicar's wife discovers a semblance of happiness with an Indian shop owner. In A Chip in the Sugar, a man's life begins to unravel when he discovers his aging mother has rekindled an old flame. In A Lady of Letters, a busybody pays a price for interfering in her neighbor's life.

First produced for BBC television in 1988 to great critical acclaim, the Talking Heads monologues also appeared on the West End Stage in London in 1992 and 1998. In 2002, seven of the pieces were performed at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles for a highly praised brief engagement, and in 2003 a selection of the monologues premiered in New York at the Minetta Lane Theatre. These extraordinary portraits of ordinary people confirm Alan Bennett's place as one of the most gifted, versatile, and important writers in the English Language.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:49 -0400)

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