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Download Alan Bennett: Untold Stories Part 4: A Common Assault Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Alan Bennett: Untold Stories Part 4: A Common Assault Audiobook, by Alan Bennett
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (582 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Bennett Narrator: Alan Bennett Publisher: AudioGO Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN:
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Untold Stories, Alan Bennett's first major collection of prose since his bestselling Writing Home, brings together the finest and funniest of his writing over the last ten years. After Untold Stories: Part 1: Stories, Part 2: The Diaries and Part 3: Written on the Body (all available from BBC Audiobooks), Part 4: A Common Assault contains two more reminiscences from Bennett's life and an essay on the class system.

A Common Assault describes an incident in Italy when he was mugged, and found himself trying to give a statement to the police in bad Italian. The History Boys harks back once more to Bennett's time at school, and shows how the raw material of experience was eventually transformed into the highly-acclaimed stage play The History Boys. Arise, Sir..., finishes on a light-hearted note, in which Bennett muses on the Honours List in typically iconoclastic mode.

Alan Bennett's television series Talking Heads has become a modern-day classic, as have many of his works for the stage, including Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, The Madness of George III (together with the Oscar-nominated screenplay The Madness of King George) and an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. The History Boys won the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards for Best Play, the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, the South Bank Award and six Tony Awards. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lara | 2/19/2014

    " I love Alan Bennett and every letter he's put to print. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lazarus P Badpenny Esq | 2/17/2014

    " With his usual mixture of pathos and humour Alan Bennett returned with a follow-up to the hugely successful 'Writing Home'. This new book included more diary extracts, writings on the theatre, art, close friends and a touching memoir of his parents. Without doubt, the best book of 2005. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggi | 2/15/2014

    " A compilation of essays, autobiography, memoir, reviews.. I love his writing, and I loved the stories of his youth. Some of the diaries went on a bit, but well worth it overall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fiona | 2/11/2014

    " Bennett's life is always fascinating for me. This is a book I can dip in and out of as an occasional treat. When he writes about his family, there is so much to identity with as so much of their behaviour (e.g., not pushing themselves forward) and their experiences are so typically British. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nikki | 2/10/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed his autobiographical and theatrical musings, though the artistic lectures were less to my taste. In retrospect, I should probably have dipped into sections rather than reading it fom cover to cover. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 2/6/2014

    " I feel a great affection for Alan Bennett, at least the one he offers up in these periodic collections of ephemera. He seems the kind of mildly eccentric, vaguely comic figure you might find lurking around the periphery in a novel by Trollope. (Though I wouldn't find him there myself - I can't bear Trollope, his obsession with the minutiae of life in small cathedral towns drives me mad.) He spends much of his time puttering around London on his faithful bicycle; making daily observations in his diary, the tone of which suggest someone who is slightly disengaged, and not at all unhappily, from the mess and struggle ("living," he says elsewhere, not without some pride, "is something I have managed largely to avoid"); and indulging what are apparently his two favorite pastimes when not writing - visiting historic religious sites, the older and more decrepit the better, and consuming sandwiches al fresco in hedgerows, fields and deserted churchyards with his partner Rupert. He's like something out of Wind in the Willows. It's hard to imagine just how he got through the years with Beyond the Fringe and the three other outsized and exceedingly messy personalities involved in that, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and house genius Jonathan Miller; they didn't remain especially close after, I don't think, although Miller apparently lives nearby and occasionally stops when he's passing to chat over the front gate, a wonderful image in itself. ("He asks me what I'm reading. It's actually re-rereading, and telling him he would hate every page I show him James Lees-Milne's Through Wood and Dale. I ask him what he is reading and he shows me The Origins of the Final Solution. I say to him we would each of us derive more benefit if I were reading his book and he mine...") But when you watch the film of FRINGE, you realize how much of the writing was Bennett's and how cleverly he found a performing niche for himself amid the baroque flourishes of the others, somewhere between a dotty old professor and a psychotic schoolboy. There are very few genuine English eccentrics remaining, not in this true, slightly 19th century sense, and I suspect England is the poorer for it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki Anderson | 1/19/2014

    " I rate this book in two parts;first open, poignant and refreshingly honest but second he seems to be making points than illustrating them. Difficult to read but worth the effort, an insight to an amazing talent. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris | 12/8/2013

    " The first section of the book was fine. Stories about his upbringing and his mother's battle with mental illness. Sadly the rest of the book made up by his diaries bored me me to tears. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stefan Glosby | 12/4/2013

    " As always, fantastic. The account of his mother's descent into dementia and his battle with cancer are horrible but fantastically written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 2/17/2013

    " Alan Bennett is a wonderful writer, he can make anything interesting and he has such an observing eye, the book is a pleasure as it is a mixture of his early days in Leeds and his family who are so lovingly but unsparingly portrayed and then extracts his 2000 diaries, a pure pleasure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 2/12/2013

    " If you know and like Alan Bennett you'll love this. Even better if you can get hold of tape or download of him reading excerpts on BBC Radio 4! IMHO the greatest living British playwright even if he is regarded as rather too accessible by some intellectual luvvies! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 8/3/2012

    " I love this man. The unspeakable genius of The Invention of Love by Tom Stoppard nonwithstading, I think he is my favourite playwrite.....Favourite modern playwrite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Grinstead | 10/17/2011

    " A curious juxtaposition of self-effacing personal insights with an ever-present arrogance. A curiously complex character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynley | 4/16/2011

    " I probably would've given this five stars had I been English, but many of the people mentioned and politics discussed were unfamiliar to me, which hindered my understanding a little.

    Alan Bennett is a genius. I've thought this before, and still think so after reading this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ollka | 2/9/2011

    " Listening to the audio-book because of "History boys". He is a wonderful reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Noel | 11/8/2010

    " I really like Alan Bennett's writings. He is one of the great observers of the human condition, and the excerpts from his diaries are particularly good. This is a mixture of memoir, anecdotes and musings, with a bit of art and film history and appreciation thrown in. An enjoyable read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris | 10/12/2009

    " The first section of the book was fine. Stories about his upbringing and his mother's battle with mental illness. Sadly the rest of the book made up by his diaries bored me me to tears. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 7/26/2009

    " Alan Bennett is a wonderful writer, he can make anything interesting and he has such an observing eye, the book is a pleasure as it is a mixture of his early days in Leeds and his family who are so lovingly but unsparingly portrayed and then extracts his 2000 diaries, a pure pleasure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hazel | 7/10/2009

    " You can hear Alan Bennett's flat voice telling these stories. A mixed bag, some of which I'd read/heard elsewhere; I liked some, found others tedious - hence my rating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lazarus | 3/13/2009

    " With his usual mixture of pathos and humour Alan Bennett returned with a follow-up to the hugely successful 'Writing Home'. This new book included more diary extracts, writings on the theatre, art, close friends and a touching memoir of his parents. Without doubt, the best book of 2005. "

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