From Publishers Weekly
Bennett has been known to British audiences of radio, television, stage and screen for decades. In the United States, he's best known as the screenwriter of The Madness of King George
and, perhaps, for his experiences with Miss Shepherd, an indigent woman who set up a succession of vans in his front yard for 15 years. Now he returns with a shaggy collection of autobiographical sketches, diary entries, considerations of art, architecture and other authors, as well as an account of his bout with colon cancer. Returning to the precincts of his straitlaced, working-class British background, Bennett reveals a lost world whose influence and mores have trailed him his entire life. He revisits the Leeds that he knew in the 1940s, where he was first exposed to music and theater, and where his parents, both shy and retiring people, set lack of pretension as the highest value. While he plays the old crank who is put upon by the world as it is, Bennett reveals an eye for detail and a feel for the complexity of human interactions. And though he laments at length his own late maturation—physical, sexual and intellectual—and lack of sophistication, he shows himself to have achieved a measure of happiness. B&w photos. (Apr.)
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"Surprising, funny, and deeply affecting . . . [Alan Bennett] is a prose stylist of disarming grace and sly humor."--The New York Times Book Review
"Untold Stories is intelligent, educated, engaging, humane, self-aware, cantankerous, and irresistibly funny. You want it to go on forever."--The Sunday Times (London)
"Painfully intimate, stoically comic . . . Bennett's deadpan, self-deprecating humor translates perfectly."--David Gates, O, The Oprah Magazine
"A great achievement and a book of lasting value."--The Guardian (U.K.)
"A masterpiece of reminiscence. There is probably no other distinguished English man of letters more instantly likable than Bennett."--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World
"It is a glaring example of modern English frivolity that [Bennett] is not simply regarded--with awe and terror--as one of the greatest living English writers. . . . If you want to understand the cultural wars in England now, and if you want to come to grips with a great writer and a challenging mind, then Bennett is your man."--The Nation
"While he plays the old crank who is put upon by the world as it is, Bennett reveals an eye for detail and a feel for the complexity of human interactions."--Publishers Weekly
"[Bennett] is a fine storyteller. . . . His memories of fellow actors Peter Cook and Dudly Moore are wry, witty, and honest."--Library Journal