Untold Stories by Alan Bennett

About the book

Untold Stories contains new unpublished diaries, as well as a poignant memoir of his family and of growing up in Leeds, together with his much celebrated diary for the years 1996-2004, and numerous other exceptional essays, reviews and comic pieces.

Reviewed by  Museum Book Reading Group:

We all enjoyed the account of his home, boyhood and relations. This provoked a discussion on his Aunts and the freeing of women into a life of their own in wartime. We didn’t touch on his present life or the art section. Discussed ‘Lady in the Van’ with interest in the play.

Star rating: ***

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3 thoughts on “Untold Stories by Alan Bennett”

  1. Review by Wallington Village Reading Group:
    No plot, just reminiscences. Written when Bennett didn’t think he had long to live. Easy to ‘dip into’, pick up and put down. First part preferred, diary entries not as good. Enjoyed it but didn’t think i would. Helps to be a ‘certain age’. Observations brilliant. Flowed. Great observer and writer. Wonderful turn of phrase. Master of understatement.
    Star rating: ***


  2. Review by Enjoying Books Reading Group:
    This is a delight on so many levels – the wonderful writing, humour, moments of sadness; comment on current affairs. Thoroughly recommend – it also produced good discussion afterwards.
    Star rating: ****


  3. Review by Boaters Book Club Reading Group:
    Most skip read it. It was not liked because it was considered a tedious, long and jumbled read, a kind of history book but not one. We readers found the author opinionated but without justification, a name dropper, who often brought in very boring details like the contents of his sandwiches. So little was liked. The group felt his interest in churches and art galleries could have been interesting but the information was too spread out, and that he lead a sad life and that it was interesting that his brother was hardly mentioned apart from early on in the book. It was considered that the book left no lasting impression and that he wrote it as he wanted it written in case he died of cancer. It was felt it would have been better if edited more or published as 3 volumes. Most wished, on reflection, that they had dipped into a bit of all the chapters. It was considered a reflection on his upbringing. This resulted in a discussion of autobiographies versus biographies. All like his others works, him as a person, his humour but not this book.
    Star rating: *


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