The Laying on of Hands, the painfully observant account of a memorial service for a masseur to the famous. The Clothes They Stood Up In, the comic tale of an elderly couple's trials after their flat is stripped completely bare. Father! Father! Burning Bright, the savage satire on the family of a dying man who rules over them from his hospital bed. The Lady in the Van, the true story of the eccentric old woman who is invited to live in a homeowner's front garden. She stays there, in her van, for fifteen years. The home is Alan Bennett's. It became a West End hit, starring Maggie Smith. Like everything Bennett does, these stories are playful, witty and painfully observant of ordinary people's foibles. They all have brilliant twists, are immensely entertaining and highly moral. And all are modern classics.
A new hardback edition of Alan Bennett's four triumphantly reviewed and bestselling stories to celebrate his eightieth birthday
Bennett's exquisite observations of the snobbish and the camp, the old, the sad and the lonely are recounted with great tenderness and poignancy. Daily Express Bennett approaches his characters with an agitated compassion, a baleful sympathy that adds to their troubles. Some 10 years ago, a newspaper referred to Bennett as "the nation's teddy bear". Note the gleam, always fresh, in his beady eye. Spectator