Life Like Other People's, A
Alan Bennett's 'A Life Like Other People's' is the core of his collection 'Untold Stories'. It is a poignant memoir of his parents' marriage and his own childhood, recalling Christmases with Gramdma Peel and the lives, loves and deaths of his unforgettable aunties, Kathleen and Myra.
With the sudden descent of his mother into depression and, later, dementia, a long-held family secret is uncovered in this heart-rending and at times irresistibly funny work of autobiography by one of the best-loved English writers. [Larger font]
Comments from Groups
A good read - all enjoyed the reflection of social history. The discussion was spirited and we had a wealth of knowledge and memories that were both evocative and sad. Definitely a book to cherish and read. Invercargill 017
A good easy read which was enjoyed by all especially by some who had experience with dementia sufferers. A rigorous discussion as to the social attitudes as they were compared with as they are today. Christchurch 116
Most of us found the writing poignant and honest. Heart rending at times and endearingly funny at others. Christchurch 111
We had an interesting discussion, and although some found the lives portrayed were very dull, the group agreed that Alan Bennett effectively portrays history from ordinary people's perspectives. Several members commended the book's well-ordered sequence and the quality of the writing, lifting the work above the mundane.
Lovely read. Gentle writing style that captures Bennett's family clearly and honestly. Spotlight on mental health issues of the time.
The group thoroughly enjoyed this book. The discussion was spontaneous and rich. Question 9 in the notes particularly stimulated loads of anecdotes and opinions, as did the questions about the nature of mental illness in general, and depression in particular. Alan Bennett's writing style and self deprecation really appealed.
Everyone was delighted with this book - we were surprised that Alan Bennett revealed so much. Wonderful turn of phrase - so perceptive.
Some enjoyed the book - some not. We all thought his writing was very good, with excellent descriptive passages.
Well worth reading. Warm and pithy. Descriptive flow of writing re family showed honesty and awareness with both love and anger expressed meaningfully. We identified with his memory and understanding of the times.
A well-written and thought provoking book which led to an interesting discussion, ranging from families' memories to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness then and now.
Enjoyed by some but most disliked the author's attitude.
This book prompted great discussions - a very good choice!
This book was enjoyed by all. Written sympathetically on his parents' lives. We could relate to hidden family secrets. The aunts were delightful.