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Due storie sporche

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  2,553 Ratings  ·  447 Reviews
Questa volta Alan Bennett svela una inusitata vena piccante: «lo scrittore più amato della Gran Bretagna» – ma non meno amato dai nostri numerosissimi lettori di Nudi e crudi e La sovrana lettrice – ci tuffa infatti in due farse scanzonate e impertinenti. Entriamo così nell'atmosfera briosa di Mrs Donaldson ringiovanisce, dove una rispettabile vedova di mezza età, dedita a ...more
Paperback, Fabula, 134 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Adelphi (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Petra Eggs
Just a couple of stories. The first of a rather meek, middle-aged housewife who rents out rooms discovering the titillating joys of voyeurism at the same time as the couple discover that exhibitionism takes money off the rent!

The second of a married gay lad who is having sex with a rather nasty policeman who is also his mother's lover. His stepfather is screwing his wife. With all this infidelity spiced with a bit of blackmail and no-one having any idea of anyone else's peccadillos because they
Oooooh Mr Bennett, you are naughty. :-O

Eros and Thanatos - a definite win for Eros in The Greening of Mrs Donaldson

Truth and Lies and Internet - truth not getting much of a look in at all in The Shielding of Mrs Forbes

I fear for Mr Bennett's health: he may well have burst a blood vessel in this effort to shake himself free of his image as Cosy National Treasure. But he really can't shock, no matter how he tries. Not while he uses such delightfully appropriate but gently dated turns of phrase. Ex
Jan 27, 2012 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fiction, 2012
February 2012


Smut smut!

Smut smut smut smut smut!



But I digress (smut!). I've been reading through Alan Bennett's fiction lately (avoiding his plays for some reason, but I should probably read them too), and I couldn't resist a title or a cover like this. Smut! Teacup sex! And two stories:

Slightly smutty: To supplement her income, the widowed title character in "The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson" volunteers as a test patient for medical students and rents out her spare room to a
Funny book. It is two short stories, both about middle aged women in circumstances or situations that, in former times may have been regarded primly as smutty, something which this book is not. It is witty and clever, light hearted, and gently pokes fun at society's preoccupations with "how things look".

[from 'The Shielding of Mrs Forbes'] “In the years since he was born her sights had risen and Graham was not nearly the classy name she’d once thought. She wished now that she could get rid of i
Jul 16, 2011 Cecily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, short-stories
Two delightful and very Bennettian short stories, each of which is best read in one go. Goodness knows what non-Brits make of them!

They are not very smutty and not very plausible, but they are great fun. As with many of his works, a combination of repressed feelings (not all of them sexual) and respectability hide thoughts, feelings and actions that may seem out of character, but are actually fundamental to who the person is. And yet the characters do not, initially at least, realise what they h
Susan Tunis
Jan 04, 2012 Susan Tunis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Naughty was never so nice

I’m a fan of Alan Bennett’s wonderful plays, but my greatest affection is reserved for his charming novella The Uncommon Reader. Coming in at a slight 160 pages, Smut is similar in length, but this book is made up of two brief stories. In content, they have nothing in common with that earlier tale, but they exhibit the same trademark humor and warmth. This is a writer it’s difficult not to like. Therefore, it may be surprising to hear that Mr. Bennett is writing Smut. Th
Mar 22, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is my answer to all the hype about Fifty Shades of Grey, which I will not read. Ann Patchett recommended Smut on her blog that she started on the website for her new independent book store She wrote 'Smut is just dirty enough, it is the perfect balance of dirty and very properly British. It is extremely funny and as neatly pieced together as a Swiss watch'. It was a fun read and I look forward to reading some of his other work.
May 17, 2012 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bruno Bouchet
Sep 03, 2011 Bruno Bouchet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bennet is always a delight. He's one of those authors that can slip the most powerful pathos and profundity in the seemingly mundane. Even without being his greatest works, the two stories in Smut are a joy to read contain enough nuggets of classic Bennet observations to be well worth the read. I read some criticisms that for a book called Smut, the stories really were quite tame. I think that misses the point entirely, and misses what the word smut actually means. Smut isn’t full on outrageous ...more
Jun 01, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson, an average English widow takes in two lodgers, a young couple. When they can't pay the rent, they offer her another, very different type of payment. Outside the home, she volunteers as a "sick" person for medical residents, becoming quite adept at donning any disease or disorder. She's blooming in a way, and escaping her "true" self, whoever that is.

In The Shielding of Mrs. Forbes, her only beloved child, Graham, perfect in looks and smarts, hides a secret life
May 01, 2015 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the two stories in this book aren't really all that smutty they are rather humorous and enjoyable and show Bennett skill as a writer and ability to create believable and strangely loveable characters really well. The first story tells of Mrs Donaldson, a widow in her mid-fifties as she tries to make ends meet and finds herself with a couple of lodgers who open her eyes to the pleasures of life that she has been missing out on, even if he doesn't get to join in completely. The second tel ...more
Tamsin Barlow
Jul 02, 2012 Tamsin Barlow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Not as salacious as the title suggests but it did help me stay awake on the plane. Really lovely writing though I still have trouble imagining such seemingly milquetoast people have such racy secret lives. Isn't everyone nice and boring and non-duplicitous like me?
Robert Carraher
May 27, 2012 Robert Carraher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Smut: Stories

Imagine, if you will, that the cast of Monte Python got together and wrote dirty little stories. Only they wrote them in a somewhat serious mode – of course, being Monte Python they would need to be full of tongue in cheek, satirical and cynical humor that shined a mirror back at the inanities of real life and real people and society in general.

Alan Bennett is one of Britain's most beloved playwrights, screenwriters, actors and authors. Oxford educated , he studied history and perf
Feb 01, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
According to the Urban Dictionary, smut translates to highly developed stories with love lines and other things that appeal to women, with a lot of sexually explicit scenes. By that definition, is Alan Bennett’s latest novel truly about smut?

The ambiguous answer: yes but not really. Smut really tackles the theme of how those of us, living within narrow boundaries of social convention, break free from conforming to appearances. The result is entertaining, amusingly quirky British humor at its bes
Jun 10, 2012 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Smut: two unseemly stories” is, as the title suggests, an omnibus of two short stories by English author and actor, Alan Bennett. The first story is The Greening of Mrs Donaldson. Mrs Donaldson, recently widowed, finds herself a little short on cash and decides to take a student couple as lodgers. When they find themselves unable to pay the rent, they come to a novel arrangement with their landlady. Mrs Donaldson’s other source of income is working as a Simulated Patient in medical student trai ...more
Mar 26, 2012 Pamela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just finished "Smut".

Get a kick out of the title--nothing like going to my local library, where a copy of the book was being held for me behind a busy counter, and being asked for the title by a busy assistant in front of a line of people (I gave him the author's name!). Here it is 2012, my community's library is active, modern, and well-run, and I balked at calling out "Smut!" in front of eight people!

Anyway, did enjoy this. It's the first thing I've read by Bennett. Although, overall, I was s
Absolutely brilliant, 2 short stories read by the author, impeccable.
One a story of a middle-aged land lady who is paid by her student tenants by being an observer to their love-making.
The other about a young engaged man and his attraction to another man and his love for his fiancee (with a nagging Mother thrown in).

Both told with THAT wit that only Alan Bennett can write. So subtle but outrageous you can't help but laugh-out-loud. You know you have heard what he has said, but it takes a while f
Samir Rawas Sarayji
Feb 08, 2013 Samir Rawas Sarayji rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Smut, is a collection of two novella-like short stories: ‘The Greening of Mrs Donaldson’ and ‘The Shielding of Mrs Forbes’.

The first story is about a widow, Mrs Donaldson, who works part time in a university hospital as a patient (acting out symptoms) for students to figure out as part of their studies. She also rents out a room in her house to a student couple and when they fall behind in their rent, they approach her with the proposition to let her watch them having intercourse. She agrees and
Jo Woolfardis
I fell in love with Bennett's The History Boys after the 50 Years of the National Theatre on the BBC showed about 5 minutes of it. After that I was hooked.

Unseemly: not proper or appropriate.

'Smut' contains two short stories about, unsurprisingly, sex. From the title you can identify that those entwined within the stories of sex confront it in a somewhat old-fashioned sense. Sex is either very, very good or quite, quite bad.

In the first, a middle-aged woman discovers enjoyment in watching youngs
Smut is an evocative word, of something dirty; it’s a word that invokes cringe.

I was surprised to learn that smut is a black colloidal substance consisting of amorphous carbon and used to make pigments and ink; it also refers to a destructive disease of cereal grasses caused by a fungi (Ustilaginales) that produces black powdery masses of spores; I guess that is the “dirty” connotation. The cringe comes from it being an offensive or indecent word or phrase. Some might argue that the title of th
Sam Quixote
Jul 15, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alan Bennett's latest book explores sexuality in suburbia with a 55 year old widower who becomes a peeping tom landlady in lieu of rent to her exhibitionist lodgers, and a secretly gay banker who gets blackmailed by one of his lovers.

The title "Smut" and the word "unseemly" both give the wrong idea about the stories - they might have seemed transgressive in years past but watching people have sex and being gay aren't really taboo any more. The quaint terminology employed by Bennett is reflectiv
Mar 23, 2012 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book at Alewife, and was laughing out loud by Kendall. At my client's office, I casually tried to hide the title while I snuck in a read in the lobby. Smut! What would he think? This was an easy read with some smut and humor mixed in. The first section is about a window who performs as a patient for medical students and rents out an extra room in her house. Smut happens! The second story is of a son trying to live up to his mother's expectations.

The book was not without flaws. The
Dickon Edwards
Apr 15, 2011 Dickon Edwards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two wry yet poignant novellas, one of which was published in the LRB, one brand new. Weird to see Alan Bennett characters using the internet and mobile phones, when AB himself famously has no computer - he uses a manual typewriter bought from a Bradford charity shop...

Enjoyed both, though they are more of the same sort of thing: an older lady discovers an unlikely new lease of life from a sexual 'arrangement' with her tenants to pay the rent, while another older lady is kept from knowing the tr
[A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]

3.5 stars.

Smut! What a fantastic word.

In these two stories, ‘The Greening of Mrs Donaldson’ and ‘The Shielding of Mrs Forbes’ we experience a lot of smutty sex; straight sex, gay sex, extramarital sex, cyber-sex, sex in company, sex that’s paid for, sex that’s paying for something – all reined back by a typically British tameness that stops it being trashy and allows it to be… smutty.

Bennett’s pr
Jul 12, 2011 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good little book of two "unseemly" stories. Very proper unseemly stories--though neither is likely to be added to a high school reading list. The first story - "The Greening of Mrs. Donaldson" - is better - the targets (prudishness, pigeonholing) are still there, but it's also a stronger celebration of being alive. The second story is simpler, less thought out; more a basic mockery of expected behavior. They are both funny, but the first is as good or better than some of the "Talking Heads" play ...more
Eleanor Cleverly
I hesitate not giving this book five stars. I didn't, though not for some lack in the quality of Bennett's writing, wit of storytelling, ingenuity of plot, or the amount of pleasure I had in reading these two short, but without doubt, simple, rich stories, but because I reserve that rating for only those books that are utterly life changing. While Bennett is a brilliant writer, and Smut is a charming account of the tawdry details in constrained WASP living, it will not fundamentally alter anythi ...more
Jan 30, 2012 Iva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is there anyone as much fun to read as Alan Bennett? With his original premise(s), i.e. The Common Reader, and his remarkable and observant wit, there isn't a dull sentence in these two novellas. The first is the strongest and is loosely a plot twisting story of a recent widow who takes in a young student couple as lodgers. They offer to pay their rent in a highly original way. For those who haven't discovered Alan Bennett, you may start here; for his fans, save this one for a very special treat ...more
Po Po
Mar 30, 2015 Po Po rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inaccurately titled. When you bestow the title of SMUT to a book, there had better be some serious smut within its pages. My smut-o-meter barely registered the faintest of smut signals from this one.

There are two stories in this book. The first one is about a widow who is desirous of a wilder [sex] life. The second story is about a closet homosexual.

Although both kept me entertained, I preferred the second story--clever, cheeky and comical and with more involved and evolved characters.
Apr 16, 2013 Cristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: británica
Dos historias nada decentes es exactamente lo que se encontrará el lector que se adentre en el último libro de Alan Bennett.

Sirviéndose de situaciones aparentemente inverosímiles, el autor trae a colación facetas de la naturaleza humana de las que habitualmente prefiere no hablarse; porque bien es sabido que de lo que no se habla, no existe. Pero él sí habla y además lo hace de un modo divertidísimo, jugando con lo absurdo y utilizando en no pocas ocasiones una crítica mordaz, aunque sin dejar d
Lately, there has been a spate of novels that enforce the lesson that one can never truly know someone else. While someone may portray himself in a public persona as polished and urbane, this same person could be struggling with a mental disorder or harboring a hoarding fetish. One just never knows and can never know all of the details. Smut is yet another example of this, focusing on sexual proclivities instead of other personality traits.

What is Smut? This is one instance where the author's ch
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Alan Bennett is an English author and Tony Award-winning playwright. Bennett's first stage play, Forty Years On, was produced in 1968. Many television, stage and radio plays followed, along with screenplays, short stories, novellas, a large body of non-fictional prose and broadcasting, and many appearances as
More about Alan Bennett...

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“Remember. You are a physician. You are not a policeman nor are you a minister of religion. You must take people as they come. Remember, too that though you will generally know more about the condition than the patient, it is the patient who has the condition and this if nothing else bestows on him or her a kind of wisdom. You have the knowledge but that does not entitle you to be superior. Knowledge makes you the servant not the master.” 5 likes
“She wasn't wholly infatuated, though she liked the way he looked; but, so too did he and that unfatuated her a bit.” 2 likes
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