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The Complete "Talking Heads"

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  152 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The contains the first series of six Talking Heads monologues, written for BBC television in 1987, as well as the second series written in 1998. There is also another monologue A Woman Of No Importance, chosen by Alan Bennett to complete the collection.
Audio Cassette
Published October 4th 1999 by BBC Audiobooks (first published 1998)
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Thirteen sad monologues, all with a twist. More happens in what is unsaid than what is said. Not a good idea to read too many in one sitting - moreish as they are - otherwise they meld a little too much.
I studied the first set of Talking Heads as an A level text, 11 years ago now, and decided to re-read them recently. If anything, I enjoyed them more the second time through.

The first set of six monologues comprises Susan, the vicar's wife, in Bed Among the Lentils; Graham in A Chip in the Sugar; Lesley in Her Big Chance; Muriel in Soldiering On; Miss Ruddock in A Lady of Letters; and Doris in A Cream Cracker Under the Settee. Each of the narrators is ignorant as to what they are revealing to t
After my last book I complained of characters not developed. Well, here is a textbook example of developed characters. I unwittingly arrived at the perfect antidote to the Feel Good book.

Talking Heads is a collection of monologues which were originally written for BBC television, the first group in 1988 and a second group in 1998. Since that time they have found life as radio broadcasts, in live theater, and as a published collection. I listened to the audio book. It’s hard for me to imagine a b
Alan Bennett in his "Talking Heads" series assumes the task of the portraitist, a task which calls for honesty, empathy and style (for after all, it must be entertaining). He does all of these things fairly well, but the monologues lack excitement. There's a reason talking heads are the bane of any cinematographer, and while Bennett's attempt to revolutionize the medium is nobel, it fails to completely hold the viewer (or in this case reader's) attention.
I'd seen a couple of these on TV, and wondered whether they would work on the page. But I was not disappointed. Alan Bennett writes with such wit and perception that I could often visualise a set piece without having seen it.
So true to life, but such poignancy.

I have mixed feelings about confessing to being tucked in a corner reading these while the rest of the family was glued to the Olympics.
Apr 20, 2010 Lois marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
All these have been written as monologues. I saw "Bed Among the Lentils" (on TV) starring the great Maggie Smith. Devastating combination of humor, despair, and a glimpse of hope??
Neil Schleifer
I loved this collection of monologues told from the perspective of some very eccentric British characters. Bennett is a magnificent story-teller.
This book was recommended by David Sedaris when I saw him earlier this year. It is outstanding
Mar 08, 2010 Jillian rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jillian by: Melisa Banks
Shelves: depressing
Most of the characters were really depressing, but it was an interesting, fast read.
Tom Holt
The Complete "Talking Heads" by Alan Bennett (2001)
Currently re-reading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In Bennetts talking heads, hilarity and glum go perfectly well.
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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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