Friday, 9 April 2010

Author! Author! #1 Alan Bennett

Firstly, let's get all the shameless stuff out of the way first. OMPADC is updated. Please check

Now the plug is out of the way. On with the blog. I may have mentioned I want to be a published author. A consequence of this is I read a lot. Can't help it, always have, probably always will. Therefore I have come across a number of writers whose work I always enjoy and often seek out. So, let me introduce you to ANOTHER acronym! That's right, I can't get enough of the little bleeders ( like brackets). This acronym is MFWE. Short for My Favourite Writers Ever. This will be a semi-regular feature where I discuss my favourite writers ever (odd considering the title). This will be a non-chronological run-down of the authors I like enough to place on my list.

"How do I define history? It's just one fuckin' thing after another"

First up, I thought I would go for quintessential northern and all rounder, nice person. Alan Bennett. Now I came to Alan's work quite recently. I was aware of him, his voice being familiar to me through some form of innate cultural awareness. I saw the film version of Alan's play, The History Boys and fell in love with his writing style straight away. It was funny, interesting, the characters all developed, it raised some good points and it was all very entertaining. Now some say that it isn't his best work, calling it tired, dated, cliched and a variety of other phrases. It didn't seem to be any of these things to me. I could quote reams of it here, but that wouldn't be doing the whole thing justice. I have however quoted one line from it at the top of this paragraph.

I went from watching the History Boys, to catching, rather fortunately, the recent BBC Bennett season. This exposed me to more of Bennett's wonderful observations of simple human life. For me, this is what really made me appreciate just how good a writer he is. I always appreciate a writer who makes the minutiae of human life so interesting because I'm rather poor at the whole people thing. I have also recently got a copy of Bennett's play "Lady In the Van" (a play based on the man who lived in a van in his garden for 15 years), from my local library. I have only got a few pages in and really enjoy it. The characters are simple and the use of 2 versions of Bennett on stage to represent aspects of his character is a good touch. It features typical examples of Bennett's wry criticisms of life, his little one liner observations.

Another thing I really love about Bennett is his voice, it is brilliant for audiobooks. I recently got him reading The House At Pooh Corner from iTunes. It's brilliant, his characterisations of the members of the Pooh group are brilliant.

1 comment:

  1. i like the idea of a MFWE series. in fact, i'm quite jealous. My favourite thing about Bennett is dialogue (which makes sense for a script man).
    i want to learn to write dialogue how he does. in his first play, he wrote the dialogue before the characters. amazing/weird idea.