House Arrest: Pandemic Diaries

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House Arrest: Pandemic Diaries

House Arrest: Pandemic Diaries

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Price: £4.495
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Boris Johnson’s nightly addresses during the Pandemic are “ pretty pointless… a poor orator and speaker generally… the plainness of Keir Starmer a relief. An abiding memory for me is his engaging encounter with a leaf sweeper which puts a smile on AB’s face for the rest of the day. I spent a pleasant half hour reading this but it's not as jaunty as his diaries have been in the past and the constraints of the pandemic and ageing mean that much of his reflection now relates to past rather than present encounters. It's a very short selection, so easily readable in one sitting but none the less entertaining for that.

He may clearly be increasingly frail but, even in lockdown, Alan Bennett retains his customary waspish wit in the latest tranche of his diaries ― Choice --This text refers to the hardcover edition. TheDeorhord by Hana Videen is a fascinating collection of medieval creatures large and small, and a delightful dive into Old English. On the phone to the optician about his broken glasses, he finds that he has lost the words, and his partner has to take over. It is a typical Bennett moment, part gentle social comedy part revelation about the self-delusions of the ego.On 26 March of that first year, Nicholas Hytner rings with the exciting news that the BBC would like to record a new version of Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues of 1988 because it is exactly the sort of thing that could be done on Zoom.

Bennett is such a master of the mundane I actually would have relished reading about what he did in that first lockdown when the world shrank for everyone. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.

While Mr Bennett is never less than readable, this very slight volume is the length of a magazine article and really nothing more than an erudite version of anyone's lockdown experience. Generally, I worship at the altar of Alan Bennett but this very slight volume was a big disappointment. Felt like a contractual obligation was being fulfilled with this very slight and disjointed melange. Where this tortured restraint does not reach, though, is into Bennett’s ethical worldview which remain as richly communitarian as ever. As you'd expect, 'House Arrest' is an erudite, insiteful, quietly witty book, whilst somewhat infused with an air of pathos throughout - Bennett alludes to the aging process and the things, such as cycling, that he's no longer able to do due to his advancing years.

A lyrical afterword describes the journey home to Yorkshire from King's Cross station via fish and chips on Quebec Street, past childhood landmarks of Leeds, through Coniston Cold, over the infant River Aire, and on. TheBookAtWar by Andrew Pettegree is the perfect present for bibliophiles and history buffs alike – a fascinating exploration of the role of books in wartime. On Broadway, The History Boys won five New York Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics' Circle Awards, a New York Drama Critics' Award for Best Play, a New York Drama League Award and six Tonys including Best Play. Alan Bennett is a renowned playwright and essayist, a succession of whose plays have been staged at the Royal National Theatre and whose screenplay for The Madness of King George was nominated for an Academy Award. Always a privilege to have the insight into someone’s diaries and in a way it feels like diaries during the height of the pandemic are even more intimate and personal than others.So, my 4* rating reflects how good these 45 pages of musings were but don't reflect my disappointment! His 2009 play, The Habit of Art, received glowing reviews and was broadcast live the following year by National Theatre Live.

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