Tag: The Lady in the Van

Alan Bennett – Talking Heads | Review

Title: Talking Heads

Author: Alan Bennett

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 272

Rating: 3.5/5

I was pretty excited when I spotted this going cheap in a charity shop because I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few Alan Bennett books and this is one of his most well-known. I also know that it’s a huge influence on fellow writer and BookTuber Charlie Heathcote, and indeed his Our Doris series is also a series of monologues.

But dare I say it? I think Charlie’s book is better. It certainly made me laugh more, and while the two obviously have a lot in common, I think Charlie leaned more towards writing a good book while Bennett leaned towards writing a good monologue for TV/radio. It’s a subtle distinction, but it just meant that for me, I felt as though I was missing something.

I think that this book is probably better suited to people who are already Talking Heads fans. That’s kind of what it feels like, a sort of spin-off from a TV show. It reminds me of the A Bit of Fry and Laurie book, which was basically just the scripts from the show. It was okay, but seeing them actually performed was better.

I am still glad I read this though, and Bennett as always raises some interesting points and discussion subjects. It just wasn’t quite on the same level as The Lady in the Van, The Uncommon Reader and some of his others. I felt like that about The History Boys too, so maybe it’s just a case of the books sometimes being overtaken by their hype.

Learn more about Talking Heads.


Alan Bennett – The Lady in the Van | Review

Title: The Lady in the Van

Author: Alan Bennett

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 104

Rating: 4*/5


Alan Bennett - The Lady in the Van

Alan Bennett – The Lady in the Van


This one’s interesting because it’s a memoir that Bennett wrote about a woman who literally lived in a broken-down van in his garden, and it basically conveys her personality perfectly. The problem is that she wasn’t very likeable.

Still, she’s definitely a character, which is why the book was turned into a movie with Maggie Smith. Sure, she used the “N-word”, called herself a proud Tory and sang the praises of Enoch Powell, but she’s dead now so eh.


Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett


Click here to buy the Lady in the Van.