Title: A Life Like Other People’s

Author: Alan Bennett

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 242

Rating: 4/5

Part of Untold Stories, apparently.

It kind of feels as though Bennett is on a mission to publish literally everything that he’s ever written, and even though he’s a decent writer, that does get a bit dull after a while. I’d read Stephen King’s shopping lists, but I wouldn’t read Bennett’s. And yet in a way, that’s kind of what we get here.

I mean don’t get me wrong, it was still a decent enough read, it’s just a bit of a trek and it will take a ton of commitment. That’s particularly true when you get to the diaries, because even though they do tie in with major events and take you behind the scenes on some of his creative projects, you’re still just sitting there reading diary entries. It’s not quite as dull as reading a collection of letters, but it’s not far off either.

On the plus side, there was some interesting stuff on Bennett’s relationship with his mother, who suffered from some mental health conditions. He writes openly and honestly about what that was like for the family to deal with, and we also see him talking about things like electro-shock therapy and other mental health “best practices” that have since gone out of fashion. Interestingly, he wasn’t opposed to it, either.

Learn more about A Life Like Other People’s.