The slender premise springs from the actions of two listless 11-year-old boys, the cold, manipulative Leo, and his weaker, more impressionable friend, Mike. Contemptuous of the fallible ... See full summary »
An intimate story of the enduring bond of friendship between two hard-living men, set against a sweeping backdrop: the American West, post-World War II, in its twilight. Pete and Big Boy ... See full summary »
Lee, a Chinese man, works as a waiter in a hotel in England, despite speaking very little English. Told that a girl called Iris might be interested in him, on his afternoon off work he buys a box of chocolates and sets off to find her.
George and Betty, a middle-class English couple, have just moved into a big Edwardian house in London and are throwing a party to celebrate. Unfortunately, after ten days none of their ... See full summary »
Mrs and Mrs Cooper are staying at a boarding-house in the seaside resort of Morecambe with their small children, Colin and Jennifer. Mr Cooper has just been made redundant, but the family ... See full summary »
George Phillips, a middle-aged Londoner, works as an estate agent for the firm of Frobisher, Rendell and Ross. His home life is soured by clashes with his wife over whether their teenage ... See full summary »
Early Alan Bennett, but the seeds of greatness are there!
This is definitely an early work, and it shows. It's a bit long, a bit pausy, occasionally a bit slow-moving. The "hero" (if that's an appropriate word for him) isn't very sympathetic. But there's plenty of clues about the future of Bennett's writing. This is his first work with Thora Hird and Julie Walters, both of whom would go on to glory in both series of Talking Heads, many years later.
There's an overbearing mother, repressed homosexuality, an embarrassingly loud conversation in a cafe, the idea that hippy-ish or left-wing ideas make people uncomfortable, themes of education, failed sexual relationships that are over before they have begun, and, of course, Northern England.
All of the above elements will be honed, improved and adapted in future workings, but this really is the birth of a modern genius. Occasionally a bit tedious, though.
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