"The Clothes They Stood Up In"

The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett

Readable in an evening or so, this little book is a smart, darkly funny story of an indifferently married couple who are robbed of every single item in their apartment, even the casserole in the oven. How the Ransomes - and you have to love that name - deal with their losses and each other in the following weeks is an insightful, and somewhat sad, study of human nature and marriage in particular.

What I find so fascinating in this story is how ordinary everything is. The people and situations feel so true-to-life that you just know Alan Bennett has looked into our weird little lives and seen all the things - the dumb things, the unsavoury things - we try to hide from the world. Maybe it should be disconcerting, but in fact it's reassuring to read about other people who also live lives that aren't picture perfect. Bennett doesn't shy away from reality, but he does face it with compassion. You get the feeling that no matter how peculiar you are, Mr. Bennett would accept you and like you, and you'd like him.

I enjoyed this story, but my favourite book by Bennett is still The Uncommon Reader. If you haven't read that one, you really are missing out on a very entertaining reading experience. Actually, read anything of Bennett's you can get your hands on. They are always a pleasure and they often leave you pondering the meanings of things you may not have considered before.  


Post a Comment