• Alan Bennett: Keeping On Keeping On

  • Diaries 2005-2014
  • By: Alan Bennett
  • Narrated by: Alan Bennett
  • Length: 2 hrs and 16 mins
  • Radio/TV Programme
  • Release date: 10-11-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Ltd.
  • 5 out of 5 stars 4.8 (172 ratings)


Combining wit and wisdom, Alan Bennett's published compendium of diary entries is a joy to listen to. Brilliantly candid and wickedly honest, no topic is off-limits, from a sermon on private education to a defence of the public library. This is a poignant addition to the works of the critically acclaimed writer and playwright.
Alan Bennett narrates the latest installment of his diaries, as heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week.
Following on from Alan Bennett's best-selling, award-winning prose collections Writing Home and Untold Stories, Keeping On Keeping On is a third anthology featuring his unique observations, recollections and reminiscences.
At its heart is his latest published collection of diaries. In these entries, covering the years 2005 to 2014, Bennett looks back on a packed decade that included writing four highly acclaimed plays - The Habit of Art, People, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, all of which premiered at the National Theatre - as well as the screenplays for the hit films The History Boys and The Lady in the Van.
In addition he reflects on his 25 years of friendship and collaboration with director Nicholas Hytner; life with his partner, Rupert Thomas; and, radical views notwithstanding, his status as 'kindly, cosy and essentially harmless'.
Packed with perceptive impressions of people and places, sharp social commentary, expressive description and delightful jokes, this irresistible record of life according to Alan Bennett is a treasury of wisdom and insight.
©2016 Alan Bennett (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By pwgc on 10-11-16

Described as unabridged but not really

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this, but the print version contains the full diaries (plus a lot of other material too) a total of over 700 pages. This audible book is actually the BBC "Book of the Week" version which was broadcast by the BBC. It is most definitely an abridged version of the actual print version of the diaries, and does not contain the other material in the print version. But I suppose it is an unabridged version of the BBC production, which was an abridged version of the book. Very enjoyable, but beware of the term unabridged.

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34 of 34 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Trevor on 08-12-16


This is another highly entertaining reading by the inimitable Alan Bennett of extracts from his diaries but anybody who is expecting to hear the diary as it appears in the print version (let alone other material in the book) is due for a disappointment as the contents of the book have been savagely abridged.
This may be a full version of the extracts as broadcast by the BBC on "Book of the Week" but it is certainly not an unabridged version of the book itself, as the run-time of a mere 2 hours 16 minutes clearly indicates.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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