The Laying On of Hands: Stories PDF Ø The Laying

The Laying On of Hands: Stories PDF Ø The Laying Alan Bennett s extraordinary ear for dialogue and sharpness of perception have made him a master storyteller In Father Father Burning Bright he writes with tragicomic insight about a son s vigil at his father s deathbed where their lifelong battle continues to the end The Laying on of Hands, a brilliantly funny satire, describes a society memorial service for a rather special masseur who died tragically young and in Miss Fozzard Finds her Feet, a lonely, unmarried department store clerk discovers there s to life than looking after her brother through her only indulgence, her podiatrist Sexual liberation hence the cheeky title is the link between these three short stories by the versatile, prolific Bennett The first two, broadly comic, deal with it on a communal level the third, a less sketch like piece though, ironically, based on a TV work, autobiographically All Bennett has to do, given his fine ear for ordinary speech, is to give reality a nudge life s inherent comedy and pathos spill in spades. My New Year s resolution is to choose, at least once a month, one of the books that has been on my bookshelves unread, in some cases, for years This was a great choice to start me off.I love Alan Bennett Who needs audio books when you can have Bennett reading to you in your head This is only a short story of a littlethan 100 pages but it made me laugh out loud several times It s a masterpiece about a memorial service for a masseur that s attended by everyone from politicians to tv che My New Year s resolution is to choose, at least once a month, one of the books that has been on my bookshelves unread, in some cases, for years This was a great choice to start me off.I love Alan Bennett Who needs audio books when you can have Bennett reading to you in your head This is only a short story of a littlethan 100 pages but it made me laugh out loud several times It s a masterpiece about a memorial service for a masseur that s attended by everyone from politicians to tv chefs to soap stars, all of whom to their surprise had some sort of relationship with the deceased Presiding is a priest who also knew the masseur Geoffrey is an ambitious priest but a bit of a drama queenIt was unfair to God, he knew, but he d always felt the deity had a mean side and on one of his reports at theological college his tutor had written, Tends to confuse God with Joan CrawfordExcellent The service descends into farce and to say anywould be to say too much If you love AB, you ll love this An easy 5 stars that s going back on my bookshelf to stay A very short story that was originally published in the London Review of Books, and is typically Bennett.It is set in the moments before, after, and mainly during, the memorial service for Clive, a young man who died in Peru a few months earlier The fashionable London church is filled with a group of diverse but mostly famous or important friends, most of whom didn t realise Clive was also a friend of the others.Bennett affectionately and humourously highlights the foibles and hypocrisy of mode A very short story that was originally published in the London Review of Books, and is typically Bennett.It is set in the moments before, after, and mainly during, the memorial service for Clive, a young man who died in Peru a few months earlier The fashionable London church is filled with a group of diverse but mostly famous or important friends, most of whom didn t realise Clive was also a friend of the others.Bennett affectionately and humourously highlights the foibles and hypocrisy of modern society, the church and celebrity culture, particularly the social awkwardness that conflict can trigger Being Bennett, the underlying themes and revelations are no surprise, but that didn t detract from my enjoyment Vignettes from the story A soap had shocked its audience when a main character raped his mother, but the actor assured chat show hosts that he was a pussy cat in real life, and this was exemplified by the fact that within minutes of the maternal rape, he could be found on another channel picking out the three items of antique furniture he would invest in were his budget limited to 500 Celebrities anxiety must be kept private They must wait to share their worries discretely with friends or, if with the general public, at a decent price from the newspaper concerned The wry advantages of separating the funeral and memorial service the finality of death mitigated by staggering it over two stages , and the advantages of calling a memorial service a celebration the marrying of the valedictory with the festive convenient on several grounds For a start, it made grief less obligatory and also allowed the congregation to dress up and not down, so that though the millinery might bemuted, one could have been forgiven for thinking this was a wedding not a wake A cleric reminiscing about the old don t ask, don t tell approach to gay priests, favoured dry, ascerbic and, of course, unavowed A E Houseman the type that he approved of, minus the poetry, of course, and though this was less important , minus the atheism Father Jolliffe was Anglican but with Romish inclinations that were not so much doctrinal as ceremonial and certainly sartorial A priest looking at his flock cast professionally loving glances on his pink and generous face, an expression of settled benevolence His faith was real enough, though so supple and riddled with irony that God was noexempt from censure than the Archbishop of Canterbury Funeral tears rarely flow for anyone other than the person crying them Some mourners went on to a new restaurant that had opened in a converted public lavatory I would like to think this an amusing fiction, but I can t help thinking that such an establishment may already exist The only jarring note is that although this is mostly written in the past, several times a sentence starts in the past but slips, weirdly, into the present It happens often enough that I assume it s deliberate, but I found it distracting and annoying First up was an actress who ascends the stairs , and One of these was Father Jolliffe who is professional.On apositive linguistic note, I was amused by this somewhat graphic anecdote He learned that words mattered, once having been in bed with an etymologist whose ejaculation had been indefinitely postponed when Clive on being asked if he was about to come too had murmured, Hopefully In lieu of discharge, the etymologist had poured his frustrated energy into a short lecture on neologisms which Clive had taken so much to heart he had never said hopefully again The Laying of Hands and two additional short stories were included in this small book The title story is a satirical piece about a memorial service for a masseur who has died at a young age The church is filled with his clients, many of them celebrities, who offer special memories of the deceased I really can t imagine people divulging very personal information at a church service so it didn t seem totally realistic But it worked well as a humorous story Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet shows The Laying of Hands and two additional short stories were included in this small book The title story is a satirical piece about a memorial service for a masseur who has died at a young age The church is filled with his clients, many of them celebrities, who offer special memories of the deceased I really can t imagine people divulging very personal information at a church service so it didn t seem totally realistic But it worked well as a humorous story Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet shows a woman living a boring life working in a department store, and acting as a caregiver for her brother who is recovering from a stroke Her podiatrist adds some excitement to her life Father Father Burning Bright features a son at his dying father s bedside The son always felt that he had not lived up to his father s expectations I didn t like the attitudes of the characters in the family and hospital staff, so I found the story to besad than humorous.3 stars overall

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