I Want ‘Smut’… When Authors Surprise Us!

I have to admit that I been wanting to do a title post along those lines ever since Alan Bennett’s new book, or two novella’s in one volume, title ‘Smut’ was revealed. In fact Alan Bennett’s new book (containing ‘two unseemly tales’) brings up a question or two I have been meaning to ask you all for some time. But I think before we go any further we really should see a clip of the man himself reading from one of the two stories in his latest release. This clip is from ‘The Greening of Mrs Donaldson’

The way he looks at the camera, and then off into the distance, at the very end really tickles me each time I have watched it. It’s like he knows he is doing something slightly naughty or ‘unseemly’ as the book promises, and indeed if some reports are to be believed this book could upset some of his fans. Alan Bennett is deemed as a ‘National Treasure’, a title I am not sure he loves, and it looks like with ‘Smut’ he is trying out something a little different and rather more risqué.

Not that I have it yet though, this is yet another scheduled post (though a rather late Sunday afternoon one, sorry, as I wanted as many of your thoughts on my Daphne Du Maurier Season idea as possible) but I do believe it is out now, and it is riding high at the top of the list of books that I am bursting to read. Part of that is because I love Alan Bennett anyway and partly it is because I want to see Bennett behaving badly and doing something that his readers might not quite expect.

I wondered what your thoughts were on authors doing things differently, or doing something a little bit naughty. Do you like it or would you rather they stuck to what works already? Do authors who do the same tricks every time bore you, or can it be comforting? Should authors always be trying to do something knew and leave you guessing what might come next? What book, if any, have you read by a favourite author that was so different from anything they had done before it didn’t pay off and put you off? What subject would you love to see your favourite author write that they haven’t and why? What books by your favourite author have outraged you… for whatever reason?

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7 Comments

Filed under Alan Bennett, Book Thoughts

7 responses to “I Want ‘Smut’… When Authors Surprise Us!

  1. I think that authors should have a bit of variety, when you pick up a David Mitchell or Michael Faber you don’t know what you’ll get.
    As much as I LOVE Sarah Waters she always has lesbian characters, which is fair enough, but when her recent book came out where the characters sexual preference wasn’t noted so many people spent ages discussing if the character was a lesbian or not. Not that it would have made any difference to the plot, but it is whats expected of her and seem to have unsettled some of her readers.

    I’d love to see Sarah Waters take on some male characters, a novella or a modern setting to see what else she can do.

    • I did a snigger when I saw this Katrina as with a David Mitchell I do know what I will get but I think we are on different tangents with that one ;)

      The whole ‘Little Stranger’ thing was crazy, if she had put one in everyone would have groaned and when she doesnt everyone implies it anyway.

  2. novelinsights

    I seem to remember there being a bit of naughtiness in one of Bennett’s short stories that I read a long time ago involving, a shop, a back room and some lentils (in Talking Heads I think?). Definitely intrigued by this new title! :)

    • That would be the wonderful ‘In The Bed Amongst The Lentils’ or maybe the title is shorter than that? Anyway Maggie Smith did the Talking Heads one and it was brilliant… and a vicars wife too! Shocking.

  3. Pingback: Smut – Alan Bennett « Savidge Reads

  4. I love Alan Bennett and I would like to soak up everything he has ever written. I even love his voice. And he did make me laugh a lot with this clip, thanks for sharing it! Can’t wait to read ‘Smut’.

    Novelinsights – yes, that’s ‘A Bed Among the Lentils’, which is my favourite Talking Heads monologue!

    • Oops ‘A Bed Amongst The Lentils’ it was, shame on me. I love the naughty look on his face Rosie at the end, and now I have read the book I know why he gives that look too!

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