Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes

  • by Alan Bennett
  • Narrated by Alan Bennett
  • 3 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Two unexpected tales written and read by the best-selling author of The Uncommon Reader, Untold Stories and The History Boys.
"The Greening of Mrs Donaldson" - Mrs Donaldson is a conventional middle-class woman beached on the shores of widowhood after a marriage that had been much like many others: happy to begin with, then satisfactory and finally dull. But when she decides to take in two lodgers, her mundane life becomes much more stimulating…
"The Shielding of Mrs Forbes" - Graham Forbes is a disappointment to his mother, who thinks that if he must have a wife, he should have done better. True, her own husband isn’t all that satisfactory either. Still, this is Alan Bennett, so what is happening in the bedroom (and in lots of other places too) is altogether more startling, perhaps shocking, and ultimately more true to people’s predilections.

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What the Critics Say

"Artfully entertaining…On one particular subject Bennett is incomparably brilliant: role-playing, which is the meat of both stories." (Simon Schama, Financial Times, London)
"Bennett’s humor consistently resides in the logic of the parenthetical aside, the comedy of the false appearances or misperceptions being challenged or disabused.…Mrs. Donaldson is not as unconventional as she thought herself, and no one around Mr. Forbes is where—or who—they pretend to be." (The Guardian, London)
"Tender and comic…This is Bennett’s world, where repression is never far from the sexual act….Good, old-fashioned British humor with the lightest of subversive twists." (The Independent, London)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A fun British story about unmentionable subjects!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If one enjoyes British humor this is a fun book on delicate subjects in story form.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes?

I was not expecting the second story to be as good as the first, and if anything it was better. The openous of what are usually non open subjects, told in a delightful manner.


What does Alan Bennett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His English accent that adds to this story


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

The book is short, but I feel it is better enjoyed taking each story seperately.


Any additional comments?

The story takes a tongue & cheek view in the British style that would be hard to be so open about told by an American author or reader.

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Great fun, totally absorbing. A welcome diversion

Where does Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best of any I have listened to so far.


What did you like best about this story?

The characters were so fully realized


If you could take any character from Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Mrs. Donaldson. What a vivid character!


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- Sima

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2011
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited