The Laying On of Hands: Stories eBook  The Laying

The Laying On of Hands: Stories 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 ❰Epub❯ ➝ Longbow Girl Author Linda Davies – Kleankitchen.co.uk a brilliantly funny satire [Epub] ❦ On His Naughty List By Jessica Jarman – Kleankitchen.co.uk describes a society memorial service for a rather special masseur who died tragically young and in Miss Fozzard Finds her Feet ❰Read❯ ➵ Fire Colour One Author Jenny Valentine – Kleankitchen.co.uk a lonely ❮Reading❯ ➾ Invisible Wounds Author Kay Douglas – Kleankitchen.co.uk unmarried department store clerk discovers there s to life than looking after her brother through her only indulgence ❂ [EPUB] ✺ A City Possessed By Lynley Hood ➛ – Kleankitchen.co.uk her podiatrist


10 thoughts on “The Laying On of Hands: Stories

  1. Fiona Fiona says:

    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


  2. Cecily Cecily says:

    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


  3. Connie G Connie G says:

    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


  4. Stef Smulders Stef Smulders says:

    First story absolutely hilarious, brilliant timing in revealing the details Second story funny, absurd Third oneof a tragical story, difficult to get in to, the author switches voices too abruptly, but along the way it gets better.


  5. Jacob Jacob says:

    February 2012A man stands vigil at his dying father s hospital bed, for all the good that does him or his father A woman finds a new chiropodist In the title story, the memorial service of a popular masseuse who provided various other services draws together a rather famous list of mourners most of whom are very keen and concerned to find out how he died.All charming, comical, and a bit sadand I think Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet might be the first story I ve read about podiatry, so t February 2012A man stands vigil at his dying father s hospital bed, for all the good that does him or his father A woman finds a new chiropodist In the title story, the memorial service of a popular masseuse who provided various other services draws together a rather famous list of mourners most of whom are very keen and concerned to find out how he died.All charming, comical, and a bit sadand I think Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet might be the first story I ve read about podiatry, so that s something


  6. minnie minnie says:

    If you like Alan Bennett you ll like these three stories, the second one Miss Fozzard finds her feet being the lightest A woman I said, In chiropody Isn t that unusual No, he said, not nowadays.The barriers are coming down in chiropody as well as everything else.She said, Call me Mallory I said, Mallory What sort of name is that I wouldn t be able to put a sex to it She says, Well I m Australian Strong girl, very capable.And a qualified physiotherapist with a diploma in caring.It If you like Alan Bennett you ll like these three stories, the second one Miss Fozzard finds her feet being the lightest A woman I said, In chiropody Isn t that unusual No, he said, not nowadays.The barriers are coming down in chiropody as well as everything else.She said, Call me Mallory I said, Mallory What sort of name is that I wouldn t be able to put a sex to it She says, Well I m Australian Strong girl, very capable.And a qualified physiotherapist with a diploma in caring.Its Australian caring but I suppose it ll be the same as ours only minus the bugbear of hypothermia.The Laying on of Hands ,the first story is about a memorial service for a masseur,when the priest allows the congregation to talk about their departed aquaintance, it all goes cringe inducing, in an Alan Bennett tragicomic kind of way


  7. Karina Karina says:

    The thing about reading Alan Bennett is that, once you ve heard him speak, or recite his stories, anything you read thereafter you hear in his voice It s most peculiar and quite wonderful to hear his wry Yorkshire tones reading this to me, whilst reading from the pages.This is a sharp, wryly amusing tale of a young man s memorial service not promising material I d have thought, but in Bennett s hands it s a wonder TV stars, judges, senior civil servants and junior ministers all attend, expec The thing about reading Alan Bennett is that, once you ve heard him speak, or recite his stories, anything you read thereafter you hear in his voice It s most peculiar and quite wonderful to hear his wry Yorkshire tones reading this to me, whilst reading from the pages.This is a sharp, wryly amusing tale of a young man s memorial service not promising material I d have thought, but in Bennett s hands it s a wonder TV stars, judges, senior civil servants and junior ministers all attend, expecting there to be few attenders, but find it packed both inside the church with other mourners and outside with papparazzi and autograph hunters All of them wonder what the others are doing there, how they know Cliveand does anyone else guess in what capacity they themselves knew Clive Bibical pun intentional Just superb


  8. Alexander Rolfe Alexander Rolfe says:

    I actually threw this brand new hardback in the trash when I finished it Felt good to take even a single copy of this wretched book out of circulation.


  9. Jim Jim says:

    I ve been a fan of Alan Bennett for many years He s one of those writers who could describe paint dry and keep my interest He s not written a huge amount of prose so I tend to ration myself as I did with Brautigan although at least with Bennett there s still the possibility of a littlebefore he dies I was actually a little disappointed with this group of three because two have been filmed Miss Fozzard Finds her Feet as part of the second season of Talking Heads and Father Father Bu I ve been a fan of Alan Bennett for many years He s one of those writers who could describe paint dry and keep my interest He s not written a huge amount of prose so I tend to ration myself as I did with Brautigan although at least with Bennett there s still the possibility of a littlebefore he dies I was actually a little disappointed with this group of three because two have been filmed Miss Fozzard Finds her Feet as part of the second season of Talking Heads and Father Father Burning Bright as the standalone play Intensive Care and so only the opening story from which the collection takes its title was new to me Had he includedintrospection in these latter stories they might ve beeninteresting but, and this was especially evident with Miss Fozzard , they felt like I suppose you d call them short story isations rather than works in their own right Of course if you d never seen the teleplays then none of this ll be a problem and you can just sit back and enjoy them for what they are typical Bennett Typical Bennett is a hard thing to define It s tempting to classify him as a humourist since he uses humour extensively but there s always an underlying seriousness some might say miserableness to what he writes It s just the Yorkshire character insists on extracting humour from even the bleakest of situations In the case of the first story, a memorial service and the third, a vigil I found I could relate the most to the last story I ve been there waiting on someone dying and you can only sit there so long and talk about how great they were and how much you ll miss them After a while you do end up talking about ordinary day to day things For most of us death only happens a few times in our lives, we see our parents pass on, maybe an uncle or an aunt and that s about it but the simple fact is that people are dying every minute of every day and death really is the most ordinary and routine of things I don t know that there s any special point in waiting You ve done your duty The doctor gave him a winning smile and had Midgley been standing closer would probably have put his hand on his arm as he had been taught to do After all, he was almost conspiratorial, he doesn t know you re here I don t think he s dying, said Midgley Living, dying, said the boy and shrugged The words meant the same thing You do want your father to live He turned towards the nurse and pulled a little face I was told he wasn t going to last long I live in Hull Our task is to make them last as long as possible The pretty boy looked at his watch We ve no obligation to get them off on time Some of them seem to think we re British Rail, the doctor remarked to a nurse in the small hours when they were having a smoke after sexual intercourse There really is nothing worse than being called to a loved one s bedside to be there when they die and then they refuse to die promptly And that s what happens here What s particularly nice about this story is how he manages to flesh out even the minor characters It s very well done.There are simply too many characters in the opening story to do that, a church full, but what s interesting in this story is the approach We start off finding ourselves in the shoes of a stranger who doesn t even know the deceased and we have to work out why he s there That kept my interest for a while and then we need to work out how such a diverse bunch could possibly have known the deceased Once that fact is known then what we find ourselves wanting to know isabout the deceased in particular how he died which becomes a matter of terrible interest to the majority of the mourners The story does drag on a little although the reason for that is that the service drags on a little and so the storytelling is effective but the humour which is dominant in the opening pages tends to tail off a bit as the story goes on and we getinto the human drama The character of the priest is the story s main focus And he is a complex man The truth was it was God that Geoffrey didn t trust Irony was always the deity s strong point and to afflict a transgressor as timid as Geoffrey with such a disproportionate penalty might appeal to the Almighty s sense of cosmic fun It 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 Crawford I have no idea what that means but it s still a wonderful line This is by far the most satirical of the three pieces Bennett is commenting on religion, sexual politics, celebrity and human rights There s plenty of scope to offend here if you re one who s easily offended and I note one Goodreads reviewer who, after finishing the book, consigned it to the trash Felt good to take even a single copy of this wretched book out of circulation, he writes Fine Each to his own I can see why he might feel that The thing is about Bennett is his honesty He tells it how it is Granted there will be loads of people who haven t slept with their masseur or ventured into benign prostitution but I bet most people most people who have aged parents will have at least once or twice wished their parents dead Most of us have unpleasant sides to our character or have done things we re not proud of It may well be the British way to sweep these under the carpet but as we sweep we know.You can read a long extract from The Laying on of Hands here


  10. Dan Lalande Dan Lalande says:

    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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *