The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett: Review

I don’t have a lot to say about this book. It was okay. I read it in an hour for the Readathon.
The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett is the story of an older couple, the Ransomes, who come home from the opera to find their house has been burgled. Of everything. Even the toilet paper. So they have nothing and have to start over. One of them decides that this is a good time to make a few changes, but the other just stays the same.
I found the book rather depressing. I wasn’t expecting that. I had read The Uncommon Reader by Bennett and thought it was a cute little story. Like Uncommon, The Clothes seems like a parable, but what the lesson is, I’m not sure. Mrs Ransome makes positive changes in her life. She steps outside her comfort zone. They’re not huge steps, but considering her narrow little world, they’re big to her. Mr Ransome doesn’t change at all and Mrs Ransome won’t even share her experiences with him because she knows he’d be horrified. This marriage made me sad. I wanted better for them both.
The writing is neat and tidy, very once upon a time, in keeping with The Uncommon Reader.


  1. I listened to this on audio a few years ago. The author did an excellent job with the narration, but it definitely has a tone different from The Uncommon Reader... a bit of a downer, but I really liked it.

  2. Hmm. Seems like a decent little read-a-thon read if nothing else :)

  3. I'd have to be in the right mood for this one, I think. It sounds kind of depressing.

  4. I haven't read Bennett, but the plot and mood isn't what I would've expected, especially with the cartoon cover. Maybe one for thoughts rather than laughter?

  5. Yeah, I read The Uncommon Reader in the previous Read-a-Thon and was underwhelmed. I'm holding out hope that SMUT is better.


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