I sought this book out because of having read "The uncommon Reader", which was very droll. I find some English writers tiresome and insular in their style, while others display a delightful wit that's unique to the English. Happily, Bennett isn't one of the former lot.
Even if one were to be unaware of Bennett's credentials as a playwright, it's immediately apparent that both stories here were written by someone whose viewpoint is that of the stage. There are very small casts of characters, the plots are cleverly and theatrically contrived, the relationships among them emerge bit by bit and there are a few little "surprises" at the end. Bedroom farce a la Britannique!
The first story is lightweight, clever and a bit romantic in a middle class English sort of way. The second one could easily have slid into something much darker but Bennett rescues it with a chuckle -- "Hah! Had you worried there for a moment, didn't I!" Clever bloke that fellow Bennett ...
Two "Bennett-smart" novellas. One is the story of a widow who has a job play roling patients at a teaching hospital who is taken by surprise by sex. One is the story of a bisexual man who marries a rich woman who is a lot smarter than he is.
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