Lynne Truss (5 stars)

A Certain Age (Profile Books)


The word ‘monologue’ conjures up two possibilities. The first is a droning, nondescript, shadowed face. The other is some heavily made-up and overly dramatic individual, unconcerned with masking anything, and most likely shouting. Taken from the series broadcast on Radio 4, Lynne Truss’ monologues are something entirely different.

Every one is funny, affecting, as bizarre as real life and, most of all, surprising. There’s the son whose dead father tells him, via a medium, how to open the coal shed door; the wife who decides she is far happier following her husband’s apparent abduction; the neglected husband, lying in hospital determined to be content with a wife who seems to have forgotten him; and the dishevelled pedant, forced to undergo a TV makeover, who falls in love with the equally bookish production assistant.

Together these monologues make a simply fantastic collection.

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