The eighties were a busy time for Alan Bennett, playwright, actor and now diarist. But this is not just a diary for theatre lovers, although his insider’s ear on the arts world is well-attuned and unmissable. Bennett’s life is broader. His accounts of theatre troubles and even more troublesome critics are combined with his memories of a writer’s tour of Russia, life in New York and Camden, filming in Egypt and tales of a Yorkshire village. He also covers the big events of his time: the Falklands War, Mrs Thatcher and the assassination of John Lennon. Taken from Alan Bennett’s bestselling book, Writing Home, this keenly viewed history of the decade confirms Bennett as one of life’s great observers – clear-eyed, compassionate and funny.