12 December 2010

Review: THE UNCOMMON READER, Alan Bennett

Faber & Faber 2007
A Novella
ISBN 978-1-84668-049-6
124 pages
Source: borrowed from a friend

Publisher's blurb
When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, Bennett describes the Queen's transformation as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.

My take
I know, this is a real departure from my usual fare of crime fiction.
The blurb on the inside fly cover says
Subversive and enjoyable, THE UNCOMMON READER offers the perfect argument for reading, written by one of its great champions, Alan Bennett.
The Queen's venture into reading provides advancement "upstairs" for Norman as he becomes her amanuensis, acquirer of books as she becomes more addicted to her reading. Her reading is not popular with those closest to her, particularly the royal household. For some, attempts to subvert her new habits have unforeseen consequences. Things that once seemed important to her no longer seem so, until finally she realises where her reading is leading her.

THE UNCOMMON READER is written with a dry wit that makes it all the more enjoyable. It also makes you think about what you get out of reading.

My rating: 4.5

Review in The Guardian


Marg said...

This was such a fun read,not realistic at all, but it doesn't matter at all because it is just such a pleasure to read.

Brian Kavanagh said...

Uncommon Reader is a little gem.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have always enjoyed Alan Bennett-his books and plays.

Yvette said...

I've been meaning to read this. I've heard nothing but good things about it. In the new year I'm going to have to hit the ground running - reading-wise.


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