The Uncommon Reader
From one of England's most celebrated writers, the author of the award-winning The History Boys, a funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of reading
When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley
Overall, this story has some wonderful insight in to the magic of reading, exploring new worlds and meeting new characters through the written word. Additionally, this slim story is also...more
A lot of us read, sure. A lot of us really enjoy books. But because we are average joes, commoners, small potatoes, this is nothing groundbreaking. It likely will not become upsetting if we take up reading as a hobby. But what if someone important takes up...more
Witty, irreverent, and completely charming, Bennett's novella is one I would sincerely hope that Her Majesty read and laughed at when it was published.
There are many reviews of this effervescent entertainment, so I will confine myself to noting that the book carries with it a none-too-subtle punch line which I can't imagine would have made Mr. Bennett more likely to be in line for a life peerage, but which I can imagine made him a popular figure around Highgrove.
Se la posso attendere un secondo, mentre lei va a prendere la sua mazza regale? Oh, certo, ci mancherebbe altro, non si disturbi neanche a chiedere.
Mentre lei va a chiedere alle "risorse umane" dove diavolo si tenga una mazza a palazzo, io stendo un commento su un libro che, poffarbacco, ha come protagonista proprio lei. Si chiama La sovrana lettrice, è di Alan Bennett.
Non so se ha idea di chi si...more
Look at who I'm asking.
This is a fantastic book. It's funny. It's clever. It's all the things you would expect from Alan Bennett and it's about books! It's about being a reader and discovering the joy of reading as an adult. I remember when I switched from someone who read some times to an avid reader. I was a lot younger than the Elizabeth in this book but Bennett captured the feeling perfectly. And looking at the transformation...more
I liked Bennett'scharacterizations and wit, though sometimes the prose got a bit sparse for my t...more
And Alan Bennett puts books in your book. He also puts the Queen there, so you know you are in for a treat.
Imagine that the Queen, old as she is, suddenly discovers the joy of reading. She engages a certain Nelson to help her acquire books and guide her through the world of literature. That does sound like a dream job, doesn’t it? To become so...more
Bennett himself reads the story and it's wonderful. A novella that comes in at under 2.5 hours listening time, this hilarious tale depicts what might happen were the Queen to pick up reading as a habit. After chasing her dogs around back of the Palace, the Queen wanders into the local library's bookmobile...more
Reading slowly but surely changes her, as she loses her interest in her procession of public duties, begins to see the world through d...more
Within this framework, Bennett provides an incisive (and entertaining) exploration of the power o...more
(ché poi, va bene, alla fine ci tocca ammetterlo: che siamo dei gran fighi è proprio vero, ma non ce la tiriamo nemm...more
I received this book in the mail today, and immediately sat down with it, finishing in a couple of hours. This never happens: I usually let new books sit for quite a while before the bug really strikes, but it's a credit to this book in every way that I was unable to put it down before I was finished.
Not only is the regal a...more
I read The Uncommon Reader in one sitting one Sunday last summer when I was staying in Edinburgh. My host borrowed it to me and I went to Braidburn Valley Park to read it because it was too sunny and warm to stay inside. It really doesn't take much longer than one day to finish, and you probably are in the best possible mood to read this on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It's a brief but pleasant experience, a bit like taking a leisurely stroll inside a str...more
Alan Bennett writes with wit, intelligence, and a talent for surprise. I’ve experie...more
In this book, Queen Elizabeth II is the reader, half-heartedly picking up a book from a traveling library parked in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace. As so often happens, the book marks a change in her life.
She become dissatisfied with the routine of her life and becomes more and more engrossed in reading. Having never had the opportunity to live a "normal" life, she now begins to live in the pages of books.
Her advisors and staff are not so pleased...more
I’m a huge fan of books about books. You know, books where reading, or books, or bookstores, or book clubs, or even librarians, play an important role. There are books that range from the deeply moving (Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi) to the really funny (The Librarian by Larry Beinhart). Yes, I have a list of them for you, and I’m sure you’ll find something fabulous to read. There are some on the list I haven’t read, and really, I would like to stop typing and sta...more
I like that it doesn't treat "reading" and "books" as objects, like an "I HEART BOOKS" bumper sticker or those rather bossy "READ" posters. (Me, I don't really HEART books just as books, any more than I HEART cats or babies or librarians. I take them on a case-by-case basis--some have merit, others do not.)
Rather, it shows that reading can expand your life in ways you hadn't thought about before, and also that reading takes practice--something you hated read...more
for a new project that spoofs reviews, comments, to-reads.
Narrator flags members w 2,000 frens, for a terrorist network
may be embedded. Those w 500 frens are investigated. "Fate is
something to which we are all subject," says Her Majesty.
Coded messages are found as in Buchan's The 39 Steps. "Let's
not get carried away," allows Madame. Please, no sulking
behaviour. That review of Anita Brookner may have caused an
explosion, so study the lament...more
Here are two passages one particularly enjoys:
"'I read, I think,' she said to Norman, 'because one has a duty to find out what people are like.'" (page 30)
"Authors, she soon decided, were probably best met with in the pag...more
Alan Bennett is an English author and Tony Award-winning playwright. Bennett's first stage play, Forty Years On, was produced in 1968. Many television, stage and radio plays followed, along with screenplays, short stories, novellas, a large body of non-fictional prose and broadcasting, and many appearances as...more