Epätavallinen lukija
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Epätavallinen lukija

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  13,528 ratings  ·  2,937 reviews
Kaikki on koirien syytä. Ilman niitä kuningatar tuskin olisi seonnut kaunokirjallisuuteen. Hänen Majesteettinsa tulee lainanneeksi kirjastoautosta ensin yhden romaanin, sitten toisen, ja pian hän ahmii kirjoja intohimolla, joka saa koko hovin pois tolaltaan. Kuningattaren lähipiiri pääministeriä myöten saa nimittäin huomata, että kirjallisuus on räjähdysherkkää tavaraa – k...more
Hardcover, 115 pages
Published 2008 by Basam Books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Petra SockieX
Utterly charming book about the Queen stumbling across a mobile library that visits Buckingham Palace regularly and being assisted to choose reading matter by the helpful Norman. It's unusual because it shows how limited the Queen is by her very proper job which might not look like one, christening ships, knighting people, opening hospitals, hosting dinner parties and being nice to foreign politicians, but it certainly would feel like one. She escapes not from reality with a book, but into it, i...more
The Book Maven
Oh wow. If I could give this book six stars, or heck, even ten, I would. It is so great--there's a lot of subtlety in here that Readers' Advisory librarians will definitely clue into, especially in how society views readers, reading, and books.

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
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4.125* of five

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.

A delightfu...more
Michael
May 31, 2013 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Florence
Reading this feels like putting a pot of water on to boil, forgetting about it, and coming back to find a delightful stew. The analogy relates to Queen Elizabeth wandering into a bookmobile, getting hooked on reading books, and the various consequences that ensue.

I have 14 or 16 GR friends now who rate this 4 or better. Must be the word "reader" in the title that inspires a grab. You can’t go wrong, as it’s a short pleasant read. Very subtle and understated, with humor that builds quietly until...more
TK421
What would happen if the Queen started to notice the little things in life? You know, the type of things that seem to only matter to the lower stations. Futhermore, what if she was only noticing these things because she started reading books? That is the premise to this very fast-paced novella from Alan Bennett.

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
Manny
Aug 22, 2010 Manny rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Manny by: Daniela, Elisabeth and others
Several people had recommended The Uncommon Reader to me over the last year, but somehow I only got around to it this morning. Don't be as slow as I was! The idea is very simple - the Queen gets hooked on reading - but Bennett handles it perfectly. It's a delight, and takes about an hour to read.

Maybe a short extract will do the job:
'Exploded?' said the Queen. 'But it was Anita Brookner.'

The young man, who seemed remarkably undeferential, said security may have thought it was a device.

The Queen
...more
Kinga
What’s better for a book lover than a book about books? It’s like when Xzbit in Pimp My Ride puts a car inside of your car because he knows you love cars.
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
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
A short novella that’s odd and original and wise; chalk full of clever, understated and so typically British humour. The Queen accidently stumbles across a bookmobile and despite the disapproval of her advisors, decides to take up reading. “I feel, ma’am, that while not exactly elitist, it sends the wrong message. It tends to exclude.’ Reading that becomes a passion bordering on obsession. She’d got quite good at reading and waving, the trick being to keep the book below the level of the windo...more
Melki
There are already thousands of reviews of this delightful book about the Queen's new-found love of reading, so you don't need me to tell you how much fun it is. In lieu of a review, I'll list some of the best quotes about reading I have ever seen, all featured within the pages of this book.

'Reading is untidy, discursive and perpetually inviting.'

'A book is a device to ignite the imagination.'

'I think of literature,' she wrote, 'as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but wi
...more
·Karen·
What a change from the 800 page behemoths that seem to be fashionable at the moment. Sly humour, warmth, thoughtfulness, alongside a revolutionary vision, and all within the space of around 120 pages.

I re-read this for a group that actually pay me to come and talk booktalk to them. There is always a limit on the length of any work due for discussion. This one slides in under the wire with ease: we shall see if we manage to fill 90 minutes talking about it.

Questions, anyone?

That won't fly the mo...more
Salma
من خلال مكتبة متنقلة تقف قرب قصرها، قررت الملكة استعارة كتاب... لينفتح أمام ملكة بريطانية المسنة عالم جديد... عالم القراءة... الباب الذي إذا انفتح فلا مغلق له... فالكتاب صار شغلها الشاغل و تحولت إلى قارئة نهمة... و لكن هذا الشغف الجديد بدأ يؤثر على حياتها و مهامها، و يثير حفيظة كل من حولها و امتعاضهم، مثل كل قراء العالم! شخصية الملكة و بفعل القراءة بدأت تتطور، إذ أخذت تنتبه لأشياء لم تكن لتنتبه لها سابقا، و صارت تضفي العمق على ملاحظاتها و تصرفاتها و تغفل الكثير من الشكليات... مما زاد في قلق من ح...more
Kim
My enjoyment of this little gem of a book was considerably enhanced by listening to it being read by the author.

Essentially a parable about the life-changing potential of an appreciation for good literature, it displays Bennett's caustic intelligence and wit to great advantage. Choosing Queen Elizabeth II as his protagonist gives Bennett amazing scope for making his point about reading good books. After all, if the Queen's life can be changed in both small and monumental ways through reading, s...more
James
This new novella from the pen of Alan Bennett (author of the The History Boys) is without a doubt the funniest book I have read in recent memory. I started it while riding home on the bus and had a hard time keeping my seat as my laughter was almost nonstop. What a wonderful premise! Imagine the Queen of England patronizing a lending library van, and then imagine her actually reading books. The incongruity of the situation leads to hilarious consequences for the Queen, her family, her household...more
Angela
How can I not like a book about someone who loves to read? In this case that someone just happens to be the Queen of England .It was clever and really a pleasure to read. There is not too much to say about the plot; its a short read. However,like others,I'll mention a few of my favorite quotes.

"What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do."

"Books are not about passing the time....more
Emir Never
"'I know the word for you,' said the Queen.

'Ma'am?'

'You run errands, you change my library books, you look up awkward words in the dictionary and find me quotations. Do you know what you are?'

'I used to be a skivvy, ma'am.'

'Well, you're not a skivvy now. You're my amanuensis.'

Norman looked it up in the dictionary the Queen now kept always on her desk. 'One who writes from dictation; copies manuscripts. A literary assistant.'"


This scene from Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader somehow encapsulates...more
David
The Queen of England as a late-in-life book lover, annoying her staff and confusing the public as she undergoes the personal change that only reading and writing can effect.

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
Alana
I really didn't like this book at all. I picked it up because so many people seem to like it and I thought it would be probable that I would like it too. However, I found it to be extremely boring. This author is supposed to be a great wit and I just didn't "get" his humor in writing style or otherwise. This book seems to be an endless author and book review which I didn't like. The book moved along so slowly that I was surprised to find that I was halfway through the book still waiting for the...more
Kathryn
A book in which one learns the joys of reading is destined to have some charm for me--even better that the budding bibliophile resides in England--and in Windsor Castle, no less! Yes, it was quite fun to read about present-day Queen Elizabeth and her awakening to the wonderful world of literature--and, indeed, the way in which opening one's eyes to literature helps one see the real world more clearly.

I liked Bennett'scharacterizations and wit, though sometimes the prose got a bit sparse for my t...more
William
Pure narrative pleasure is a rare thing, but this little book has it in abundance. In it we come across a Queen Elizabeth who late in life becomes enamored of reading, which has profound consequences for herself and those around her. Her odyssey begins when a little bookmobile shows up outside the rear gate at Windsor. In it she finds Mr. Hutchings, its operator, and Norman, a young man who works in her kitchens. This is a charming and humorous scene better read than paraphrased here. Suffice it...more
Anastasia
Io non vorrei offendere Sua Maestà, ma secondo me lei in questa copertina sembra tanto..un babbuino.

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
Emily
This novella is like a small, tart, confection, and I have absolutely no idea why I put on my to read list a year ago, but I'm glad I did. Although the premise -- that the queen becomes an avid bibliophile and intellectual -- is rather absurd, Bennett handles it deftly and there are many moments of insight into the reading life, its rewards and limitations, and some nice acerbic touches of humor. I was also amused in a way that the author did not intend; throughout I was forcibly reminded of the...more
Trevor
What is there not to love about Alan Bennett? This book is a delight, like so many of his others. In this the Queen discovers the joys of reading and this causes a remarkable string of problems for Great Britain. The Queen’s current role, that of a face to put on stamps and the Royal cutter of ribbons, feels a little dull in comparison with the lives of those in ‘literature’.

This is the sort of book one might give to someone who asks, “Why do you spend so much time reading?” Alan Bennett was on...more
David
In this short hilarious novella, Bennett imagines a scenario where, following some errant Corgis, the Queen discovers the mobile library parked in the grounds of Buckingham Palace and feels obliged to borrow a book, out of courtesy. One book leads to another (as books will tend to do), and before long, Elizabeth has developed a serious reading habit. The consequences are far-reaching, and very funny.

Within this framework, Bennett provides an incisive (and entertaining) exploration of the power o...more
Diane
A delightful novella about the hijinks that ensue when the Queen of England suddenly becomes an avid reader. Utterly charming!

"What she was finding was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do."
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
“What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren’t long enough for the reading she wanted to do.”
Sounds like your life story.?! Surely sounds like mine.. Like it's said in the book,if only one could borrow time to read like one borrows books.

Books.. Books.. And books again..

Now that's something one wouldn't get bored of. And a book filled with books.. Sounds like I've got an unlimited free voucher to a dum biryani restaurant....more
Aldrin
Originally posted here.

During a recent visit to a branch of my favorite bookstore chain, less than a week after I finished reading Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader , I saw three or four copies of the book displayed in the memoir/biography section. I couldn't suppress a chuckle. It wasn't because there were too few or too many books on display, a perceived indication of how well or how badly the book is selling or is expected to sell. Rather, it was because the book, whose content originally ap...more
April
I love to read about other people's reading.

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
Adam
Many books that I find by chance at charity shops turn out to be great reads. Alan Bennett's short novel "The Uncommon Reader" is no exception. It is a masterpiece of brevity, comedy, and literary criticism.

The story begins when Queen Elizabeth II chases after her ill-behaved corgi dogs into a yard behind Buckingham Palace. There, she discovers a mobile branch of the local public library. She enters, and finds a lowly member of the Palace staff choosing his books. With little prompting, Her Maj...more
Ij
“I’ve discovered what I am. I am an opsimath.”
Tina
Reading with the Queen

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
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11781
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

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
More about Alan Bennett...
The History Boys Smut The Clothes They Stood Up In Talking Heads Untold Stories

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“What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do.” 2940 likes
“A book is a device to ignite the imagination.” 176 likes
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