Marie's Reviews > The Uncommon Reader

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
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's review
Nov 16, 09

bookshelves: europe, fiction
Read in November, 2009

A friend lent me this book; otherwise I'm not sure when I would have gotten round to reading it. I'm not generally drawn to short stories or novellas, but this one was worth the effort.

The queen has taken up reading, and her assistants (equerries) are in a panic. She's gone through 10 prime ministers, 6 archbishops of Canterbury, 8 speakers, and 53 Corgis in her 80 years...and up until now, has barely cracked open a book. One day she chases the misbehaved corgis into a traveling library parked on the palace grounds and discovers the wonder of books.

After becoming an avid reader, she realizes how pointless and boring her life is, how boring writers can be in real life, and how she lacks a voice of her own.

I enjoyed this quirky novella and relished the thought of Queen Elizabeth curled up with "A Suitable Boy" or Alice Munro.
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