Carrie's Reviews > The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy

The King's Speech by Mark Logue
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's review
Mar 12, 12

did not like it
bookshelves: audiobooks, biography
Read from March 07 to 11, 2012

I loved the movie, and was enthusiastic to hear the audiobook, mainly because it includes a recording of the actual speech on the eve of war given by King George VI. I will devour history nonfiction cover to cover, but I found this story boring. Written by Lionel Logue (the speech therapist)'s descendent, it's a detailed chronicling of every minute interaction in Logue's life, especially those with the royal family. The author excerpts and makes us read casual notes between the king and Logue, not just once to give us a sense of their correspondence, but literally every time they wrote one another over 30 years. It's enough to make you gnash your teeth. And multiple times, in describing a party his ancestor Logue was invited to, he will describe every detail of the clothing the women wore. You get the idea.

I respect Mark Logue for doing all of this research about his ancestor -- geneology is fascinating -- but the sad truth is that the general public is not going to find interesting every detail of what your grandmother casually said about table linen to the queen.

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Jennifer Hughes I kept waiting for those minute details to be brought back later in some significant way, to say, "See, this is why I told you that seemingly unimportant thing, so you could see how important it really was!" Never happened. What about the mysterious missing letter referenced at the beginning? Never mentioned again! You don't DO that!
I've tried to analyze this from different angles and my takeaway is that the problem is the co-author, Peter Conradi. From his very dry writing, he seems to be a nuts-and-bolts journalist. I wonder what a really good writer--maybe even a fiction writer--could have done with the same box of old letters and pictures that Mark Logue sent him/her. Case in point: Louie Zamperini's "authorized" autobiography, as told to a sports journalist, which is a yawner, and Laura Hillenbrand's "Unbroken." He told her he liked it much better than the one he'd authorized.

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