Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett's slight novel, The Uncommon Reader, is delightful and entertaining. Anyone who loves books should appreciate this enchanting story of the unnamed current Queen of England, who discovers the world of books.

Following her dogs, the queen finds the City of Westminster travelling library. When she goes on it to apologize, she feels it's her duty to check out one book. The following week, she returns with the book, looking for something else. Along with the librarian, a young man from the palace kitchen, Norman, suggests some books. Within a short time, the queen is hooked on books, and Norman has been moved into the library.

How can anyone resist a queen who realizes, "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"? Or there's the time she tells Norman she would excel at the pub quiz because she's been everywhere and seen everything. She totally disrupts her household, and the routine, by stopping to ask her subjects what they are reading.

The queen is truly "The Uncommon Reader," in this enjoyable book with a twist at the end.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ©2007. ISBN 978-0-374-28096-3 (hardcover), p. 120.

8 comments:

Chain Reader said...

I haven't heard of this one, but it sounds good. I can relate to the queen's newfound obsession with books (although mine isn't new!)

Lesa said...

I talked this book up today at a luncheon, and the one other person who read it enjoyed it as much as I did. Fun book for a reader!

Kathrin said...

Dearest Lesa, you've been tagged!

Lesa said...

Thanks, Kathrin!

Hmmm. Now, I'll have to think about what "words of wisdom" I have.

Les said...

I've seen this book on the shelf at work, but had no idea what it was about. Thanks for the review. I'll have to make time to read this one!

Lesa said...

And, you won't have to make much time, Les! It's a quick read at 120 pages. Hope you like it!

Les said...

Ah, that's sounds like just the ticket to squeeze in between some of the books I'm reading for various challenges. Thanks again for the recommendation.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Les!

And, I just linked to your blog from mine. Tomorrow I'm off to see another author, Louise Ure. Then Sunday I'll probably blog about your site. Great reviews!