12 December 2010
Review: THE UNCOMMON READER, Alan Bennett
Source: borrowed from a friend
When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, Bennett describes the Queen's transformation as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.
I know, this is a real departure from my usual fare of crime fiction.
The blurb on the inside fly cover says
Subversive and enjoyable, THE UNCOMMON READER offers the perfect argument for reading, written by one of its great champions, Alan Bennett.
The Queen's venture into reading provides advancement "upstairs" for Norman as he becomes her amanuensis, acquirer of books as she becomes more addicted to her reading. Her reading is not popular with those closest to her, particularly the royal household. For some, attempts to subvert her new habits have unforeseen consequences. Things that once seemed important to her no longer seem so, until finally she realises where her reading is leading her.
THE UNCOMMON READER is written with a dry wit that makes it all the more enjoyable. It also makes you think about what you get out of reading.
My rating: 4.5
Review in The Guardian