Tuesday, 17 March 2009
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
DATE PUBLISHED: 2007 DATE READ: March 2009 NOTES: A charming novella about the joy of reading and the way in which books can liberate the spirit. One day while walking her dogs the Queen comes upon a mobile library in the palace grounds and out of politeness borrows a book. Soon she is hooked on books and she develops and new attitude to everything around her. The books and Bennett’s/the Queen’s comments on them are constantly entertaining. “Am I alone in wanting to give Henry James a good talking-to?” says the Queen. She is disappointed that her passion for reading is not shared by others in her sphere (except the wonderful Norman). Her interest in books is even seen as dangerous by some of the civil servants. It is Alan Bennett at his best – funny, perceptive and gentle. And there is even a nice twist at the end.