Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
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Uncommon Reader
By Alan Bennett

The Uncommon Reader


By (author) See other recent books by Alan Bennett
Format: Paperback

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Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Book Description

'Oh Norman,' said the Queen, 'the prime minister doesn't seem to have read any Hardy. Perhaps you could find him one of our old paperbacks on his way out.' Had the dogs not taken exception to the strange van parked in the royal grounds, the Queen might never have learnt of the Westminster travelling library's weekly visits to the palace. But finding herself at its steps, she goes up to apologise for all the yapping and ends up taking out a novel by Ivy Compton-Burnett, last borrowed in 1989. Duff read though it proves to be, upbringing demands she finish it and, so as not to appear rude, she withdraws another. This second, more fortunate choice of book awakens in Her Majesty a passion for reading so great that her public duties begin to suffer. And so, as she devours work by everyone from Hardy to Brookner to Proust to Samuel Beckett, her equerries conspire to bring the Queen's literary odyssey to a close. Subversive and highly enjoyable, The Uncommon Reader offers the perfect argument for reading, written by one of its great champions, Alan Bennett.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781846681332
ISBN-10: 1846681332
Format: Paperback
(178mm x 111mm x 10mm)
Pages: 128
Imprint: Profile Books Ltd
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publish Date: 3-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Book Review: Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett - Reviewed by (11 Jan 2010)

It was, as Alan Bennett tells us, the fault of the dogs: the "bloody dogs" as Prince Philip was famously overheard calling them. And the result was that the Queen - she who didn't have hobbies because she was "a doer" - suddenly took up reading. Which caused all sorts of problems.

It all began because the Corgis discovered a City of Westminster travelling library van in the palace yard and made such a fuss that the Queen felt bound to go in and apologize. There, she met Mr Hutchings, the driver/librarian and Norman, a palace kitchen-hand, and she discovered that she was allowed to borrow up to six books. Being polite, she borrows one, and although this is not very inspiring reading, when she returns it the following week she borrows another - just so that Mr Hutchings does not feel he has failed. And with this second book, she is hooked.

Young Norman, who is coerced into offering reading suggestions (although his own reading is guided...

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Author Biography - Alan Bennett

The film adaptation of the hit play The Lady in the Van is out now in the UK.Alan Bennett has been one of our leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His television series Talking Heads has become a modern-day classic, as have many of his works for the stage. At the National Theatre, London, The History Boys won numerous awards including Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards for Best Play, an Olivier for the Best New Play and the South Bank Award. His play The History Boys was the National Theatre's most successful production ever. His collection of prose Writing Home was a number one bestseller. Untold Stories won the PEN/Ackerley Prize for autobiography, 2006. Recent works of fiction are The Uncommon Reader and Smut: Two Unseemly Stories.

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