From one of England's most celebrated writers, a funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of reading When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large. With the poignant and mischievous wit of The History Boys , England's best loved author revels in the power of literature to change even the most uncommon reader's life.
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(181mm x 113mm x 10mm)
Publisher: Picador USA
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Book Review: Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett - Reviewed by CloggieA (25 Jan 2012)
The Uncommon Reader is a novella by novelist and playwright, Alan Bennett. The story starts with the Queen coming across the mobile library van parked near Buckingham Palace, where Norman, a young man from the kitchens, is choosing a book. After making small talk with the driver/librarian and the kitchen hand, she feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Which she, of course, dutifully reads and returns the following week for another. Soon enough, she has Norman transferred from the kitchens to assist her in her new favourite pastime, reading. This delightful dose of British humour speculates on what happens to the royal duties and the royal household as the Queen gives in to her obsession. Full of laugh-out-loud moments, especially the last line.
Author Biography - Alan Bennett
Alan Bennett has been one of England's leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His work includes the Talking Heads television series, and the stage plays Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, A Question of Attribution, and The Madness of King George III. His play, The History Boys, filmed in 2006, won six Tony Awards, including best play. His memoir, Untold Stories, was a number-one bestseller in the United Kingdom.