The Uncommon Reader ~ Alan Bennett

“Can there be any great pleasure,” she confided in her neighbour, the Canadian minister for overseas trade, “than to come across an author one enjoys and then to find they have written not just one book or two, but at least a dozen.”

Playwright, Alan Bennett, is part of the fabric of my life growing up, with his TV series Talking Heads and the later plays such as The History Boys, little he touches fails to shine, so I knew I could approach this book with the confidence of knowing this was a master of his art.

A good novella needs to have tight writing with not a word is wasted, and this is certainly true of, The Uncommon Reader, a lightly comic tale following Her Majesty as she’s caught in the fierce grip of a reading bug, late in life.

“…Norman was sulking, behaviour she had seldom come across except in children and the occasional cabinet minister…”

So caught up is she, that it threatens to unravel years of careful work crafting the Royal image, by her equerries and staff. The Queen must evade their increasingly insistent attempts to rein in her new hobby.

Then, the Queen decides, that one, might quite like to take up writing for herself culminating in a final set-to with the Prime-Minister and the rest of the Privy Council, and a cracking last line, where the Queen, quite rightly gets the last word.

Take a leaf out of the Queen’s book and lock yourself out the way for an hour or two and devour this gem of a novella.

Other Reviews to consider:

  1. A Striped Armchair
  2. Scaling Mount TBR
  3. The Hidden Side of a Leaf
  4. Things Mean a Lot
  5. Stuff as Dreams Are Made On
  6. Care’s Online Bookclub

Buy, The Uncommon Reader at Amazon.

One thought on “The Uncommon Reader ~ Alan Bennett

  • July 7 at 7:50 pm

    Interesting! To me this brings back happy memories of my favorite book catalogue “The Common Reader” named after Virginia Woolf’s book of the same name. I read Bennett’s “The Clothes They Stood Up In” awhile back, but it’s been too long. Used to live in the UK…from ’81-’85 when I was in the USAF.



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