Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett


The Uncommon Reader: a novella by Alan Bennett

Review by Lauren

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


copy from library, but all opinions are my own

Official Summary: 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.

Review: I reviewed Alan Bennett's book Smut a couple weeks ago, and now I'm here to share this novella, The Uncommon Reader. This is a book I've seen around for awhile and was always curious to read. Now that I have, I would definitely recommend it to others, especially those of us who wish we had more time in the day to read.

The basic idea is that the Queen of England slowly begins to develop a true love of reading. As she becomes more and more obsessed, the more her staff worries. They are not used to this Queen, who sees her duties as more of a chore, as she would rather be reading. 

It was exciting to read about someone finding their love of reading and seeing how all they wanted to do was either read or discuss books. At the same time, you wanted to yell at the people who worked around her for not understanding the passion. Granted, there is always a balance in life and the Queen tried to find that, but it was difficult. The things she used to do as part of duty became tedious and more obviously annoying.

One of the most interesting parts of this novella is the end! I was enjoying it throughout, of course, but the end left me going "wait, what?! I need more!!" Definitely worth checking out!

12 comments:

The Bookish Manicurist said...

I love the premise of this story, discovering a passion for reading is wonderful and people not understanding is the worst ;)

Cascia Talbert said...

Sounds like an interesting book!

Eileen said...

Haha this book sounds really adorable and fun! I feel like it perfectly captures the idea of getting a new love because I feel like it's sooo accurate! Like when you get a new obsession it's so hard to think about anything else lol. Fantastic review, Lauren! <33

Brandi Kosiner said...

That is a pretty amazing premise watching someone fall for reading

Lauren Elizabeth said...

This sounds like a story that was made for me to read. I constantly feel like I'm shirking real life for my obsession with books, and it is actually really interesting to see a world leader go through the same thing! :-) Like can you imagine Obama being like "cancel all my meetings, Katniss is about to go into the Quarter Quell and I can't stop reading now!"

Liviania said...

That's a terrific premise! And yeah, I've definitely had my love of reading impact my plans with people and such.

Erika Sorocco said...

I don't read many novellas; but this one is going on my to-read list!

xx

Candace said...

This sounds pretty cool. I can sure understand the love of reading and difficulty in balancing everything!

Christy @ Love of Books said...

Ah, I like the sound of this! I also love corgis, lol

Alexia561 said...

Sounds like a fun read and I absolutely love the premise, so definitely adding it to my wishlist!

Anna said...

Glad to see you enjoyed it! I read it a few years ago and found it hilarious.

Angela's Anxious Life said...

This sounds like an interesting plot. I like to read books about people reading.. and a queen reading and then not wanting to run the country?? win.. win!!