Thursday, May 1, 2008

BOOK: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

novella challenge, I Heard it Through the Grapevine Challenge

What would happen if the Queen wandered into a mobile library and discovered all the books she had never read? This book explores the eye opening that happens as the Queen become engrossed in books and ideas she never knew about. The slim little volume was full of literary references (Great Expectations again!) and had a cute little story, nothing too much, but it feels like we get a peep at the life of the royals. It is fiction of course, but I imagine there were aspects to how a person might feel after over 50 years of tiring duty and protocol.

I could identify with her quick immersion and sudden obsession with reading and books and always looking for the next fix, I mean book. I particularly liked Norman, her supplier of books who gets promoted to being her 'book guy', who had a bent to gay literature. There were lots of cute moments, finagling behind the scenes, and the Queen herself was great. It made me want to watch The Queen movie. If you want to read a short, cute, book-based novel, this will fit the bill.

I chose this book after 3m rated it her favorite book published in 2007.


  1. I thought the book ended rather suddenly (like the author didn't know how to take it the rest of the way), but other than that I enjoyed it.

  2. My favorite reads were The Book Thief and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I did enjoy The Uncommon Reader, but I only rated it 4/5. I do think I said it was the newest (at that time) book I'd read.

  3. sprite - I know what you mean aobu the ending beign abrupt, and it's hard to imagine that a short book like that could end abruptly.

    3m - I thought it was your favorite, but it must have been the best new book of 2007 you'd read. I took note of the title, but neglected the particulars. That's like me. And then I can convince myself of anything. I'd be a terrrible crime witness.


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