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The Uncommon Reader

A Novella

by Alan Bennett

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2007, 128 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2008, 128 pages

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Power Reviewer Cloggie Downunder

uncommonly funny!
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.
Nicole

I agree with the Queen you can always find time to read
This was such an interesting little book to read because Bennett so deftly explores, through the Queen's newly acquired habit reading, the many ways that becoming involved in books can be absorbing and ultimately life changing. It is interesting too that the book explores the fact that while it can be an eye opening experience for those doing the reading it can also be viewed as solitary and potentially isolating to those around you who might not understand what you are getting from the experience, and the drive, to spend every spare moment with a book. There were so many great questions that I would love to think about and explore more so I am sure I will be referring back to this little book not only as fiction but as a reference of sorts.
Velma

A Reader's Fairy Tale
This book has a lot of humor, intriguing ideas, and charm packed into a small package. I found it to be absolutely delightful! A reader's fairy tale with a lesson for the world. I finished it in just one day, but I will never forget it.
Power Reviewer Dorothy T.

Uncommon little novel
This is a jolly little fairy tale (I had to keep reminding myself of that distinction) full of British humour and witty satire. I could identify with Her Majesty's obsession: When reading a good book, I frequently have put off housework and even showering and dressing until the afternoon because I had to read just one more chapter--which of course led to one more, and then one more.

My thanks to Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club) for the recommendation.
paula

quirky little read
This is a little book with a lot going on. It's a thinkers book. Look into it as you read. I loved it.
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