I absolutely loved this book, I found it so funny and gently ironic and the kind of book you have to stop yourself giggling out loud at on the train! It is the story of the Queen’s discovery of reading and books, and how this takes over her life and interferes with her royal duties. It is incredibly funny, and also touching for the reader to see another person’s discovery of books and love of them develop. However, the Queen’s staff are not impressed with this new hobby and how it takes up her time, and aim to quash it.

I love the image of the Queen reading; waving to the crowds with one hand from her coach, while holding a book with the other hand just below the level of the window so it remains unseen. I love the Queen’s suggestion of how good she’d be on a pub quiz team with all her knowledge and experience of capital cities, although she admits she wouldn’t be as strong on pop music. I love the image of her meeting her public and instead of her stock polite questions of how far they’ve travelled, she’s asks them what they’ve read and often introduces long discussions on Dickens’ books and pulling her present book out of her handbag to discuss further – wouldn’t this be wonderful? And I really chuckled at her saying that she’s saving the Harry Potter books for a rainy day. I was also fascinated by her choice of books and found myself noting titles and authors that I hadn’t read but that she had. I felt her view of books as “how one book led to another, doors kept opening whenever she turned and the days weren’t long enough for the reading she wanted to do” is exactly how I feel about books and so exactly describes how addictive and wonderful and fulfilling books can be. This book celebrates reading and really touches how people feel about books and how important they are to people’s lives. I would love the Queen to be ‘human’ like this, and I would love to know what she thinks of this book – I feel sure she couldn’t resist smiling at it, it is written so tactfully and isn’t ‘against’ royalty. I do so hope she’d approve.

This is the first Alan Bennett book I have read, and I was thoroughly impressed.

The Uncommon Reader (Paperback)

By (author): Alan Bennett

Uncommon Reader
List Price: £6.99 GBP
New From: £3.20 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock