The Uncommon Reader: A Novella

Front Cover
Picador, Sep 30, 2008 - Fiction - 128 pages

From one of England's most celebrated writers, a funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of reading

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.

With the poignant and mischievous wit of The History Boys, England's best loved author revels in the power of literature to change even the most uncommon reader's life.

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User Review  - kaulsu - www.librarything.com

What a silly little read--but utterly delightful. Perfect book to read when life, family, work, whatever, has laid you low. A fast (they call it a "Novella," but it's really just a long short story ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ParadisePorch - www.librarything.com

What a delightful surprise this little book is! The Queen of England discovers reading for pleasure with consequences for her realm. I laughed out loud at the end of this book. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Alan Bennett has been one of England's leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His work includes the Talking Heads television series, and the stage plays Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, A Question of Attribution, and The Madness of King George III. His play, The History Boys, filmed in 2006, won six Tony Awards, including best play. His memoir, Untold Stories, was a number-one bestseller in the United Kingdom.

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