Book Review: The Uncommon Reader
From the author of The History Boys and The Clothes They Stood Up In. A deliciously funny novella that celebrates the pleasure of reading.
When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, Bennett describes the Queen's transformation as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.
I thought the description on Amazon was better:
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.
My mind sometimes drifted reading this book however, it was a cute, quick, and light read. At 120 pages, I was done in two days. Queen Elizabeth II eyes are opened to the wonderful world of books when she stumbles across a mobile library outside her home. For the first time in her life, she is enthralled by something and becomes bored with the mundane "Queen" tasks that she has to tend to on a daily basis. As you can expect, the public and the people in her life are not too pleased by her new hobby. The Queen is ultimately met with some challenges as she struggles between tending to her Queenly duties and her intense desire to do nothing but read and eventually write. Very cute, and recommended for any book lover out there.