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The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  

The Uncommon Reader

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One of the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire's favourite books.

An absolute gem, this novella is Alan Bennett’s take on the Queen becoming a bibliophile and it is absolutely delightful. At one point the Queen laments not having read books of authors she had met in the past, her private secretary says “But ma’am must have been briefed surely?” to which the Queen responds “Briefing closes down a subject, reading opens it up”. A very funny and thoroughly enjoyable book about the joy of reading. A must for all book lovers…..and for those that aren’t and should be!

If you like Alan Bennett you might also like to read books by Andrea Levy, Pam Weaver and Lissa Evans.

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Synopsis

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Oh Norman,’ said the Queen, ‘the prime minister doesn’t seem to have read any Hardy. Perhaps you could find him one of our old paperbacks on his way out.’ Had the dogs not taken exception to the strange van parked in the royal grounds, the Queen might never have learnt of the Westminster travelling library’s weekly visits to the palace.

But finding herself at its steps, she goes up to apologise for all the yapping and ends up taking out a novel by Ivy Compton-Burnett, last borrowed in 1989. Duff read though it proves to be, upbringing demands she finish it and, so as not to appear rude, she withdraws another. This second, more fortunate choice of book awakens in Her Majesty a passion for reading so great that her public duties begin to suffer.

And so, as she devours work by everyone from Hardy to Brookner to Proust to Samuel Beckett, her equerries conspire to bring the Queen’s literary odyssey to a close.

Subversive and highly enjoyable, The Uncommon Reader offers the perfect argument for reading, written by one of its great champions, Alan Bennett.

Reviews

For all its hilarity The Uncommon Reader has a heartfelt tone. It offers a lament on old age, some thoughts on reticence and a backward glance at a life wasted. * Sunday Times * An exquisitely produced jewel of a book. * The Times * Pure gold ... you would be hard put to find a defter satire on British philistinism ... the dialogue is priceless. * Mail on Sunday * Light, fresh, witty and warm. * Daily Telegraph * Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader would make a perfect stocking filler for just about anyone. -- Monica Ali * The Guardian *


About the Author

Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett has been one of our leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His television series Talking Heads has become a modern-day classic, as have many of his works for the stage, including Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, A Question of Attribution, The Madness of George III (together with the Oscar-nominated screenplay The Madness of King George) and an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. His most recent play, The History Boys, won Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle awards for Best Play, The Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play and the South Bank Award.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd July 2008

Author

Alan Bennett

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Publisher

Profile Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
128 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781846681332

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