Friday, February 19, 2010
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
A synopsis from Amazon.com says "Queen Elizabeth II walks into a mobile library van in pursuit of her runaway corgis and into the reflective, observant life of an avid reader. Guided by Norman, a former kitchen boy and enthusiast of gay authors, the queen gradually loses interest in her endless succession of official duties and learns the pleasure of such a common activity. With the dawn of her sensibility... mistaken for the onset of senility, plots are hatched by the prime minister and the queen's staff to dispatch Norman and discourage the queen's preoccupation with books. Ultimately, it is her own growing self-awareness that leads her away from reading and toward writing, with astonishing results."
This was an excellent read. It has been quite a few months since I have just sat down and read a whole book. I know this is a novella (so it had a little over 100 pages) but it was still nice to sit down and read a whole book with no interruptions. I feel like this might get me back on track for reading as I have been doing a pretty terrible job so far in 2010. What I loved about this book was that it was well written and the characters were very funny. I loved the plot of the Prime Minister against the Queen's reading - seeing it as common and disruptive for the whole nation.
At one point in the book someone remarks to the Queen that reading is a very selfish pastime - I can see that a bit. I know that when I read I go somewhere else where I don't want to be disturbed and that no one else can really go. It is all about me. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that. The Queen had been selfless for many years and now that she was in her late seventies she needed sometime for her. I loved the way the book ended. I had to rad the last page 2 times to really get the ending, I loved that it ended abruptly and left you thinking. I was hoping that the Queen would start her own national book club that would become just as popular as Oprah!
All in all this was a fun, fast and easy read.
Rating - 4