Monday, April 27, 2009

The Uncommon Reader

The Uncommon Reader: A Novella The Uncommon Reader: A Novella by Alan Bennett

Book 41 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't think anyone can deny that this book is clever, intellectual, and witty. I read this book over two evenings and actually laughed out loud.

Queen Elizabeth is wandering by the kitchen in Buckingham Palace one day when she notices a mobile library outside. She steps out to have a look, and feels compelled to check a book out. She enjoys reading so much, that she turns into a voracious reader, much to the dismay of palace officials and the public at large.

This is a book about readers. It's a book about what reading does for those who read, and how it impacts others. I could relate how suspicious people became of the Queen for reading. I could relate with her feelings that there would never be enough time to read everything she wanted. I could relate with her finding out that reading makes us learn more about humanity and how she found herself changed because of how reading shaped her thoughts and desires.

I actually wish I had read this book with a pencil to underline my favorite parts. I do think that at just 120 pages, I may tempted to pick it up again someday. I should warn that some parts dragged a little for me and there was a couple instances of crude humor that just seemed out of place with the rest of the book. I also found Bennett's style a little reminiscent of his playwright self. I could almost read the stage directions: Enter Queen stage left. Exit Kitchen Servant stage right.

But overall, this is a book any serious reader should pick up.

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Let me know if I missed yours!


bermudaonion said...

I really enjoyed this book too. I found it to be delightful. Thanks for the link love.

mjmbecky said...

I thought this book was really cute! I did post a review of it as well, but no need to add me. I just thought I'd add a ditto to this one. :)

Serena said...

I really enjoyed this book as well...its a very fast read. I've added your review to my post.

Nicole said...

Thanks for the link. I will link to your review as well.

I agree with you on a lot of these points. I wanted to underline so much. I loved the little notes that she made about reading and how people react too readers.

mee said...

Thanks for the link. I read a library book for this one and I'm hoping to own it so I can go back to see all the books mentioned in it.