A one sit Sunday afternoon gem
THE UNCOMMON READER
In Jubilee season the Den encourages book clubbers to read Alan Bennett's quirky and amusing royal story 'The Uncommon Reader', about the Queen discovering the joy of literature. First published in 2006, Alan Bennett's acerbic wit remains the perfect book club novella that never loses its charm.
Bennett, the master of everyday observations, reimagines the Queen walking her zapping Corgis outside the Palace grounds only to discover a mobile library. Taking out an unremarkable book the Queen enjoys her new hobby returning to feast on literary classics by an array of acclaimed authors. Who would have thought that the Queen would become such an avid reader as she discovers writers from Nancy Mitford to Brönte and Hardy as well as Proust and Beckett. Before long her sudden enthusiasm for reading starts to interfere with her duties. Those around her think she is losing her mind, but we the reader do not feel the Queen is being mocked – but rather an inimitable character study, a pleasure. Alan Bennett has captured the Queen in a uniquely different way through her love for reading, making her new found hobby funny without being cruel. A different window into her imagery life that we all try to get close to.
The Den enjoys the work of Alan Bennett who is renowned for his wit and humour that can be found in so many of his books, plays and theatrical productions. For this reason he is a great favourite author for book clubs.
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