The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
A Novella

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The difference between that wretched film and this book is that Bennett knows what he is doing.
-Guardian

Synopsis

From one of England's most celebrated writers, a funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of reading

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.

With the poignant and mischievous wit of The History Boys, England's best loved author revels in the power of literature to change even the most uncommon reader's life.

 

About Alan Bennett

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Alan Bennett is a renowned playwright and essayist whose screenplay for The Madness of King George was nominated for an Academy Award. He lives in London, England.
 
Published September 18, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 126 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on May 29 2012

The difference between that wretched film and this book is that Bennett knows what he is doing.

Read Full Review of The Uncommon Reader: A Novella | See more reviews from Guardian

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