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The Uncommon Reader


'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 ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Uncommon Reader

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  • Anglophiles' delight! Jan 5, 2012
    by Elizabeth A

    As an expat Englishwoman, I was delighted to read this charming little novella. Long an admirer of Alan Bennett (best known in the U.S. for his play "The History Boys"), it was great to see that he hasn't lost his light touch or delicate sense of humour. I bought several copies and gave them to friends for Christmas. Reaction has been great!

  • "Uncommon Reader" is a gem! Dec 16, 2010
    by Chrisgr

    Alan Bennet's "The Uncommon reader" deserves a place in the collection, no matter how modest, of everyone who owns more than one book. Beautifully and succinctly (but never tersely) written, it's an utterly charming and highly original story, with a real twist in its very last sentence. It proves that good writing did not die with the demise of Dickens.

    It's a short book and so takes not a lot of time to read, but every second devoted to it is time well spent. It has humour, intrigue, machination aplenty. That the Queen of England is central to the story does most decidedly not limit its appeal only to Britons or royalists, nor does it add grist to the mill of the campaigners agitating for the abolition of the monarchy! And it's suitable for all ages, though there are (a very few - I can recall only one) instances of 'strong' language

    This book is a MUST for anyone who appreciates a good story, crisply told.

  • Cute Aug 6, 2009
    by piafinn

    This is a cute little book and not a big investment in time. It's about what happens when the Queen of England suddenly develops a voracious appetite for reading. It is not well received by her staff, who go out of their way to discourage it.
    The book had alot of Britishisms, if that's a word, and dry humour, and her love of reading ended as quickly as it had begun, but did not leave her unchanged. She decides to turn to writing instead. I could relate to that , as I find I have a love for both reading and writing, for different reasons. I also think that avid readers make the best writers.

  • Mischievious and subversive Jul 23, 2009
    by MeBrnsPnst

    Like the description says, this quick read makes one chuckle and laugh at the quirky veracity of the characters and their actions.
    One can, and does, read it in two sittings, if not less, and is overjoyed it is only partly true.
    A wonderful tale of (mostly) likeable people.
    Will Mr. Bennett be knighted for this effort?
    One is not sure.

  • Enjoyable Read Jan 20, 2009
    by LadyInRed

    As an avid reader I can identify with the Queen as she became hooked on reading. Her peaked interest in the world and people became evident as she read the classics and other authors. I loved the relationship she had with Norman and how he encouraged her to read and the cunning ways he got books to her. This is the kind of book that can be re-read many times and learn something new about the Queen herself and the world she lived in.

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