April 12, 2009

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett: Review

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Imagine Queen Elizabeth taking the doggies for a walk when she comes upon a bookmobile. At first, she takes a book out just to be polite but finds she's caught the fever. She becomes a bibliophile. Her new habit,..er...I mean, hobby has unexpected consequences. At first, it's just how she is perceived by the people but then it becomes about how she perceives the world and the people themselves.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett is a quirky and funny novella. I ate it up in a couple of hours. I understood The Queen's confusion and frustration with her advisors. Recently a poll was conducted on DailyBlogTips called "Is reading necessary?" and there were a number of people who did not believe it is. Alan Bennett cleverly uses The Queen, a woman apart from the rest of the world, to say how necessary it is. Not having access to people the way the rest of us do, The Queen misses out on experiences you and I take for granted. Through reading she opens up a whole new world for herself. We may not be royalty but we do the same through what we read. I know my life is enriched through books.

I don't think I'll be able to see The Queen the same way again.

I read this for Dewey's Reading Challenge and she loved it so much she planned to read it again.

Highly recommended

Other reviews:
Dewey @ The Hidden Side of the Leaf
Teabird @Tea Leaves
Sheri @ A Novel Menagerie
Nymeth @ Things Mean A Lot

16 comments :

  1. I loved this one too! I could really relate to the Queen's feelings after she became a reader.

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  2. I fell in love with this book too! It was OH so good :D And I love your new RSS widget ;)

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  3. I just added this to my list of books to read for the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. I've had this on my shelf for a least a year now, which is ridiculous since I know it'll be great. I can't wait for next Saturday! =)

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  4. I liked it. Here's my review.

    (I like your pie widget).

    Sheri
    http://anovelmenagerie.com/ghost/2009/03/30/book-review-the-uncommon-reader/

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  5. It's so true about experiences through books. There's been so many times I've caught myself remembering a scene from a book that relates to my current situation. Many times my memory of the scene is as real as my own memories and it takes me a moment to realize that I'm only remembering a story.

    Great review!

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  6. Thanks guys! I'll add those links to the review.

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  7. Everybody I know loves this book. I've been planning to read it during Read-a-thon, hopefully it will be back in the library by next weekend.

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  8. I thought it was really funny and clever too. I'm glad you enjoyed it! My post is here.

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  9. I SO want to read this book!! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I agree that reading is essential. I can't imagine a life without books/reading.

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  10. I enjoyed this book too and read it for Dewey's Reading Challenge as well.

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  11. I loved this one too - I listened to it on audio, the author read it himself and it was excellent. I'll never look at the Queen in the same way either! ;-)

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  12. Tammy- Hope it arrives back.

    Nymeth- I'll add it.

    Joanna- That must have been interesting.

    Thanks guys!

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  13. I loved this book as well. Its on my list of favorites for this year! here's my review if you are interested: http://savvyverseandwit.blogspot.com/2009/02/uncommon-reader-by-alan-bennett.html

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  14. I've heard so many good things about this book that I should just read it already. lol Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  15. I loved this book too! It was great.

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