Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett

This book was such a delight to read. Light, funny and really interesting; I finished it within hours! It tells the story of the Queen who comes across a mobile library one day, and decides to borrow a book for the first time. Not ever having really read any books, she soon becomes captivated to the point of obsession with reading all the books she can, neglecting her duties as head of state. The consequences of this are far-reaching and negative to say the least!

A unique and hilarious plot, Alan Bennett’s writing style is a pleasure to read; it’s so easy and flows so well. Moreover, there are some fantastic lines and brilliant quotes about reading in this book, here are a few of my favourites:

“Had Her Majesty gone for another duff read, an early George Eliot, say, or a late Henry James, novice reader that she was she might have been put off reading for good...”

“The appeal of reading, she thought, lay in its indifference: there was something lofty about literature. Books did not care who was reading them or whether one read them or not. All readers were equal, herself included”

“‘Can there be any greater pleasure’, she confided in her neighbour, the Canadian minister for overseas trade, ‘than to come across an author one enjoys and then to find they have written not just one book or two, but at least a dozen?’”.

Wonderful quotes that completely sum up the humour of this book, and the great appreciation of reading that comes with it. I would definitely recommend it- it’s an easy, enjoyable, quick read that will make you laugh and allow you to indulge in your own pleasure for reading.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think? 


  1. I found this book a pleasure to read too, and I had heard it said that Alan Bennett could be quite difficult to read before I started it which made me slightly wary of it before I started but that could not be more wrong. It is so easy to read like you said, and so quick! Thanks for the quotes as well, I liked reading them through and remembering the book - if you love to read you'll like this book! Xx

  2. Aw, what a lovely comment to receive! Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the quotes, that's part of why I found this book so enjoyable! xx