Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Uncommon Reader


As much as I love my brick novels I have to admit I am slightly more impressed by authors who are able to keep it short and sweet. Even if my fondness for words, lots of words, heaps of words and then some is of a caliber words really can't describe, I'm in awe of the ones who don't find it necessary to overuse words to write a highly entertaining, interesting and unique story.

They're comfortable with themselves, their words and the story itself, they write aptly and precise, yet when the book is read you feel like you've taken part in a true adventure of much more than a hundred something pages.

A while back I read a novelette of this kind. One I knew, after only a few pages, would end up on my favourite book list. The Uncommon Reader, namely the British queen, and her discovery of the travelling library outside Buckingham Palace is brimming with panache, wittiness - that made me both laugh out loud as well as smile almost all the time while reading - kindness and satire intertwined which, once again, make one question the reason and sanity of monarchy.

The author behind this brilliant wee book is Alan Bennett, British award winning playwright, author and actor. Even if I knew about some of his work before this read I had never really noticed his name. Now though, I'll definitely prowl the online bookshops and such for his other work.


Titania said...

Hi Pia, after reading your summary, I think this book would appeal to me. I have penciled it into my wish to read.
Yesterday was the first very hot day; it always takes time for me to get used to it, I prefer it a little cooler around 25 C is right. Have a nice Sunday.

Poppy Q said...

Hi Pia,
I enjoyed this little book too. I dislike short stories, but this little book was just enough. Not too short and certainly not padded out to be too long and tedious. I think he made the Queen likable, and it was so easy to picture her asking her ministers about the books she had read.

Pia K said...

I think you'd like this wee book very much, Titania. An intelligent feelgood book not without edge. Hearing about temperatures like that this time of the year with winter and Christmas is really strange, haven't you heard that Christams is suppose to be cold and white...;)

I agree, Julie, I found it to be a very humane book with great character and detail descriptions.

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