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6 May 2011

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Rarely does a book induce me to say, 'an absolute delight', but this one did.

A sumptuously appointed narrative revolves around the Queen's abruptly acquired, all consuming passion for reading, and the ensuing miscellany of court antics, equerry interactions and other deliciously humorous situations.

The clever, understated, sure-footed prose and dialogue is so believable, so real, you feel as if you are actually there; observing silently, unnoticed in the corner of the room.

His bold, seemingly nerveless decision to choose and emphatically capture our monarch as the lead character, is matched by an ability to carry it off so effortlessly. 

Personally, I thought it had the feel of a classic. A classic in conception, originality and execution. And definitely classic Alan Bennett - a master of his craft.

Being a rather slim, 121 page volume its easily devoured in a session or two; time simply whizzing by. And yes, I wanted more, much more, more of the same. Please.

What does the Queen herself think of the book I wonder? One can only guess, but I'm sure this author knows the real answer.

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