Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Uncommon Reader...random thoughts

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett.

I know, I know, everyone and their third cousin-twice removed has already read this book. I hate reviewing (and yes, I use that term veeeery loosely) books like that. I mean, what can I possibly say that hasn't already been said, right? But nonetheless, I must say something because this is a challenge book. So babble, I will...

This book first came to my attention on NPR. I made a mental note of it, and then as so many of my mental notes seem to do, it lost itself among the gobblety-goop which fills my brain. Luckily Dewey brought it back to my attention with her review. I mean really, how could one resist after that, right?

And still it took me a long time to actually get around to reading it. Yeah, it takes me a long time to get around to doing most things. What can I say...I don't like to rush things. ;)

But the book, Debi, what about the book?!! Yes, yes, was absolutely as delightful as Dewey and everyone else has said it was! Not that I had any doubts. But my goodness, this was such an incredibly fun little read.

In case you've just landed on Earth from a far-flung galaxy and don't know the basic premise (yes, this is why I hate these kinds of reviews...I mean do you tell what the story is about when most everyone already knows? seems horribly redundant, doesn't it? but then again, it seems lazy to skip it? this peek inside my mind is a tad scary, isn't it? and yes, I do swear that I have not been in the gin yet), the Queen of England discovers reading late in life. And it begins to consume her. She just wants to read every waking second. Sound familiar? Sound like you? Yes, but of course, you don't have the whole world (slight exaggeration) watching your every move, do you? And it is the fact that she is the Queen that leads to one amusing predicament after another.

Yes, this book is so charmingly humorous. Ever so easy to relate to, even if royal blood doesn't run through one's veins.

What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do.

'Pass the time?' said the Queen. 'Books are not about passing the time. They're about other lives. Other worlds. Far from wanting time to pass, Sir Kevin, on just wishes one had more of it. If one wanted to pass the time one could go to New Zealand.'

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

The Queen said: 'Yes. That is exactly what it is. A book is a device to ignite the imagination.'


And now, if you'd like to read a review where something is actually said, you might want to try one of these:

Dewey at The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Nymeth at Things Mean A Lot
Chris at Stuff as Dreams Are Made On
Eva at A Striped Armchair
Grad at The Curious Reader
Robin at A Fondness for Reading
Chris at Book-a-Rama
Bermudaonion at Bermudaonion's Weblog
Jenclair at A Garden Carried in the Pocket
Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit

Okay, there's like 40,000 more of these reviews out there, I just know there are. But as I'm really not supposed to be blogging right now anyway, I'm just going to have to call my search quits for now. Please, please, please feel free to leave me a link in the comments, however, if you have a review of this book that you'd like me to add to the list. Thanks.


chrisa511 said...

Yay Debi! I'm so glad that you read this one...It was just a fantastic little book and I wanted to hug the queen after reading it...and I can honestly say that I've never felt that way before :p

You cracked me up with "I swear I haven't been in the gin yet"...I think my favorite part of that statement is "yet" lol!

Amanda said...

I've got to admit, I've only barely heard of this one, so I don't mind reading a review. ;)

Debi said...

Yes! I know exactly what you mean! I honestly have never paid one iota of attention to British royalty, and now all of sudden, I'm in love with the Queen! Despite the fact that I know this was a work of fiction! :D

Debi said...

Thank you! I have to admit that makes me feel better about even posting this. And also a bit worse for not actually having said anything. ;)

Ana S. said...

lol @ what Chris said :P That peek inside your head was in fact charming. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one too!

Kailana said...

This was a great little book, huh? I really enjoyed it! I highly doubt I reviewed it, though... I read it last year...

Anonymous said...

You know what, I *still* haven't read this... I must be officially the only person left now!

jenclair said...

Wasn't it a lovely little book? I'm smiling again just thinking about it.

Susan said...

I haven't read this yet! I have bought it though. So after yours and the other 40,00 reviews, what will I find to say? Lol I enjoyed yours, Debi, and even better that you liked it too! I'm really looking forward to reading my copy very soon.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I haven't read it either! So you're not the absolutely last one. I really would like to, but I might save it for the next read-a-thon. I first heard about this one over at Dewey's.