The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett: A Book Review

alanbennetYou may not be such a voracious  reader if you could not relate to this novella.

The story is simple but interesting. It  is about the queen of England, an UNCOMMON READER (look its meaning up in Wikepedia), who will fall to reading books when she meets across a travelling library. There she meets Norman, the kitchen boy, who will introduce her to different writers she has never met yet. The queen will completely immerse herself in books, derelict in her duty as Her Majesty of England. Ad nauseam because of her special advisor, Sir Kevin, she will be in a quandary over whether reading affects her duty or not.

Like Her Majesty, I prefer to be left to my reading. I don’t want to be disturbed. I don’t want to procrastinate reading, but I do procrastinate doing the job I must do.

Like Her Majesty, I make excuses not to do anything else because I want books be under my nose all the time.

Like Her Majesty, I’d rather read a book on a vehicle or whenever I travel, carrying a stack of books I try to catch upon than watch a movie or strike up a conversation with my friend/s.

Like Her majesty, I sleep through my books because they keep me awake, but half awake with the books I find kitsch, so I lay them aside until they get caked with dust bunny.

Like Her Majesty, I read a book with a pad and a pencil close at my hand to take notes the words I haven’t known yet and to underline the quotes boggle my mind at the same time.

Like Her Majesty, I love frequenting my favorite stomping ground to check upon the unknown in my world.

Like Her Majesty, I am brainwashed by the totally ridiculous opinions of the significant others, unenthusiastic about books. To them, reading is time killing.

Like Her Majesty, it is too late to learn a lot of things more since she had been up to her nose with her duty, in my case, poverty. Thus, we are both OPSIMATHS as she puts it.

I bet my boots you bear complete resemblance to Her Majesty, don’t you?

But unlike Her Majesty, I will never give up on my “natural or learned’ inclination till Kingdom come despite my demanding job. ^___^

Out of 29 authors mentioned in the novella, I should proudly say that I am very familiar with 17 of them such as:
Anita Brookner
Thomas Hardy
Winifred Holtby
Henry James
Alice Munro
The Brontës
Marcel Proust
Philip Roth
• Vikram Seth
William Shakespeare
Charles Dickens
William Makepeace Thackeray
• Jane Austen
George Eliot
E. M. Forster
• Ian McEwan
• A.S Byatt

Well, could I be an uncommoner in the world of literature? (wink!)

Rating : 4 / 5 stars ( I really liked it. )



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