Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Uncommon Reader

I am still trying to ease myself into the world of audiobooks so I cannot hide that I chose The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett not only because I'd heard good things about it but also because it was short. I am so glad I chose it - it's definitely my favorite audiobook so far.

The story (and storytelling) is very simple - one day, the Queen of England notices a mobile library and goes in. She feels its rude not to borrow a book so she does so - and gets hooked on reading. She starts reading all the time and lets it get in the way of her duties. Those around her, her advisors and staff, are not too thrilled about this development, firstly because it's clearly changed her into someone unrecognisable and secondly because she keeps trying to get all of them to read too and makes them feel like schoolchildren with homework. But the Queen perseveres and pretty much reads everything she can get her hands on.

You can say that this short book is about many things - not only about the love of literature. It's also a satire about England, about the upper classes and about people in general. It made me chuckle several times and I found myself walking more - since that's when I listen to audiobooks.

I'm sure the book in its regular form is great too, but I must say that it was a joy to listen to Alan Bennett read it to me. His accent is perfect for it.

I strongly recommend this!

Challenges: A-Z Challenge, Audiobook Challenge, 999 Challenge, Countdown Challenge


Iliana said...

Every review I read of this book just makes it sound wonderful. I must read it!

I don't do audio books really but maybe I should try something like this - short and with a good narrator. In this case the author. I think that might be the reason why I've had some problems with audio books in the past.

Ana S. said...

I can totally imagine this working really well as an audibook. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

Jo said...

This one made me chuckle too. And I'd love to hear Alan Bennett read it.

J.C. Montgomery said...

I really liked this book too and I actually wrote some quotes into my commonplace book as they were just too good to put back on the shelf after I'd read them.

joanna said...

Iliana - I totally understand, but I really think that in this case the narration by the author makes the book better. I hope you try it!

Nymeth - unfortunately, not all books do so it's easy to get discouraged with audiobooks. I'm glad that I found this one!

Jo - he has such a posh Bristish accent and he even does different kinds of posh voices for the Queen and some of the others!

J.C. - that's the problem with audiobooks, it's impossible to mark the quotes and passages that you like!

Kailana said...

I was so happy I took a chance and bought a copy of this book! I really enjoyed it!

Marg said...

This would be great to listen to, and I think that listening to the authors read their work gives the listening experience a little something special.

joanna said...

Kailana - it's nice when that happens, isn't it? :-)

Marg - I totally agree!