The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader

I loved this delightful short comedy about the Queen, who in Bennett’s fertile imagination becomes an avid, even obsessive, reader following a chance encounter with a mobile library.  The Queen’s discovery of the pleasures of reading annoys the Duke of Edinburgh, terrifies her equerries, and begins to impact on her willingness to perform her public duties.  It’s light and seasonal – I read it over the Jubilee celebration, but underlying the farce are some serious issues – how in reading the Queen finds an outlet for her craving for ‘normalcy’, the tools through which to critique her own life and new ways to relate to her subjects.  I plan to read it again soon.