Monday, September 13, 2010

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

(In which later is better than never.)

***

Upon realizing one’s failure in a later time, one hurries to make up for all the time lost. And then another realization will appear – that the time remaining is still insufficient. What was gained is to be cherished and what was lost is lost.

This, I believe, is one of the many things the Queen found out after reviving her penchant for reading, which actually was triggered by an obligation. (She thought it was compulsory to borrow a book from the mobile library.) And she borrowed books after another, hired Norman (who used to work in the kitchen) to be her amanuensis, made lists of her to-be-read and practically urged everyone else to read. Not only is her sudden predilection for books deterred her fulfillment of her royal duties; it also became a reason for her social and personal (especially fashion-wise) skills as well as her sanity, to be questioned.

Humorous and reflective, The Uncommon Reader isn’t only a story of a literally and figuratively uncommon bookworm. Alan Bennett weaves a story showing what reading really is and what it’s not, what we look for in books and what we gained from reading and eventually, what we want to do with what we learned.

For a better post about this novel, please check out . . . Wait, and I have to remind you that I will actually know if you left this site for the link. Just kidding. Check out the review of The Uncommon Reader on Aldrin’s The Pollysyllabic Spree here.



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