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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars153
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 6 November 2012
A joy for all book lovers especially! Her Majesty decides to spend time reading for pleasure and gradually finds that it reduces her appetite for her official reading.

This is a short book, admirably written as usual by Alan Bennett, and the only quibble I had was the suggestion that the queen had never read a novel before. She has a stack of books sent to Balmoral each summer for she and her guests to enjoy on holiday.

The supposition smacked of the apparent amazement of the media at the time that HM could act when she met James Bond in Buckingham Palace on the opening day of the Olympics. I always understood that HM was the leading light of charades at the Windsor family Christmas and she certainly used to do a lot of acting with Princess Margaret when she was younger.

I digress, do beg, borrow or buy the book, it is very much a 'feel good' read.
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on 10 May 2011
A lovely idea about the queen stumbling across a mobile library and discovering the joy of reading, much to the consternation of her staff and the prime minister. She learns how to wave with one hand and her book propped up in the other. I particularly enjoyed the twist to the end.
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VINE VOICEon 26 January 2014
I heard this book being reviewed on Radio 4, I can't remember the programme but it was one of those where 'celebrities' choose their favourites. The people discussing it were raving about it so I ordered it on the back of that. I am sorry to say that I was a bit disappointed.

The story concerns the queen (the real queen, our queen) happening across the mobile library. She borrows a book because she feels she should, and this leads to more reading and to her whole world being opened up by literature.

The characterisation of the Queen, and of her reading ally Norman, is very good, and funny, but the book just seemed to be more of the same. It's only a slight little book but it felt like it took a long time to read.

So sorry lovely Alan Bennett but I think this would have made a better short story.
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on 24 January 2014
This book is a fun, interesting and clever story for such a small book and I have already recommended it to a few people.

The seller packaged it beautifully and it arrived very quickly.

Would recommend you give it a try.
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on 20 September 2014
I think I would think much more of the queen if I knew she read widely, with all that travelling she should be able to, right?
This was a pretty simple, short, read, and entertaining you could quite easily finish it in one sitting.
I found it had me laughing out loud on a number of occasions, and it certainly makes me want to read more Alan Bennett.
If nothing else it really made me love reading. It’s really a book which champions reading, and all it’s wonderful effects.
I find it hard to write a review. Others have done a better job than me. All I can really say is you won’t regret reading it.
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on 13 January 2015
Bennett's portrait of the queen who develops a love of reading such that it almost eclipses the importance to her of the visits to her palace of the good and the great, not least the French premier, gives us an endearing side to his monarch; a woman who, despite her most elevated station in life, is as susceptible to the thrills and spills of fiction as might be the 'common' reader - however that might be defined.
In gentle humour, Bennett nevertheless doesn't fail to give us an almost satirical portrayal of the tight bureaucrats who try to usher the monarch back to her most urgent royal commitments.
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on 16 November 2014
This book provides an insight into monarchy through comedy. On a serious note it indicates how important reading is if one is to understand the world we live in.
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on 13 July 2013
Half way through this very little book Bennett appears to have lost his way with most of his characters and they slightly change tack - though nothing dramatic - and the ending is rather irritating and feels quite forced. It does have moments of gentle humour, but the idea itself is fundamentally flawed and the suspension of disbelief just doesn't really work. I read a french translation of this and while it passed the time, I wouldn't pass it on to friends. Nice, gentle, but not much happens and you feel this could be so much funnier.
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on 9 December 2013
I so loved this little story. It is a very quick read but the size of it does not take away from the joy. It is such a treat. I've read again and again.
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on 30 March 2012
A joy to listen to. This Audio set is witty, surprising, and very engaging. Well worth the money and well worth listening to. An uncommonly good listen.
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