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4.3 out of 5 stars144
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 January 2011
I loved the film so when I saw there was a book as well I was intrigued. This tells the full story of Lionel Logue and his friendship with the Duke of York/King George VI, from the birth to death of both men. There's lots of fascinating historical and personal details and the book complements the film really well. The Lionel Logue who emerges is quite a different character to the one portrayed by Geoffrey Rush, and the book reinforces what a special story this is. If you enjoyed the film I recommend this book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 November 2010
In lieu of being able to watch the movie "The King's Speech" because it hasn't been released yet, I ordered the book by the same name, written by Lionel Logue's grandson, Mark Logue, and his co-author, Peter Conradi. The book is a well-written biography of Australian-born speech therapist Lionel Logue and his work with Britain's Prince Albert when he was Duke of York in the 1920's and continuing on in the 1930's when "Bertie" became King - George VI - in 1936, and then afterward during WW2.

Albert, son of King George V and younger brother of Edward VIII, had developed a stammer during his youth, which made him shy and uncommunicative. As someone who has struggled all my life with a relatively mild stutter, I thought it was good that Mark Logue did not attribute the cause of Bertie's stammer to any one thing. Stuttering is an impediment which seems to arise from both/either physical and psychological reasons and most of the time cannot be properly ascribed to any one thing. In Bertie's case, it was possibly from a difficult youth. He and his siblings were not close to their parents - as was common in those days - and his parents seemed to rather scare him when they were together. A sadistic nanny and the changing of his left-handedness to right may have contributed to his stutter. In any case, he was a man who could not always control his own speech, and he was moving into some situations where he would be called on to speak publicly and to do so often.

After his marriage, Bertie consulted Lionel Logue who had emigrated to England from Australia with his wife and young family and set up a practice in speech therapy in London's Harley Street. After much practice, Bertie was able to give speeches, but he depended on Lionel Logue's continued help as he became king - first in peacetime and then in wartime. The many speeches by radio that George was called on to make in the 25 or so years of his rule were always difficult for him, but Logue's work made them bearable to the king. Logue and George VI became friends - of a sort - because of their work together.

Mark Logue and Peter Conradi were able to look through Lionel Logue's case files and put together a very good record of Logue's work with George VI. Whether Lionel Logue "saved the monarchy" is a bit in doubt, but he did give confidence and success to the George VI when he - and the nation and the Commonwealth - needed it the most.

A note to the authors, Wallis Simpson was from Maryland, not Pennsylvania.
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on 1 February 2011
I love history so really enjoyed reading this account. It is written by Lionel Logue's grandson, Mark. He has access to hundreds of letters, diary entries, photographs and newspaper clippings which Lionel Logue had collected throughout his career - as well as access to family memories. This makes the book a very accurate and personal account. You will not find out details of how Logue treated the king however, as he never wrote up the case; nor did he set out his methods for curing speech impediments in a formal way or have an apprentice to pass the information on to. I found this information in the introduction which is very interesting and informative, explaining what records the author already had at his disposal, how he found yet more records, but also what is missing. I would also like to praise the formating of the kindle version! It shows how well these books can work on the kindle if the publisher sets it out properly. There are several black and white photos included - which work very well on the kindle, and live links to the references, as well as an index. This is a personal account which tells a lot about the relationship between Logue and his pupil, King George VI.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 5 January 2016
A very well-read audio version, the narrator talks in Logue's voice (and Australian accent) when reading from his diaries, and assumes other accents when speaking their letters and diaries (though the Birmingham one did make me laugh). It did give it an air of authenticity and remind you that these are REAL diaries and events, real people, however extraordinary they seem.

I've watched the film many times, and wanted some more background detail, here provided by Logue's grandson. This tells the same story as the film, but puts it in context and adds detail both before and after the events of the film - from the childhood of both men (Lionel Logue and the future King George), and takes the story to the very end of theirs.

It moves along nicely, talking about world events and how the small-scale events of the speech therapist and the stammering prince (and later King) played their role in England's history and the Second World War.

There was much here I didn't know, and lots of wonderful detail - both background and personal details taken from letters/diaries. I found it very moving, especially towards the end.

Amazing story, easy to listen to, and excellent background if you've watched the film and want to know more.
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VINE VOICEon 22 June 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It may be helpful to have seen the Colin Firth film or to have read the book as this radio play starts right after the coronation of the King George V with not much preamble..

It has 45 minutes to fill the listener in on the background detail and maybe that is why the King has a rather revealing conversation with Lionel Logue as he tells him about his relationship with his father. On the other hand Logue was a close confidante of the King's for over 11 years, seeing him at his most frustrated and embarrassed and coaxing him into doing, quite well on the whole, what was anathema to him, public speaking and broadcasting.

I found it rather touching and thought Alex Jennings was very good as the king and Trevor Littledale gave good support as Logue.

I also found the ending quite sad as they ponder on what the future would be for George's beloved elder daughter who he never wished to see put into the position she would inherit. He just wanted a quiet family life.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My wife's review:

At the time I ordered this CD I had not seen the film of the same title, so the whole story was new to me. I knew that King George V had a speech impediment and that he was not at all keen on public speaking, but that was all. This CD, which is taken from a radio play, briefly tells the story of the King's speech tuition and the broadcast on National Radio of his speech at the beginning of the Second World War. It portrays the frustration the King went through because he wanted to get it right. I enjoyed it and found it educational as well as entertaining, but one criticism is that it is too short. I think people would feel they had their money's worth more if perhaps it had been included in a series of radio plays, rather than on its own and at a time when the film was being shown at cinemas and people may have expected a more detailed story.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a short radio play from 2009, cannily released by the BBC (and re-broadcast back in January) to capitalise on the superb success of The King's Speech.

Alex Jennings isn't Colin Firth (and his language is a lot cleaner than Colin's in the film) but he does put over the same sense of frustration with himself that the King must have felt as he looked at the script of his Coronation speech - "Five hundred and seventy-two words in total and most of them impossible for me to say."

For those who enjoyed the film or did not - or could not - see it, this is a concentrated representation of the story. It deserves to stand on its own.

Bit of trivia that I unearthed - some of you may remember the playwright Mark Burgess as the actor who played Gordon Collins in Brookside. One of his other plays sounds particularly intriguing - 'Einstein in Cromer' - who knew?
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VINE VOICEon 9 March 2011
This is a very moving story. Much has already been written about it and BAFTAS and Oscars awarded. There seems to be a lot of speculation about book v film. The 2 formats are very different. A typical film is 90 min long, many books contain much more written material than can fit into 90 min, so naturally a lot of detail needs to be cut out. But film on the other hand has the beauty of visualising and creating a unique interpretation. Each deserves its rightful place under the sun. That's why it is so enjoyable to go through both the book and film. I thoroughly enjoyed both and would highly recommend. Colin's performance is very realistic in the film.
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on 21 September 2011
I saw the film first and found it uplifting and a worthy Oscar winner but this is the real thrilling story and all the better for its accuracy. The story is spead over the real time scale and the person who introduces the duke to the therapist remains uncertain. Nor do we have the chummy Aussie over familiarity with the use of Christian names. One learns of the depth of this friendship over the years and the deep mutual respect of these men. Unlike today's kiss and tell celebrities, Logue remained quiet about his most famous patient. Two people helped the duke become a respected and loved king. One was his wife, and this is the other.
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on 8 March 2011
Picked this book up simply because the film is getting such good reviews at the moment.

The first part of the book starts with Logue's ancestors in Australia and then moves onto Logue himself. It covers his marriage, how he got into speech therapy and his emigration to England.

The style of writing is very factual which made the book a very bland read to start with. Some information is presented in a very `matter of fact' way - an example would be the announcement of the eldest son's marriage to Jo Metcalf of Nottingham. This is given as a single sentence in the middle of a paragraph. At the time of reading, it seemed out of place. Much information is presented in a similar way which seems superfluous to the story.

As the book moves on we get introduced more to the monarchy. This seems to inject a bit of life into the story and, whilst the book still seems quite fact driven, the story gets a bit more character. The pace picks up even more as we go through the Second World War and we are introduced to more of the main characters' personalities.

The book gives a good insight into the monarchy from Queen Victoria through to Queen Elizabeth II. Anyone reading this book who knows little about the history of the Royal Family will find this an interesting introduction.

Overall, the book is an OK read. Had there been more emphasis on the feelings of the characters rather than simply on who they were, what they did and what they achieved then I think that this would be a brilliant read. Having read the book, I will endeavour to see the film.
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