4 of 36 people found the following review helpful
The worst kind of inverted snobbery,
This review is from: The Uncommon Reader (Paperback)
I picked this book up from the bargain discount shelves of our local QD store - which is about where it belongs. It rests upon the supposedly hilarious, but actually deeply insulting, premise that the Queen is a philistine, so darlings, wouldn't it just be too funny if she were suddenly to become a bibliophile?
I don't know if Alan Bennett has met the Queen, or spoken to her about her reading habits - I somehow doubt it. My guess is Her Majesty is probably quite well read, she is certainly no fool. So what gives Bennett the right to think he can assume otherwise? This is a real person who has no way of answering back.
As for the dated idea that reading 'great literature' (whatever that is) has a civilizing, democratising effect; dear oh dear, does anyone still believe in that dated, sub-Reithean clap trap? I'm afraid the author, here as elsewhere, is showing his age.
Bennett's fictional writing is just as two dimensional and patronising when depicting the upper classes as the working classes (Talking Heads etc). And what is it with him and the Queen - wasn't he banging on about her in that play about Anthony Blunt and the Royal art collection (another subject he knows nothing about but thinks is good for you). Inferiority complex, is it?
I have to confess I didn't actually get beyond page 30, despite numerous attempts - don't waste your money.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Feb 2012 12:48:25 GMT
You win the absolute first prize for missing the point. Open your mind and try again.
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Feb 2012 23:16:47 GMT
Mr. C. O. Jones says:
Please do enlighten me. We philistines need help in understanding great art.
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