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Don't forget to buy your copy of this book through the BGO Amazon link!

And here it is:

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Spoilers? Hardly, but just to be safe:

 

[spoil]I liked it. It's very much a "lunch hour" book, being barely a hundred pages long. It's an excellent premise of the Queen taking up reading and upsetting the protocol-bound gentlemen of the palace.

 

I haven't read anything by Alan Bennett before, and I was impressed. Very witty. My only quibble is that I guessed the ending early on.[/spoil]

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Concerning Australian toilets? I didn't get that at all. ;)

Since it's sort of come up naturally in the conversation and all, I thought I might share one of my very early song-writing attempts...

 

There's a bunyip in the dunny tin

He pinches your bottom and pulls you in.

 

I should explain that I was 10, and on a school camp at the time of composition. It was at Yarrahappini (if anyone here read Ethel Turner's Seven Little Australians as a child, yes, it's the place where the tree *sob* *sob* falls on Judy)

 

Soon afterwards, I decided prose was more my thing.

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I finished this off the other night. What started as an enjoyable, sometimes amusing little yarn, ended predictably and by then I got a little tired of trying to swallow that 1) books/reading could still be thought of as dangerous today, and 2) that the Queen wouldn't be able to say 'bugger off' from the start. Oh, and that the Queen, who didn't care who came and went from her service including Norman, suddenly would. Grrr. I didn't think it a bad read, or a dull read - just rather frustrating and silly.

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Last year I accidentally caught Alan Bennett on the radio reading from his book at the point where the Queen goes into the mobile library van. I thought it was amusing especially with his inimitable voice.

 

However, I'm glad I didn't rush out to buy it. I got it from the library this week and found that the novelty of the idea soon wore pretty thin.

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I thought it was an amusing little book, and enjoyed it very much.

Not my first Alan Bennett, and I got it as an audiobook for the pure pleasure of hearing him read it himself.

 

The humour is nicely cut with little drops of acidity, which give me a start of pleasure whenever they occur.

 

Although I'm sure that I knew how the book ended, I had somehow forgotten it, so it was a joy to imagine

the faces of all the Privy Councellors as it dawned on them - and the reader- what Her Majesty was actually telling them,

 

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As usual Bennett uses his brand of humour to project ideas about reading, writing and literature in general. From that point of view I found this novella interesting and amusing.

 

Whilst reading it I could hear the voice of a friend of mine reading it (she can talk with a very large plum in her mouth at times) and for me that made it all the more amusing.

 

There are some very interesting comments about literature, about the different styles of reading, how it can and often does instil the desire to write in some readers and change a person's thinking.

 

For me it was just about the right length. Any more and I may have become slightly bored by the whole scenario, but then Alan Bennett is a genius at this writing business.

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Didn't read it; just listened to the audiobook. Very lively and enjoyable. Especially liked Prince Philip's 'Bloody dogs!' and the PM's spokesman's reproof to an equerry who supported Norman's project to get The Queen reading - unprintable but delicious fun.

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I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I've enjoyed Bennett before. Certainly had be chuckling in places. Alan Bennett really likes old ladies and in a youth obsessed society I think that's part of his charm.

 

There's one section which describes the new press secretary as a moderniser and compares him to Pip tearing down the rotting curtains of Miss Havisham's wedding feast, followed the line:

 

 

"The Queen who had the advantage of having once been a breath of fresh air herself was unconvinced ....." :D

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    • By Flingo
      Rescued Thread When Bill has caught up with some things, please can we have the forum for this back, and then get it moved? Cheers!



      Flingo 8th June 2006 11:06 PM

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      katrina 9th June 2006 06:02 PM

      Hey, this is my second read of this book in a year, as I had to read it at the start of my PGCE course, its a really popular keystage 3 yext. I prefered it this time around, the first time I was annoyed by it, but I can't remember why now.

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      Momo 9th June 2006 06:20 PM

      I can well imagine that it's six years since Meg read it. My oldest son read it when he was a year younger than my youngest one is now and he is five years older. It had just come out otherwise he would have done it earlier as my younger one has.
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      katrina 10th June 2006 08:30 AM

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      Flingo 10th June 2006 10:45 AM

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      megustaleer 16th June 2006 08:56 AM

      belweb says on another thread that she thought the plot was full of holes! I beg to differ! The thing that I like about this book is that there are no 'holes', everything is all neatly sewn up at the end!

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      Momo 16th June 2006 01:45 PM

      I don't know either what kind of holes belwebb saw in this novel. As Meg already mentions, and we all should consider this, this is a children's book. We cannot expect deep meanings that you will only understand after studying English Lit.



      belwebb 16th June 2006 05:28 PM
       
       
       
      Yes, you've made some valid points. However, when you say 'contrived' I think that's the word I should have used - it was incredibly contrived, but then, like you say, I was in the middle of an English lit course!



      elfstar 16th June 2006 06:38 PM

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      donnae 19th June 2006 11:17 PM

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      Adrian 20th June 2006 01:50 AM

      I was thinking the same thing, donnae. It's pretty obvious when you read it.



      megustaleer 20th June 2006 09:34 PM

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      Hindsight's a wonderful thing!



      Adrian 20th June 2006 09:52 PM

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      Flingo 23rd June 2006 08:47 PM
       
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    • By Adrian
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