“You don't put your life into your books, you find it there.
"The Uncommon Reader" is such a funny, clever and wellwritten book. It is a book about books; a story of how reading can influence you, posses you and most of all a story of how reading can change you. Bennett captures the discovery of books perfectly, and illustrates the progress we make as readers; how Dostoevsky suddenly stops being terrifying and how Jane Austen becomes a dear friend. The complexities of the Queen's reading rises as she sinks deeper into the world of books.
“A book is a device to ignite the imagination.
This is a brilliant and heartwarming little book. I read it in one sitting, and I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Bennett's ultimate message, that writing trumps reading, is perhaps a bit narrow-minded, but I do understand his point of view.
The choice of the Queen as the main character is both comical and brave, and it illustrates Bennett's point perfectly; that reading truly is for everyone, high and low. To quote the Queen herself:
“Above literature?' said the Queen. 'Who is above literature? You might as well say one was above humanity.