Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Now do let's have a nice chat, Alan

I'd so like to have Alan Bennett sitting in an armchair in the corner of my sitting room, chatting away in his Yorkshire accent, filling the room with his finely-tuned observations of life ...

This is such a perfect gem, a novella you can whiz through in an afternoon, as I did on the weekend while I waited, patiently, for David to finish Harry 7 so I could grab it.
Mr Bennett plays with the notion of what would happen to Queen and country should Her Majesty become a serious reader. And what would she read?
He's captured her personality and voice to a T, and you can hear those regal, brittle vowels in her conversations with Prince Philip, her New Zealander private secretary Sir Kevin, and her friend, Norman, a fellow reader whom she whisks upstairs from the Buckingham Palace kitchens to be her 'amanuensis'.
There's much that will make you laugh, but also more wistful passages in which HM regrets, in her old age, the decades of opportunities she has wasted in meeting so many famous and important writers, without having had the faintest interest in them or their work.
As he did so skilfully in Talking Heads, Mr Bennett pokes gentle fun at his characters and their opinions, and shoots barbs at the bizarre social mores of the British class system. But the wit is sharp rather than acerbic, born of intelligence and affection rather than any desire to be cruel.
I loved it - there has to be a movie. They should get Helen Mirren to play this Queen, she'd eat it up!

1 comment:

Felicia said...

Sounds like a fun read. I'll this this one to the list.