Well, let's start with a couple of good things about Alan Bennett.
In an age where many celebrated writers lost (or never had) the gift of synthesis, Mr Bennett delivered to his readers a novel of 124 pages.
A tiny book that is perfect for filling a winter-coat pocket.
Besides, Mr Bennett wrote a novel that everybody could read.
Let's face it. "The Uncommon Reader" may please the elderly and the youngster, grandmas and grandsons. It is witty without being cerebral.
There is a vague fairytale flavour that I enjoyed.
It is something that reminded me "The BFG" by Roald Dahl.
Her Majesty the Queen, I suppose. And I was also thinking to another paper monarch, the less known "King Matt the First".
Plus, we have a David Sedaris-like character named Nelson that plays the book-elf for a while.
And yet now that I'm done with this novel, I have a bittersweet feeling for it.
While the first part of "The Uncommon Reader" is highly enjoyable and a little modern classic by itself, the second part doesn't have the same charm. I think it would have been important keeping the same quality in such a tiny novel.
Anyway, this book made my commuting mornings in Oxfordshire better.