Saturday, May 31, 2008


(Warning - non-halal post.)

What do you do if you feel that the results of a literary award are :
... a stitch-up ...
(the winner announced before the shortlist is out) and the author you really feel deserves to win a particular literary prize doesn't? How about running off with the prize and holding it randsome as a protest and so that the judges are forced to reconsider their choice?

And what if the prize includes a Gloucester Old Spot pig to be named after the winning novel?

What would P.G. Wodehouse himself have done? What would his hero Bertie Wooster have done? Julian Gough tells the story of a pignapping, and the whole event is caught on video too :

The book Gough wanted to win is a wonderful novella called The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett which I so thoroughly enjoyed, that it seems a good opportunity to slip in a mention.

It's the story of how the Queen, out walking her corgis one morning, comes across a strange little van parked in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. It turns out to be a mobile library, patronised by the members of her household staff. She goes in to apologise for the trouble caused by her dogs, but finds herself taking out a novel ... and after she returns it, another ... and then another. And pretty soon a total hopeless bookaddict is born.

The queen's public duties suffer as her passion for reading grows. Worse still, she finds herself asking difficult questions about her role as monarch.

(Read an extract from the novella.)


Glenda Larke said...

Only in Britain! That's marvellous.

animah said...

What I'd love is to hear Alan Bennet read The Uncommon Reader. There must be an audio one around.

bibliobibuli said...

glenda - i hope you're not implying that the british are eccentric??

animah - me too. and yes, there is.

Glenda Larke said...

Oh course I am, Sharon!