An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn - author of Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books - Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. Reminiscent of Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader, this lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain's Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town - and leading us behind the Buckingham Palace walls and into the upstairs/downstairs spaces of England's monarchy.
©2012 William Kuhn (P)2012 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Royal watchers and students of class alike will enjoy this smart, if familiar, tale." (Publishers Weekly)
"Kuhn does a convincing job of inhabiting the heads of his characters, crowned or not. ... An affectionate, sympathetic but also unstinting look at the woman inside the sovereign." (Kirkus Reviews)
This was just spectacularly amusing, well written, well read, with an unexpected depth and wealth of characters and story lines. I have no idea why I bought this, but it was my lucky day. The apparent story -- the queen of England decides to "run away" and experience one ordinary normal excursion - is only the thread that holds together the stories of several persons all associated with the palace staff in one way or another. The narrator manages to render all of them compellingly, and even the silly-seeming plot is told in a charming way. I can't think of anyone who would not enjoy this story.
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
This little book has been languishing in my audio shelf for some time. I'm not sure how I came across it, but I know I bought it on sale. Then I treated it as if I bought it on sale. So it just sat there.
Glad I finally listened to it. I love Brit Lit, I always have. This book speaks to the Queen about ten years after Diana's death, not too long after the death of the Queen's mother and sister, and after the royal jubilee. The Queen is depressed and goes on a little jaunt.
Fully imagined with the household characters (searching for her) as well as some great characters on the train, this is a fun little romp, until - boom - something happens that makes the book very meaningful in the now. It took me by surprise. Loved it and glad I read it right here right now. Read it and wait for it and see if you don't feel the same.
Hi all. I'm in my 50's (that's relevant, i think), and I favor fiction. I like the british sensibility, and was introduced to the Forsyte Saga through audible ... loved it! I happen to also like Chinese writers, but they are not well represented yet at audible. Looking to follow readers with similar tastes ...
this book was so sweet. if you appreciate understated british humor and, well, shyness in a way, you will enjoy this book.
A very fun story that gives a different insight to what it might be like to be royal and having your every move watched. The Queen was more like a grandmother than a monarch, making her that much more real. A cute listen that will bring along some smiles.
This is a sweet story centered around the Queen of England and the issues that swirl around her. The story is a fanciful journey into what might be the background stories behind the real people that are the royal family and the people that serve them. Pretty predicatable, but will put a smile on your face.
Fine art photographer, retired English professor, dog mom to an adorable Maltese mix, long-time Californian, genealogist, what else?
I really enjoyed this book. It's a little fantasy about what might happen if QEII were to slip her bonds and head out into the world. It's charming and fun. Try it.
Good blend of recent events and completely made up story about the Queen. Though it is illogical to feel this way, after listening I feel both admiration and empathy for her. I wonder if she ever is able to forget her role and just be a person.
While slightly predictable, this offbeat and charming story unfolded gently, focusing on the characters' stories. It reminded me quite a bit of the way Jane Austen treated her characters, with a kind ribbing towards their foibles and failings, yet never ridiculing them. The narration was superb - perfectly calibrated to give the story its full weight.
In the middle.
When the Queen does "normal" activities that are unexpected of a queen, like cooking, washing dishes etc.
The Queen. Who doesn't want to have dinner with the royals?
It was a cute story and was entertaining.
So many books, so little time
Simon Prebble's narration takes a good yarn and makes it moving and memorable. He handles the various accents so as to make the characters come to life as individuals.
I suppose this couldn't really happen but while listening to the story, I believed that it could.
I will never think of Queen Elizabeth again without thinking of her as she appeared (fictionally, of course) in this story.
Lady Anne remains most vivid in my imagination. I really liked how she and Shirley, the Queen's dresser, made common cause to keep the Queen from coming to harm.
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