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Mrs Queen Takes the Train [Audio]
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Rating
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.
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About the Author

William Kuhn is a biographer, historian, and the author, most recently, of Reading Jackie, an account of the editorial life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. He has written three previous books: Democratic Royalism; Henry and Mary Ponsonby; and The Politics of Pleasure. Most recently Kuhn has been professor of history at Carthage College and he has held fellowships from the Social Science Research Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. READER BIO British-born Simon Prebble has played in everything from soaps to Shakespeare on stage and television, but it is as a veteran narrator of over four hundred audiobooks that he has made his mark since coming to the United States in 1990. Simon is one of AudioFile magazine's Golden Voices, has received over twenty Earphones Awards, five Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, and he has been a finalist fourteen times for an Audie Award. He was Publishers Weekly's 2006 Narrator of the Year, and Booklist's 2010 Voice of Choice.

Reviews

Earphones Award Winner. ""Simon Prebble gives an impeccable performance in this story about Queen Elizabeth's spontaneous and unescorted journey on a train, which throws the staff of the Royal Household into chaos... Prebble's pacing with the Queen's soft-spoken, intentional speech is spot-on, as are his flawless transitions from one character's accent to the next. His intentionally exaggerated American and Indian accents and his rendering of the subtle differences between various English accents make a charming story even more entertaining. A sweet treat for Anglophiles."" - AudioFile Magazine 3 out of 4 stars. .".".light comedy, romance, and royal sensibilities, mixed with subplots touching on aging, political correctness and respect for sexual preferences, make for a delightful escape. We can only hope there are more train rides in Her Majesty's future."" - USA Today ""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 .".".a witty, contemporary story of the Downton Abbey-esque tensions between servants and employers, the young and the old, and tradition and modernity."" - Glamour .".".a delightful read, a bit of fiction (the train journey) set into nonfiction (everything else), and a sly look at how the monarchy is changing along with - or maybe two beats behind - the rest of Britain."" - Star Tribune .".".a frivolously delightful fairy tale."" - Maclean's .".".Mrs. Queen Takes the Train is an easy read filled with speculation, information, and possible insight about a woman we think we know, but certainly do not - The Queen."" - The Examiner (UK) Earphones Award Winner. "Simon Prebble gives an impeccable performance in this story about Queen Elizabeth's spontaneous and unescorted journey on a train, which throws the staff of the Royal Household into chaos... Prebble's pacing with the Queen's soft-spoken, intentional speech is spot-on, as are his flawless transitions from one character's accent to the next. His intentionally exaggerated American and Indian accents and his rendering of the subtle differences between various English accents make a charming story even more entertaining. A sweet treat for Anglophiles." - AudioFile Magazine 3 out of 4 stars. ..".light comedy, romance, and royal sensibilities, mixed with subplots touching on aging, political correctness and respect for sexual preferences, make for a delightful escape. We can only hope there are more train rides in Her Majesty's future." - USA Today "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 ..".a witty, contemporary story of the Downton Abbey-esque tensions between servants and employers, the young and the old, and tradition and modernity." - Glamour ..".a delightful read, a bit of fiction (the train journey) set into nonfiction (everything else), and a sly look at how the monarchy is changing along with - or maybe two beats behind - the rest of Britain." - Star Tribune ..".a frivolously delightful fairy tale." - Maclean's ..".Mrs. Queen Takes the Train is an easy read filled with speculation, information, and possible insight about a woman we think we know, but certainly do not - The Queen." - The Examiner (UK) "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

What if, once upon a time, Queen Elizabeth II did a runner? That's the fantastic, unlikely premise of this debut novel by nonfiction author Kuhn (Reading Jackie). Beset by troubles with her computer, austerity budgets, and, let's face it, family problems, the monarch thinks of magical moments aboard the royal yacht Britannia, now decommissioned and a tourist attraction in Edinburgh. Outfitted with stout shoes, her ever-present handbag (the contents of which are revealed), and a blue hoodie borrowed from a palace employee, Elizabeth heads to Scotland. In an effort to protect her, a gaggle of six ladies-in-waiting, palace staff, and common folk help steer her adroitly but inconspicuously from the sidelines. No one outside the royal circle seems to recognize her, although there are a few murmurs about Helen Mirren. VERDICT Expertly timed to capitalize on the glow emanating from the Diamond Jubilee, the satire here is featherweight (Kuhn is no Sue Townsend) in this 60-gun salute to the establishment that perpetuates the institution of the monarchy, including, of course, the queen herself. Long may she wave.-Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In his first novel, historian Kuhn (Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books) attempts yet another imagining of the inner life of Queen Elizabeth II. Royalty is a lonely-if-privileged existence in the 21st century, and the queen has endured years of sordid scandals and stoic service. When she hears that the former royal yacht, Britannia, is moored in Scotland, she decides to visit, hoping to relive some happy memories. Disguised in a hoodie, she slips from the palace unnoticed. Upon discovering her gone, a motley crew of palace servants forms a search party. Included are the Queen's down-on-her-luck lady-in-waiting, Anne; a dedicated butler; an equerry just back from Iraq; a young mistress of the Mews; the queen's longtime dresser, Shirley; and a cheese shop clerk and sometime paparazzo. All are hoping to coax the monarch to return before the tabloids, or MI5, get wind of the adventure. Kuhn explores not only the queen's inner life, but the Downtown Abbey style-tensions between servants and royals, the old guard and the new. The servants are the real stars here, distinguishing this from other Elizabethan imaginings. Royal watchers and students of class alike will enjoy this smart, if familiar, tale. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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