Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Review: The Kings Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi


After seeing the movie The Kings Speech, I was very interested to find out more about King George VI.  I came across this book on Amazon  and was excited to see it was a biography on not only the king but of his speech therapist Lionel Logue.

The book was a great read.  It was well paced with a very good balance of anecdotes and history.  Enhanced with sections of pictures (which is my favourtie part of reading historical biographies) Logue's grandson searched through Logue's personal diaries and archives, pulling together a book that gives great insight in to the lives of both the king and his long time friend and therapist.  Both lives are followed chronologically, starting with the birth and childhood of each and going through with a good amount of detail to the end of Logue's life.  Excerpts from letter's written to the king by Logue and vice versa give the whole book a very personal feel and light and easy reading.

I really liked the fact that at no time did I want to "fast forward" through bits.  Often when reading biographies I find the authors tend to put in too much detail and it becomes some what repetitive and cumbersome.  I often skim read those bits to get back on track with the story.  This book is short and sweet and very direct.  It moves well between the lives of the two men, intertwining the story when their lives touched each other, and efficiently filling in the details of their lives when they were apart.

In the acknowledgments, Mark Logue touches on the fact that the book was written during the time span of a year and that it was quite rushed.  It was sometimes noticeable in the writing that it was pulled together quickly, and from time to time there were inconsistencies, but nothing that ruins the story or flow of the book.

Overall, an excellent read.


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