Mrs Queen Takes the Train
Author: William Kuhn;
Narrator: Simon Prebble;
Format: Audiobook (Dreamscape Media, LLC, 2012);
This is a silly romp through a fantasy world where Queen Elizabeth suffers from depression and decides on a whim to scamper off to Scotland alone to visit an old friend. Setting aside the ridiculous premise, it does touch the heart on many points, including the evolving values of a contemporary monarchy, class distinctions, friendship, love, and loss, aging, modern warfare, and even homosexuality (let’s jump on the bandwagon, for heaven’s sake).
The story is told in both real time and flashbacks and from various points of view, including the queen herself, several members of her household, and even an engaging local cheese-shop employee who tries to help; Rashid is definitely my favorite character.
As always, Simon Prebble’s narration is a treasure. His pacing and tones are perfect and his accents are great fun.
There are several laugh-out-loud incidences and the book obviously doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s good, because even depressed, the queen would poo-poo this bit of fluff.