The King’s Speech

July 30, 2013 Biography, non-fiction 7

9755737Title: The King’s Speech
Editor: Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Fun Fact: Stammering was referenced three times in the book of Isaiah and the Egyptians had a hieroglyph for it.
Review Summary: The amazing use of primary sources made this a moving story and a fascinating historical account.

As the Duke of York a stammer was difficult to live with so a speech therapist was essential. However, many were consulted without results until Lionel Logue, who attributed his progress to the Duke’s hard work and the rapport they established. In fact, the two became not only patient and therapist, but friends. This friendship lasted when the Duke’s older brother unexpectedly abdicated and he became King George VI. Logue’s help was invaluable in allowing the King to perform his duties and both men treasured their friendship throughout their lives.

Although the movie version of this story made the King’s seemingly small difficulty moving and dramatic, I was worried the book wouldn’t be able to do the same. Logue’s life was fairly ordinary except for his time with the king and a stammer seems like a very mundane problem. Fortunately, the book proved me wrong. The first hand accounts of Logue’s regard for the king’s friendship and the king’s gratitude gave the story the emotional punch it needed. It also turned out that many of the best lines from the movie were the real ones and so were included in the book.

The extra details of Logue’s life were also better than I anticipated. Although Logue is primarily remembered for his work with the king, the rest of his life made for interesting reading. Alive during WWI and WWII, Lionel Logue witnessed some fascinating historical moments and I enjoyed learning about these events through Logue’s first hand accounts. In terms of both historical interest and emotional impact, the use of primary sources made this book a great read.

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7 Responses to “The King’s Speech”

  1. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    I saw the movie but haven’t read the book. I didn’t even know that there WAS a book! I hate when I do that, lol.

    • DoingDewey

      Usually, I would feel the exact same way, since I almost always prefer to read the book first. In this case, I might actually recommend seeing the movie first, since it gave me some idea of what the King’s difficulties and his really good speeches sounds like. There are definitely worse books to see as a movie first 🙂

  2. Aylee (@AyleeArgh)

    Nice, this sounds great! I haven’t actually seen the movie yet, but that’s good because I try to read the book first when I can. I’ve been really fascinated with this time period lately so I know I would be really interested in this one, as well.

    • DoingDewey

      I really enjoyed it! I also think seeing the movie first wouldn’t be so bad in this case, since it did make it so I knew what the King sounded like as I was reading the book. At the same time, given the choice, I would always choose to read the book first too so I definitely understand putting off seeing the movie 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Oh, I bet! This seems like the perfect book to listen to. Having just read and watched it, I’ll probably put off listening for a while, but I’ll be keeping it in mind for next time I’m having trouble finding an audiobook 🙂