Sunday, April 3, 2011

The King's Speech

The Book: The King's Speech (How One Man Saved The British Monarchy)

The Writer(s): Mark Logue, Peter Conradi

The Dealio: Inspired, no doubt, by the incoming news that his grandfather's story was to be fashioned into a movie, Mark Logue decided to write- with some help- the background of the story: what led up to the momentous instant when the King, released from the prison of his speech impediment- reached out to his people and spoke without flinching.If The movie TKS was about the British monarch rising above adversity, certainly this telling of the story take a more 'Wizard-of-Ozian' behind-the-curtain view of the relationship between two men of vastly different backgrounds, of hugely disparate personalities and fates, and looks at the events that forged a friendship between 'Logue' and 'Bertie'. [this review is based upon an audio book which begins with the actual broadcast heralding the start of World War II]

The Grading Session: 4.891 pengies out of 5. The merest whisper of pengies were deducted for the hyperbole in the title-I am sure the monarchy would have managed to survive the king's speech difficulties, but it would have been tougher. There is also a bit of repetition, which can be wearing. However, as a whole, I was especially fascinated by the behind-the-scenes glimpse at the mechanics of broadcasting, at the machinations leading up to the abdication of Edward, and the observations of the families- royal and un- about the major personalities of the day. I truly gained great insight- and empathy for- the huge personalities revealed in the telling of a tale everyone thinks they know off by heart. What was stunning to me was the thought that these two men had been working together for almost a dozen years before the need for the king to give the speech around which the movie was based. And, too, that the friendship and admiration-two-sided- thrived for the remainder of each man's life. This was a gentle, humorous and heart-warming story that made the King more human and Everyman, and Logue more noble and generous.

Lessons Learned: Sometimes, modern medicine and sciences don't know it all, and definitely don't know best (example: the king was encouraged to smoke by his doctors who strongly felt it relaxed his vocal cords). And: even a king, ruling in chaotic times, has the time to put pen to paper. Why don't I? Lastly: if you can find it in your heart to make a grand gesture of great charity, you should definitely do this; it may not be a big deal to you, but it can literally mean everything to the recipient.

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