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Queen Camilla [Paperback]

Sue Townsend

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Book Description

Oct. 30 2007
What if being Royal was a crime? The UK has come over all republican. The Royal Family exiled to an Exclusion Zone with the other villains and spongers. And to cap it all, the Queen has threatened to abdicate. Yet Prince Charles is more interested in root vegetables than reigning ...unless his wife Camilla can be Queen in a newly restored monarchy. But when a scoundrel who claims to be the couple's secret lovechild offers to take the crown off their hands, the stage is set for a right Royal show down. And the question for Camilla (and rest of the country) will be: Queen of the vegetable patch or Queen of England?

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin UK (Oct. 30 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141024453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141024455
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


[Townsend's] political fantasies achieve satire's difficult double aim of being credibly realistic and preposterously funny Sunday Times A brilliantly satirical story - just the kind of book, one imagines, Camilla would keep in her loo Evening Standard One of our finest living comic writers The Times Brilliantly funny Closer Another fantastic read from Townsend OK! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Sue Townsend is one of Britain's bestselling authors. Her hugely successful novels include seven Adrian Mole books, The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman (Aged 55 ) and Number Ten. She is also a well known playwright. She lives in Leicester.

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Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, stood smoking a cheap cigarette on the back doorstep of Number Sixteen Hell Close. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious Riff on the Royals - and Their Subjects Feb. 27 2008
By Graceann Macleod - Published on Amazon.com
This quirky, biting satire begins with the Royal Family having been exiled to council housing in what is called an Exclusion Zone - a place where the slappers, the morbidly obese, the criminal and other undesirables are sent. The Queen cares for her ailing husband and despairs of her dysfunctional brood. The caricatures are vividly drawn here, and only Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles' long-suffering wife, Camilla, come off very well.

I found something hilarious on almost every page - Sue Townsend has a wicked wit and, though I am a recent transplant to these shores and thus have probably missed some cultural references, I was nonetheless entranced by the storyline, and the foibles Miss Townsend gave her characters. Charles dithers, Camilla consoles, Anne swears a lot, Andrew's gotten chubby and chases girls with wild abandon, William is earnest and Harry's a thug. Throw some unexpected characters into the mix (along with some great cameos from the likes of Stephen Fry and Jeremy Paxman) and you've got a page-turner. Not "great literature," but I couldn't care less - life is too short to read books that enrich without entertaining. There were some scenes that were movingly written, and one that had me crying uncontrollably - that Townsend can inspire such a range of emotion is very telling and a compliment to her literary skills.

Another, interesting, surprising aspect was the integral participation of the community's pet dogs, and the stunning plot twist that they pull off - dumb animals, indeed!

I only gave the book four stars instead of five because of some rather glaring editorial errors that leapt off the page at me and took me out of the story. A good proofreader/editor would have solved that problem and made this a five-star novel.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Satirical fun Nov. 2 2012
By LindyLouMac - Published on Amazon.com
For me the name Sue Townsend will always be synonymous with the Adrian Mole stories, they are what have most helped make her Britain's favourite comic author today. Queen Camilla is just as funny as its predecessor The Queen and I, if you are looking for a satirical and fun read this certainly is one.
It was back in the early nineties that The Queen and I was published and it took thirteen years for Sue Townsend to write and publish this sequel.

All those years ago when a Republican party won the General Election, their first act in power was to strip the royal family of their assets and titles, also banishing them to live on a housing state. Now in the sequel the UK is still a republican state and the Royal Family are living in an exclusion zone, wearing electronic tags that monitor their every move. It is indeed a weird world with Prince William working as a scaffolder, a royal love child and the government passing obscure laws. Two of which are the banishing of the use of step ladders and control of dog ownership. There is unrest in the republic and a slim chance that the royals may be reinstated, but the Queen has threatened to abdicate and Charles will not consider becoming King unless Camilla is at his side as Queen.
The one part I did not enjoy was the way the dogs spoke to each other, although of course the humans did not understand them. This aspect reminded me of The Last Family in England.

The satirical characterisations are much more important than the plot which is just as well as there isn't really one apart from the politicians plans to sort out the mess that the country has become.
It goes without saying then that if you are a fan of Adrian Mole you will enjoy Queen Camilla and its predecessor The Queen and I both of which were republished earlier this year to tie in with the Queens Jubilee.
5.0 out of 5 stars Queen Camilla Oct. 5 2013
By Clare O'Beara - Published on Amazon.com
I'm giving this tale five stars because I don't think anyone could have written it any better, but every time I read one of Sue Townsend's books I find myself saddened by the society she is reflecting. So while there are many comic and satirically amusing moments, I also find it tragic.

For instance, the Royal Family has been locked in a low-end-of-society Exclusion zone run as a private enterprise, for thirteen years. And during that time Prince Philip has had a stroke and now lies in a care home almost forgotten. The Queen goes to visit daily but the nurses are absent, not paid well enough to risk their backs lifting him to change the sheets, or too rushed and understaffed. So when the Queen and her family are confined to house arrest, Philip ends up with no care apart from a man in a wheelchair who can't get near enough to the bed to give him food. This isn't funny, it's a look at what is happening in some care home somewhere today.

You don't need to have read the previous book in which the royalty was dethroned, but it does come as something of a shock if you haven't, to see that William is cheerfully working on scaffolding and Harry is hanging out with hoodies and Anne has married someone with no breeding but a chin, while Charles and Camilla keep each other happy and grow turnips and talk to the dogs. A health and safety officer called Graham claims to be the product of a young love affair between Charles and Camilla, and the rules on succession having changed, he would now stand ahead of William in line to inherit, if there was a crown to inherit that is.

There is a Big Brother style surveillance situation and an all-pervasive computer called Vulcan which knows what you bought last and what music you like, but occasionally puts two million pounds in someone's bank account by mistake or sends death certs to all the pensioners. The Prime Minister decides to ban stepladders and dogs, which gets all the dogs, which we see talking to one another, very worried indeed.

As I say there is a lot that's funny, and I'm delighted that Townsend is able to write in this fashion without being jailed as in some other countries, but there is also a lot in this book that is very sad indeed.
2.0 out of 5 stars Queen Camilla Aug. 17 2012
By SunnyLorraine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not a well written as her previous title, "The Queen and I" Some of the characters that were in the first book did not match to their counterparts in this one. Disappointing.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Proof that Dogs really are the best people. April 1 2010
By Aussie Kindle Cat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
If you haven't already read "The Queen and I" by Sue Townsend, I do suggest you do so before reading Queen Camilla. It sets the tone for the dismantling of the monarchy, and is a five star, laugh out loud funny read for anyone with a British or indeed, any sense of humor.

Assuming the last page of "The Queen and I" has been removed, then Queen Camilla picks up approximately 13 years after the Royal Family has been deposited into a housing estate in Midlands England. Despite all their good breeding, effectively, the royals are now like everyone else on the estate, dealing with serious issues such as poverty and the appalling conditions associated with aged care.

The housing estate has evolved into an "Exclusion Zone" one of many designed to `keep in' the more undesirable elements of society which along with the criminals, include the poor, the uneducated, social misfits and the royal family.

Sue Townsend writes beautifully and has a wonderfully witty turn of phrase, but `Queen Camilla' is a sad, dark and thoroughly depressing book. Instances of domestic violence, animal abuse and neglect, the neglect and abhorrent conditions in aged care facilities, and society's mass idiocy and general herd behavior shines a harsh and somewhat disturbing light on the human race as a species.

Many of the wonderfully rich characters that accompanied `The Queen and I' are noticeably absent here. Instead, we have mostly cameo appearances by various royals, and the other main players in the tale are ignorant, psychotic, and generally extremely unlikeable.

As a writer, Sue Townsend is a five star talent. But don't let the cover of this book fool you. This is a story without hope. It is despair wrapped up in shiny glittery paper.

Even if I was to treat this book as a message of society's degeneration and not as I thought it would be which is a comedic follow up to "The Queen and I", then why two stars?

1. The Story was long, generally boring and really didn't go anywhere.

2. Despite the length of the book, the characters were mostly underdeveloped and unlikeable.

3. The interweaving story of dogs who can talk like humans was mostly redundant and uninteresting.

4. I did not enjoy the book at all. It left me flat.

I don't like to `not recommend' a book to people as reading enjoyment is subjective. But animal lovers and people looking and hoping to see the best in other people and the world in general should be prepared to be disappointed.

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