Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review: Becoming Shakespeare by Jack Lynch


I love shopping at the Chapters on Wellington Road in London.  They usually have some very interesting books in their sale bin and I'm very happy to buy them.

The day I purchased this book was especially memorable because I was given a free latte from Starbucks.  Hey, that is excitement in my world.

Anyway, to the book.  I purchased this book for my grandson who is a big fan of The Bard.  But of course I had to read it first.  The first half of the book was very interesting.  About half way through it started to drag.  I never did read it to the end.  There are too many other great books sitting on my desk begging to be read.

Becoming Shakespeare is a study of how a nearly unknown poet became the world's foremost literary genius.

The author begins Shakespeare's autobiography after the writer's death.  It seems Shakespeare was almost unknown during his life and very little information exists about his life or death.  We know when he died and where he is buried and that is all.

When the English theatres were shut down in 1642 Shakespeare was forgotten.  But when the theatres were reopened in 1660 there were no new plays to perform and Shakespeare's works were performed.  This part of the book was very interesting.

The mini-biographies of some of the more famous actors who performed his works was very interesting as well.  Especially the sharing of some of their scandals.

But after that the author begins telling of the different people who rewrote, edited or plagarized Shakespeare's plays.  And that started out very interesting but after a while it was just plain boring. When it seemed that this section of the book was going to go on forever, I decided just to close it and move on.

So interesting start gets bogged down by too much detail.  I don't hate the book, just couldn't finish it.  Passing it off to my grandson now who I know will enjoy it much more than I did.