Friday, June 1, 2012

The Secret Life of William Shakespeare by Jude Morgan

1 Star

The greatest writer of them all, brought to glorious life.

How well do you know the man you love? How much do you think you know about Shakespeare? What if they were one and the same? He is an ordinary man: unwilling craftsman, ambitious actor, resentful son, almost good-enough husband. And he is also a genius. The story of how a glove-maker from Warwickshire became the greatest writer of them all is vaguely known to most of us, but it would take an exceptional modern novelist to bring him to life.

Kathryn - 1 Star

The title of this novel really spiked my interest and I was expecting intrigue and suspense and even some little tidbit about Shakespeare that the author had discovered hidden in a churchyard in England somewhere, but unfortunately I was completely disappointed.

I read the entire book hoping that something was about to happen on the next page and it took me ages to read it so it was a few weeks (!) of wasted anticipation.

The author I believe was trying to imply a few things with this story line- perhaps that Shakespeare had had a lover in London, perhaps that he was interested in men as well as women and perhaps that the fact that he didn’t get along very well with his father made him pursue acting and writing in the first place.  None of this was particularly interesting or even news to me and I found myself re-reading paragraphs trying to find more than a hint of something else but to no avail.  I found it equally frustrating that there were very few references to his works and there could have been some mention of them during the novel to give us a sense of timing in his life.

The only redeeming fact for me was that the character of Anne Hathaway was quite well established and their relationship was well planned out and weaved nicely throughout the novel.  

If you’re really really interested in Shakespeare then perhaps you’ll find a little known fact I missed but on the whole I wish I could give this novel a better review but I just couldn’t find anything to hang on to and I don’t think I’ve ever fallen asleep reading so easily.

Thank you to Headline for our review copy!

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