An easy listen. Well written. Informative. Wow!
A fictional book about a fictional play told by an author with a protagonist of the same name whose father gives him a lost?Shakespeare play that seems to be about him. A book that can be loved on many levels (like a Shakespeare play). and I loved it. Sorry when it ended.
Even the "performance" of the 'found' play at the end challenged by beliefs. Did I find it less Shakespearean because I knew Shakespeare didn't write it or because Arthur Phillips is no Shakespeare?
Is Shakespeare Shakespeare because of what and how he wrote or because we decided (and generations before us decided) that what and how he wrote was worthy of veneration? This is one of the questions that Arthur Philips poses. Read/listen for more.
...you will love this book. Shapiro looks at Shakespeare through a new lens and focuses his and our attention on his most creatively productive year. He helps us understand what shaped the man who wrote Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and Hamlet in one amazing burst of energy.
This is a fresh and refreshing look at both the four plays and the man and his times. I reccommend this listen for anyone who loves the Bard and/or anyone who loves these four plays. The 45 minutes of excerpts from these plays by the great actors is a nice bonus at the end.
Even though I found some of the author's reasoning a push, and, although some of his conclusions smack of wishful thinking (we would all like the world's greatest author to be the world's greatest dad), the information was useful and well presented. The book never lapses into acedemic rhetoric. Greenblatt doesn't hit you over the head with his vocabulary or assume that you are a scholar before you read this book. If you are interested in Shakespeare, you will be interested in this story. If the hero hadn't written Hamlet, no one would care if his wife was illiterate.
If you want to call a book eye opening, this is it. I can no longer "see" waitresses, maids, or the people at WalMart the way I did before the book. I want my kids to listen when they get to be around 15. Maybe they will understand just how lucky we are and the costs of leaving others behind. The insights are gripping. The listen is engrossing. And I am a better person for having heard this book.
I tried listening to this twice. Never could wrap my ears around it. My mind wandered. Easier to follow King Lear.
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