book review, fiction

Will Shakespeare Die? By Gordon James

There is more things in heaven and earth, dear reader, than are dreamt of in a play writes imagination.

It seems simple enough. Kit’s writing a play about Shakespeare’s life, Roz is directing it, Thom is starring. Back in Tudor times, the bard wonders about his legacy carrying on into the future.

But nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Dark magic, time travel, and lots of manipulation abound in this clever novel about Shakespeare and his work.

There are so many layers to this novel that it makes it very difficult to review without spoilers or writing an essay.

There is the surface layer of The Play, with all the dark humor and drama that involves around theatre types putting together a production. Think lots of lies, intrigue and sex.

Then there is the Shakespeare plot line, which may or may not concern the real William Shakespeare, his concerns about this literary and biological legacy, and his dabbling in the occult. Keeping true to the language and mores of the time, these episodes were my favorite in the book.

Finally there are the allusions to Shakespeare’s works, which are so numerous and clever, I felt I should take notes to make sure I didn’t miss any of them.

However, it was in the marriage of all these strands that I felt there was something lacking. While I had more than one intellectual chuckle at the cleverness of it all, and there were elements I applauded for their dedication to the source material, I found the prose and characters kept me at a distance. It was a novel to admire from the outside, while never quite drawing me in to live from within.

I award Will Shakespeare Die?

Will Shakespeare Die? is available for £11.99 print book on Lulu.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

14 thoughts on “Will Shakespeare Die? By Gordon James”

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