Top critical review
4 of 10 people found this helpful
Not the most illuminating book
on 8 March 2008
I bought this book because I am studying Shakespearean Tragedy and wanted to get a handle on the bigger picture. Adrian Poole seems very knowledgeable about his subject, but I think that this format doesn't do his work justice, which is frustrating for me at least.
I get the impression that this book is a compression of a much larger work. This suffers because in my opinion it is rather bitty and unformed. The chapters are a little woolly and don't really seem to have much structure to them in terms of narrative. I was really frustrated because what he writes is comprehensible and indeed sensible, but it is very fragmented. There are lots of lists, lots of allusions, lots of inferences, but not much meat on the bones. What I wanted was for Poole to set the agenda and then take me on a journey from A to B. To be fair to the man he did set the agenda, but it remained fragmented and incoherent for much of the time.
I ended the book with a lot of vague ideas about tragedy, but not much more to say about it than when I set off. I understand that these books are introductions to whet the appetite for further study. I have read many of these OUP series and found them extremely helpful on numerous occasions, leading me to further study in a coherent and structured way. This didn't work that way and I felt that I would have been better served just reading whatever work this was compressed from. It was a real shame.