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I expected so much more.
on 18 January 2015
This is not particularly a bad book, it's just... Not very good. I can't even be facetious and say it's sound and fury signifying nothing, because that would imply there's some sound and fury, some passion, in this book, and there really doesn't seem to be much. For a man who's directed Shakespeare's plays and presumably knows them well, this collection of essays comes across as peculiarly lightweight. To be honest, if I'd read this without any awareness of the author and had then been told he was an amateur director and Shakespeare enthusiast, I would have believed it, and might well still have been disappointed.
Overall it is probably enjoyable enough if you want one man's ruminations on Shakespeare, but insightful? Brilliant? No, I just can't agree.
I have to agree with a previous reviewer that the essay on "Was Shakespeare really Shakespeare?" was.. lacking. And I speak as one who sees no reason to believe that Shakespeare didn't write the plays attributed to him. Basically, the conclusion is something along the lines of "well, he was a genius, right?" Gee, I never could have come to that conclusion without such insight from a director... Brook may well be the genius he's described as, but if he is, I couldn't tell from this book.
A great disappointment.