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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.
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on 18 June 2016
This is a wonderful book written by one of the best theatre directors in the last 50 years. Brook's and comments on Shakespeare, gleaned from his many years of experience, are absolutely spot on and devoid of any mystification. A very clear and simple style of writing which makes this book a delight to read. Any fan of Shakespeare should read this little book - it certainly makes one see his writings in a very different way. I particularly liked the way that Brook completely debunks theories about Shakes[peare not having written his plays in the first chapter. And also how he has singled out the main themes that run throughout the Works.
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on 30 August 2016
One of the most thoughtful and informative books on acting I have read.
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on 13 January 2017
Brook is a magician whose clarity and depth of thought penetrates the work of Shakespeare and the playwright himself.
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on 23 February 2015
Superb.Says more in 100 pages than many larger tomes.
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on 21 June 2014
as always from Brook a deeply insightful and profound musings, free from academic intellectualism or any tedious literary analysis. nails the many 'it was Shakespeare who wrote them' nonsenses with humorous aplomb.
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on 13 September 2013
very good conditions, very good quality publication, quick delivery, great book. Brook's language is like poetry: simple and very deep
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on 15 June 2013
For those who love Shakespeare and believe in the vital force underpinning his works, this is an essential book... the connection between the text and the stage and the life between the lines is utterly moving and illuminating...
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on 20 May 2013
How could one of our greatest theate directors put his thout about Shakesdpeare onto paper and be less than brilliant? Incisive, relveatory; a joy to read and own.
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on 5 September 2014
Insightful and intelligent as usual from Peter Brook. He skewers the Oxfordians quite well, although one felt he could hardly raise the energy to do it, so bored is he with them. I always enjoy his books. He remains outside the mainstream with his opinions, is unpretentious and original. And clear. A bit expensive for 160 well-spaced pages, but if it helps finance more projects from him, so much the better.
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