15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Shakespeare Secret: Number 1 in series (Kate Stanley) (Paperback)
Ah, plot twists: Get them right and everyone is dazzled by your awesome literary skills; get them wrong and it's a bit of a car crash. Well call the traffic police, someone - this book is a five vehicle pile-up.
Are you tempted by the cover? Intrigued by the premise? Into Shakespeare and looking forward to a fun read based on his plays? Forget it. No really. Please, for your own sanity, click to another page. This book is truly dreadful.
OK, so the idea seemed good - take the Da Vinci Code and run with it basically. I mean, it might not have been a literary classic but it was a cracking good read. I can see why the publisher's went for the Will Shakespeare version, it sounds great. So what went wrong?
1. The plot. It stinks. There are so many twists, turns and red herrings that I think even the author forgot where she was going.
2. The characters. Forget two-dimensional a la Dan Brown - these people struggle to keep up one dimension. For a start, most of them die within three pages of being mentioned. And those that do survive are manipulated to such a degree by the author that if we had been lucky enough to care about them in the first place we might feel sorry for them.
3. The plot. Did I forget to mention that whenever things get a bit tricky the author just writes in some money, a secret passage, a private jet or a fake passport?
4. The writing. I should have put the book down when I read the first description of the hero: '... a body so hard it might have been carved from marble, except that it was warm.' This is truly nauseating stuff. Not all the way through I grant you, but the worst guff is saved for the passages where the heroine is raving about Shakespeare. Even I found myself starting to gag - how on earth is someone going to feel if they were ambivalent about the Bard to begin with?
5. The plot. The heroine gets through increased airport security checks because she's DRESSED AS A BOY. C'mon. You've seen 'Shakespeare in Love'. It's a Shakespearian device that everyone knows would never work in real life. But hey, maybe I'm wrong. I wonder if Bin Laden could get through as Widow Twankey?
6. The ending. Hey, I don't want to give away too much but... wait, what am I saying? What could I possibly give away? There IS NO ENDING. Having dabbled with every theory she could get her hands on, the author completely loses her nerve in the closing pages and plumps for...........none of the above. This truly is a tale of sound and fury, signifying NOTHING.
I have never written such a negative review before, but I simply had to for two reasons. Firstly, my boyfriend begged me to write it all down so that that he wouldn't have to listen to me ranting about it any longer. And secondly, there are millions of great books out there and authors who deserve your encouragement and your money, but books like this don't deserve to have one more person tempted into buying them, not even at discount price with their peas and 4 pint semi.
Be nice to yourself. Check out the children's book section, there are more great books there than you would believe. But give this one a miss, it will drive you crazy.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Aug 2009, 16:41:52 BST
Marvellous review! Waste of money (and I got it in a charity shop).
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2010, 12:29:09 GMT
Excellent review. It was exactly what I wanted to say. I've given mine to a charity shop!
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