My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - Dipped in and out from March
Pages - 282
Publisher - Summersdale
Blurb from Goodreads
A treasure-trove of wit, imagination and emotion, his plays and poems continue to surprise, inspire, console and delight us. Whether you're a life-long lover of the Bard or a curious newcomer to his world, this companion will lift the curtain on the unforgettable characters and stories of Britain's greatest dramatist.
This book on the inside is called A Companion, that is perfect for what this wee book is. Miller takes us on a journey through who Shakespeare was, an insight into his work with commentary and laced with some humour. Interviews with different people to how they fell in love with Shakespeare, his works, his influences and even a conspiracy theory. Finished off with some reading that influenced the work that went into the book and online resources which I will be checking out myself.
I have always wanted to read Shakespeare, we did one play in school, each person reading different parts and I loved it. Reading the plays in books though I always found a chore, the language and way it has been put down on the pages was tough going. So when I had the opportunity for reviewing this I jumped at it. A book that goes over the stories but in simplistic English and with Millers humour and own voice it was easy to loose yourself in.
Normally when I take a week or more to read a book it is because I am struggling with it, this is the opposite with this book. I enjoyed it so much and learned so much about both Shakespeare himself and his work I would often put the book aside to go and google and read more about the chapter/story I had just learned about. So many of the work was brand new to me and I had no idea how many adaptations, books and literature was out there about him and his creations. That is why it has taken so long to get to the end of the book I kept going off and reading more on what Miller had written.
The passion for her subject is abundantly clear pretty much from the get go and you can't help but be swept away with it yourself. From providing quotable lines, little Did You Know tables and bite sized info such as phrases coined by Shakespeare you could easily loose yourself in this book in one sitting. I had to go in and out as such much was new to me and I wanted to read up on more about that particular sonnet or poem as it was mostly fresh information. I started this book with trepidation there is nothing worse than agreeing to review a book and fearing you might get bored or lose interest. Unwarranted fear in this case, this book is now a keeper for me and certainly one I will go back to again and again. I am also going to buy a copy for my friend who loves Shakespeare and unlike me could read him in any presentation so she will love this, 5/5 for me this time. I would absolutely recommend this book, whether you are curious about the man himself or well versed in his works I think everyone can enjoy something from this read!