8/15/08 This delightful novel has two Shakespeares narrating: UC Santa Cruz grad student Willie Shakespeare Greenberg in 1982 who is attempting to do everything but write his Master's Thesis on the Bard. And-- 18 year old William Shakespeare of Stratford- upon- Avon in 1582 who is stuck teaching Latin and trying to avoid those who would hurt him for being a secret Catholic. Greenberg gets the odd chapters and Shakespeare the even, until their lives come together.
''You perform here, amongst this company, with seeming passion.'
'Seeming is our trade. And there's profit in it, too. There is an insatiable hunger in England for theater. In London especially. A man may make a pretty penny on the stage, if he will but commit to London nine months a year.' (Shakespeare & Burbage)
'Shakespeare' helped create the modern man, didn't he, his influence is that pervasive. He held the mirror up to nature, but he also created that mirror: so the image he created is the very one we hold ourselves up to. It's almost like a time- travel paradox, isn't it?' (Greenberg's professor)
A thoroughly fun, fun, fun book, that had me laughing out loud and anxious to know if the characters would be okay.
Not for the faint of heart or mind -- this book is a treat -- fictional history (historical fiction?) This book is for you if you have any background at all in English literature, the theater, history, Renaissance Faires, geekery, or even just the process of getting a Master's Degree. Some of the material gets quite ribald -- QUITE ribald. There are many references to drugs/getting high, infidelity, teenage pregnancy and abortion, politics, religion. I suppose this wouldn't make for good conversation at a dinner party, unless you've got pretty hip friends. I love how Mr. Winfield flips back and forth from the 1500's to the 1900's -- he draws a lot of interesting parallels between the world of William Shakespeare and Willie Shakespeare. I personally enjoyed every page of the book -- great fun, very clever, and some of the puns were laugh-out-loud hilarious.