Monday 24 September 2012

Review ~ Shakespeare on Toast by Ben Crystal

My thanks to NetGalley and Icon Books for an early reading ecopy of this book.

Shakespeare on Toast
Published 11 September Icon Books

My Thoughts

All too often people are put off reading Shakespeare for pleasure, because they think it is too difficult, too stuffy and too downright boring. What this book aims to do is demystify the bard by presenting snippets of Shakespearean anecdotes in easy to read chunks. From great actors, like Sir John Gielgud, who made Shakespearean interpretation all their own, to Shakespeare’s introduction of over 1700 words into the English language, even to Elvis’s Presley’s use of Shakespeare in “Are you lonesome tonight?” – Shakespeare’s literary contribution to the world as we know it today is boundless.

I really enjoyed this book, it contains answers to all those questions about Shakespeare you never knew you needed answers for, and presents the facts in a relaxed and easy to manage style. It even touches on the great debate as to whether Shakespeare actually wrote his own plays, or whether they were in fact written by someone else, I’ll let you make your own mind up on that question.

Overall, this book is a delightfully informative look at the mystery that still surrounds the life of William Shakespeare, but the undoubted truth is that his literary legacy still lives on.

I only wish I’d had it to browse through when I was struggling to learn chunks of Richard III for my English A ‘Level.


  1. I always struggled reading Shakespeare at school too - I always put it down to the fact that they are plays and meant to be watched on stage rather than read and analysed! I bet this is really interesting though, there are so many mysteries and crazy stories about his life.

    1. Hi Marie - I agree that it's easier to watch Shakespeare - I've seen some wonderful productions at the RSC - but this book was so easy to read I almost want to pick up a play..but maybe not Richard III ;)

  2. Hi Pam - Thanks for stopping by to visit us - I love Shakespeare too - my favourite is Anthony and Cleopatra..


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