“James Boyle $2.99 *** Stanley Quandary, literary professor days from tenure at his small college, begins to have unusual dreams, quick little scenes which he recognizes as snippets of Elizabethan life. As the dreams continue and he analyzes them, he begins to realize they are scenes directly related to the question, Did Shakespeare really write those plays? Also as the dreams continue, ole Stanley begins to collapse mentally.
The first 70% or so of this novel is brilliant. If the final 30% had measured up I'd have given 5 stars. But I found the final 30% to be really disappointing. See what you think.
I don't usually review books I don't like (after all, the author put in the time and effort - the blood, sweat, and tears - to write the thing - at least respect that, is the way I look at it). This book posed a dilemma - I'm solving it by only reviewing the first 70%.
So anyway, was it Shakespeare or not? The intriguing point Boyle makes in this novel (while brilliantly lampooning academia and pop culture in general) is no, Shakespeare didn't. And he shows who did.
I know almost nothing about the ongoing dispute over who really wrote the plays, but Boles' argument seems pretty persuasive. Also he answers the two questions I've always wondered about the controversy - if S didn't write them, why was he given the credit? and why wasn't the real author ever outed by contemporaries or heirs?