The World as Stage

Audiobook CD - 2007
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William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the man himself.Bryson documents the efforts of earlier scholars, from academics to eccentrics. Emulating the style of his famous travelogues, Bryson records episodes in his research, including a visit to a bunker-like basement room in Washington, D.C., where the world's largest collection of First Folios is housed.Bryson celebrates Shakespeare as a writer of unimaginable talent and enormous inventiveness, a coiner of phrases ("vanish into thin air," "foregone conclusion," "one fell swoop") that even today have common currency. His Shakespeare is like no one else's-the beneficiary of Bryson's genial nature, his engaging skepticism, and a gift for storytelling unrivaled in our time.
Publisher: New York : HarperAudio, 2007
ISBN: 9780061363511
Branch Call Number: NFBCD 822.33 Bry 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 5 sound discs (6 hr.) :,digital ;,12 cm., in container
Alternative Title: World as stage [book on cd]


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0Charlie Dec 11, 2017

I enjoyed listening to the author read his own work. This provided a good overview of Shakespeare - life and times. Using a variety of sources, and talking with assorted experts, Bryson presents the listener with the reality of how much we don't know about such a famous historical figure. At 5 discs, it was very easy to get through the entire work (I actually listened to it twice to catch some of the details). Highly recommended as a good introduction to Shakespeare.

Sep 26, 2016

As the author states, "This book is short because the facts about William Shakespeare are few." Bryson attempts to find out the truth about Shakespeare's life and finds very little evidence. The Bard's work didn't become prominent until 400 years after his death which left plenty of time for any evidence to be long gone. The author also describes how our modern day "knowledge" is often based on one or two details of a painting or a few lines from a poem. Bryson asserts that Shakespeare was one person. As he points outs, Francis Bacon wouldn't have the time to write in Shakespeare's voice with all his other activities. Some of the most interesting material is his description of earlier Shakespeare "scholars". A worthy addition to the vast numbers of tomes written on Shakespeare.

Jan 24, 2016

Superb biography with just the right amount of detail.

Jun 04, 2015

IMO. A BB fan & it's well done in research I'd never have known or probably been interested in. Bryson keeps me interested in his writing.

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