263 pagesPublished by Totem Books
more details...ISBN: 1848310161 (ISBN13: 9781848310162)
Note: I received this book from Icon Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
If you are apprehensive about reading a work by Shakespeare fear no more as this work takes the reader through five acts of Shakespearian enlightenment. As Crystal says 95% of the words in Shakespeare are common throughout today’s language and that means just 5% of all the words in his plays have to be deciphered in their contextual tones. The book is full of interesting little tidbits and facts that draw the reader in making the whole experience more enjoyable and unfrightening.
Diving headlong into the challenging world of Shakespeare and making it read like a children’s book that is the skill possessed by Ben Crystal in his explanations of what Shakespeare really is. Crystal in a conversational manner is able to beat in the fact that Shakespeare was writing for the everyday people not as many think the elitists of the time and shedding the horrid perspective Shakespeare usually entails putting everything into context is what really matters. I loved how easy it was to understand where the author was coming from and what he was trying to convey. The book demonstrated all of the ease to Shakespeare that every high school student is dreading in English.
About the Author:
Crystal was born in Ascot, England, and grew up in Wokingham, and Holyhead, North Wales. He studied English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University between 1995 and 1998, before training as an actor between 1998 and 1999. After leaving drama school he studied methods from the theatre companies Complicite and Frantic Assembly, particularly under Annabel Arden and Monika Pagneux.
In 1999 he began to write Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary and Language Companion (Penguin 2002), with his father, David Crystal, and has been acting and writing for the last ten years, most notably in 2003 playing a guest lead in the BBC1 drama series Holby City, for which he became fluent in British Sign Language, and for the 2006 summer season at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.