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review 2019-10-19 19:54
The Duchess of Malfi - John Webster
The Duchess of Malfi - John Webster

Having just brushed up my Shakespeare I was more-than-usually susceptible to a mention in another book: Sleeping Murder. Since the original publication date is more than 400 years ago, it is quite easy to find a free copy. Total instant gratification!

***

The saucy Duchess just popped again, as an epigraph in Silent in the Sanctuary, a book with quite a bit of Shakespeare as well.

***

Curiosity is satisfied, but I did not love it.

***

After pondering some more: it's all very one dimensional. At the very beginning we are introduced to all the bad guys. We are told and shown that they are bad guys. Bad guys put out a hit on their sister, her second husband, and their four children. For the money. And then the hitman decides to go after the bad guys for revenge. Lots of murder, sure, but no jokes, no reversals, no mystery, only one character ever changes course and no very satisfying motivation is ever given. Without good special effects, which you don't get in a script, there isn't anything else of interest. You'd have to really love going to the theater, or be a superfan of some actor, to be anything more than horribly disappointed after sitting though it. All that murder and yet, boring. The only interesting thing here is that this script didn't disappear.

personal copy

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review 2019-10-02 02:07
An Inspector Calls - J.B. Priestley
An Inspector Calls - J.B. Priestley

Forty years since my first reading. It's still a compelling and catchy story. I love the unsolved mystery of it, as well as the solved one. All of the details were lost to me, only the barest plot outlined remained, and yet, it was memorable.

 

 

Library copy

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review 2017-02-15 15:00
The Taming of the Shrew - William Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew - William Shakespeare

In high school Brad and I did a scene for the school, and then I read all the plays for my two Shakespeare classes at UNCG, and now I've reread it to keep Veronica company. As written there is only one amusing scene; takes some keen acting and directing to pull the rest of it off. Ten Things I Hate About You is universally preferred in our house.

personal copy

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review 2017-01-26 19:23
The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus From the Quarto of 1604 - Christopher Marlowe
The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus From the Quarto of 1604 - Christopher Marlowe,Alexander Dyce

I was bored. There wasn't any good reason for the devils to be doing anything for Faustus, and this business of signing up souls? What the hell is that? Assuming the soul is a real, discrete, item that can be separated from a body, why would you want one? And if serving the whims of humans gets you out of hell for a while, why wouldn't you devote yourself to your human with slavish devotion? Also what does Helen of Troy have to do with Alexander the Great?

Apparently I wasn't just bored, I was also unable to suspend disbelief for a nano second. Seriously, I was really looking for great stuff from Marlowe, particularly since so many conspiracy theorists seem to believe that Marlowe's death was faked or something, he was really Shakespeare, blah, blah, blah. One good line in the whole thing. Othello is equally puzzling, but it wasn't so boring. At least Iago was some sort of genius of revenge. You could probably convince me though that Marlowe was primarily a spy, and that "writing plays" was just his cover story.

Whatevs. Changing the subject from dull Elizabethans, some of you might have seen an earlier review in which I mentioned the mis-adventures of Calder Alexander Eno. Well, last week all the cats went to the vet for shots, and they took a closer look at his injury. To my horror as a cat person, his tail was not getting better (as I had thought) it was getting worse. They ended up having to remove the last three bones, in order to have enough skin to reseal him. Twenty-four hours after his surgery he was almost entirely recovered, forty-eight hours he was completely back to normal, thwapping humans with his new, shorter, and skinnier tail tip. I share this with you secure in the knowledge that I am not the only person who didn't know that the tip of a cat's tail was so vulnerable, and that losing skin there (seemingly from Scarlett Eno's teeth, she's horrible to him) even a tiny little bit (maybe 5mmx5mm) is potentially very bad. Tail injuries will always warrant vet visits for us in the future. This has been a PSA from Sir Calder NubNub, because  The More You Know logo

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review 2017-01-23 20:00
Hamilton: The Revolution - Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter
Hamilton: The Revolution - Jeremy McCarter,Lin-Manuel Miranda

 Rather the Annotated Hamilton, in form, with the libretto to one side of each page, and extensive sidenotes on the other, pointing out puns and allusions (so many of both). There are also lovely photos, and a lot of information about how the show came together, with cast and music and costuming and stage design and direction. And there's a lot, too about the art of playwriting, and what kind of song needs to go where, and what one needs to share with the audience when. Very cool, and not only to fans of the show.


Library copy

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