Review: Thinking Shakespeare

by Barry Edelstein

I picked up this book one day at a bookstore while browsing the Shakespeare section, like I do, and took a quick look inside. Knowing nothing about it, I saw that it was over 400 pages long, cost only about $8 and was written by a man who had been directing Shakespeare for over 20 years in some fairly well known places. “The guy must know something!” thought I. A few minutes later I was walking out the door with my new book and receipt in hand.

Let me tell you… this guy knows more than just something. Barry Edelstein takes you on an easy-to-read journey though Shakespeare’s text, illustrating in detail how to make sense of the language and how to speak, use, play, act, and love it. This is a fairly complete guide, and there so much that it has to offer. This is a book I’ll be reading and referencing often.

It might not be the best Acting Shakespeare book ever written (though it is high on my list of good ones), but it’s the best value I’ve found which is why I will give it a 5 out of 5 rating. So much information, GOOD information at that, and you don’t have to pay the $20+ that is common of this type of book – which is ever so important to the average student. It’s not available through Amazon, but the link is there anyway. I’m sure you’ll be able to find it in a bookstore near you. Happy reading!

Thinking Shakespeare: A How-to Guide for Student Actors, Directors, and Anyone Else Who Wants to Feel More Comfortable With the Bard