Book Review: Richard III

backtotheclassics2015BUTTONI’ve been really struggling with this challenge this year… 8 weeks in, and I’m still only a quarter of the way through the first book I started, so I thought I’d take a break from it and try Shakespeare’s Richard III instead. After all, a play only takes three hours to perform, it should only take a few hours to read, right? Turns out, no.

Usually I love Shakespeare. I love the comedies, I love the tragedies. I even liked Henry V (the only other one of his histories I’ve read). Richard III disappointed me.

I chose Richard III for the ‘classic play’ category for several reasons. There’s been a lot of public interest in the life of King Richard III since his corpse was recently re-discovered. Some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines come from Richard III. Then of course, there’s one of my all-time favourite songs from Horrible Histories.

(From Horrible Histories – BBC)

Honestly… you’d think if Shakespeare really was making all of it up, it would be a little more interesting. It seemed to me that the whole thing was politics, politics and more politics – and every once in a while someone would come on and announce that another character’s death had occurred offstage.

Please don’t misunderstand me… I am well aware that Shakespeare is a genius, and I really do love some of his plays, but as anyone who’s read my review of The Man in the Iron Mask will know – too much politics in a story turns me right off…

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Categories: Books | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Richard III

  1. Karen K.

    I agree, too much politics in a book just seems like a slog. I’m intrigued by King Richard III because of the discovery, and also because I just read (well, listened to) Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, a great mystery in which a detective who’s laid up after an injury is bored to death and starts poking into the history of whether Richard III actually had those two princes murdered. It’s such an interesting story.
    After reading your review, I may skip the Shakespearean version, however. But thanks for linking your review to the Back to the Classics Challenge!

    • I’m sure it’s probably much better when it’s perfomed, but reading it through (especially when half the characters have similar names so you’re never quite sure who is who) is a real struggle…

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