affascinante: ([books] lots of them)
[personal profile] affascinante
Somehow, it has been decided that this journal will contain my non-fangirly stuff. I'm supposed to use a Wordpress blog for all my non-fandom crap, but since I have an account here, why not use the journal? I don't like leaving my journals empty, I guess?

As a celebratory and proper first post, I leave a book entry. :)

I've been looking for Jennifer Lee Carrell's Interred with Their Bones ever since I read a review of it in goodreads. Unfortunately, it wasn't available in the Philippines back then (January 2008). When I realized that it was finally released here, it was 2009 and the book has a different title, The Shakespeare Secret. The book was renamed for British release and we got that title. (I think Interred With Their Bones is a good title, I wonder why they changed it.)

Anyway, The Shakespeare Secret revolves around Kate Stanley, a Shakespeare scholar who turned to theater directing. During one of her rehearsals for her play, Hamlet, she is visited by her old mentor, Rosalind Howard, who gave her a gift and a plea for help. Kate hesitated, and before they could talk about the gift and the message, Roz is murdered in the Globe Theater and the theater itself was burned. Kate is left with a clue to something she didn't even know and a road that leads to danger.

As she tries to unlock more clues in her trail filled with Shakespearean riddles, Kate travels from UK to USA to find out about Shakespeare, his life, the identity of the writers of his plays and his lost plays. She meets people, both allies and enemies, plays games with death and danger, and slowly unlocks the mysteries surrounding Roz's death and well, Shakespeare.

I love mysteries. I love Shakespeare. I'm a little underexposed when it comes to Shakespearean plays, but I've always wanted to be BFFs with him and his works. Which why when I saw this book, I bought it, ripped the plastic wrapping, covered it and read it immediately.

A lot of people has compared this book to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, which is a bit of a letdown for me since...well, we all know Dan Brown and his errors. Reading the book, though, gave me an impression, too, that it is comparable to Brown's works in terms of the plot: someone dies, someone was left with a clue, enter a trail of clues that lead to something, cue danger here, insert people you should trust but not really here, etc. Maybe I have yet to read amazingly different historical thrillers, but Carrell, Brown and even Steve Berry really have one plot line in mind.


This book's difference with Da Vinci Code is the author's knowledge of the subject. The waves of information in this book is both awesome and mortifying, awesome because as a non-Shakesperean scholar/geek, I am amazed to learn of such things about his work/life, whether those are facts or gossips; mortifying because there's just so much information that I had to go back a few pages/chapters to make sure I'm understanding things as I should. The main character is a Shakespeare expert and there are standstills in the novel where she had to explain things to her companion or think back to her lessons. I'm just glad the "lectures" weren't that long and can be digested easily even if the reader is not a Shakespeare fan.

Despite the rather "corny" theme, I'm glad that the novel uses Shakesperean symbolism (in the murder, in the messages and clues) and some characters tend to discuss Shakespeare's works or quote from them. I don't know, this might sound cheesy or overly done in some novels, but I think Carrell did her symbolism in a classy manner. The use of quotes and symbols is inviting, too. It makes me want to read Shakespeare and see if this and that is really in his certain work.


Despite the fact that the novel was well-researched and the language used is understandable yet profound, the plot line is still stiff as a cardboard, basically because of the main character. She's two-dimensional in a sense. Her mentor was murdered and she wanted to get to the truth, but then more people are killed, books are stolen and libraries are destroyed but she doesn't seem to care o.o. No hesitation from her path whatsoever. She herself was in danger but she found no difficulty in trusting people: scholars, friends and strangers alike. I mean, people would be more wary and trust the police more, right? Instead, she turns to strangers and tries to escape the police. I don't know how her attitude will conclude the novel, but it doesn't seem too good to me ^^;.

Somewhere at the middle, too, the plot becomes confusing. There's just too many things and people involved. There are too many discussions. At first, it's about Shakespeare's lost plays, then suddenly, the identity of Shakespeare's plays' writer is questioned. TMI? It could be because of the repetitive events or the long-winded talks when they're in danger, or the influx of names and information, I don't really know. I just know that sometimes, I had the urge to put the book down, take a breath and try to remember where the hell the plot should be and if what they're talking about have been talked about before in the novel.


I didn't like how Kate trusted her "bodyguard" so earnestly, even when warned. Actually, she's just too trusting. And she has a one-track mind.

I didn't like how the "killer" has to make unsheathing sword sounds just to scare Kate o.o. WHY? IDK, really.


7/10. The cardboard plot was coated well with Shakespearean knowledge. The characters go to libraries, which is a great change from the usual thrillers, despite the rather underdeveloped characters. This is a good book for Shakespeare fans as well as to those who want to get into Shakespeare, I think. I just don't think this is a good book to read in one sitting, and there might be times that you want to hit yourself for forgetting about this person mentioned in this letter in this library. All in all, a good read. Better than Brown's, definitely, but needs more.

This might change when I finish the book.

Date: 2009-05-25 12:59 pm (UTC)
haruka: (aiba-bunny)
From: [personal profile] haruka
Somehow, it has been decided that this journal will contain my non-fangirly stuff.

Aw, too bad, the fangirly stuff is what I like best. ^_^


affascinante: (Default)

August 2009

9 101112131415

fic journal

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 04:25 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios