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The Shakespeare Manuscript
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The Shakespeare Manuscript

2.72 of 5 stars 2.72  ·  rating details  ·  177 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Not one of Shakespeare’s plays exists in manuscript form until a failing bookseller discovers a long-lost, early version of HAMLET. In an attempt to trace the puzzling manuscript's origins, its new owner finds he can’t trust the identity of play’s author and soon has doubts about his own. But by then, the race to stage the new HAMLET is on, taking a toll on everyone involv ...more
Kindle Edition
Published 2011 by Performance Arts Press (first published December 3rd 2010)
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This was a free Kindle book and it didn't take long before I realized why it was on the free shelf. While the premise behind the story sounded interesting, the whole book just fell flat on its face. The characters were flat as was the plot and the feeble attempts at mysterious things (like what happened to the main character's brother) meant to capture the reader's interest. I didn't continue reading the book because I wanted to find out what happened. The only reason I actually finished it was ...more
3.5/5 stars

I listed this as historical fiction since the tale takes place in the early 1990s.

April Oliphant is the agoraphobic daughter of an antiquarian book dealer ... who sends home a box of documents he's purchased in England. Miles, her father, has been conked on the head and robbed before he gets home, so April is on her own to figure out the provenance of what may or may not be an early Shakespeare play. She shows it to her former acting coach ... who promptly takes it and prepares to pre
Robert Walsh
The book was good but at times seemed a bit unorganized and disjointed. The story line jumped around as if the author decided to shift gears mid stream. Some of the subplots remain unresolved at the end. However, the story was entertaining, and I was able to connect with several of the characters as they dealt with the various issues in their lives.
Conrad Wesselhoeft
Stewart Buettner has served up a literary feast that satisfies in every way--from richly wrought characters to twisting plot to sharp, sexy dialogue. Plus, he sprinkles the bon mots like a master.

The story's driving question hooks you fast: Is the Shakespeare Manuscript real or fake? At various points, I felt sure I knew the answer, only to be surprised. As with all great story telling, the resolution feels both unexpected and inevitable.

Set in the present day, The Shakespeare Manuscript refle

Well, it's not the most exciting cover I've seen, but it does get the point of the book across.


I enjoyed the uniqueness of this book. Yes, it was about a Shakespearean manuscript, but it was also about the drama that unfolded amongst the actors that were bringing that manuscript to life. The interactions amongst the characters were well-written and thought out.

There were questions I had about the story that did not get answered. However, I believe that lent an air of mystery to one of t
I stopped halfway through and deleted this from my Kindle. I probably should have done it a lot sooner.

Although the title and summary make you think this will be a thriller about a lost Shakespeare manuscript, I'm fairly sure the author just wanted to attract attention to the book by making it seems like it's another The Da Vinci Code or Rule of Four. It's not even close. It's a plodding book about an agorophobic woman who was once an actress but now lives and works in a bookstore. The bookstore
Mary Smith
If I could give this book less than 1 star, I would. I'm glad it was a free book from Amazon so I didn't waste any money on it. There was potential for an interesting story involving a newly-discovered manuscript by Shakespeare, but it's so full of impossibilities that make no sense at all.

The manuscript is discovered by a dealer in rare books, who sends it back to his daughter in the USA. Does she put it in the safe until her father returns from England as you would expect? No, she gives it to
Beth Burr
My rating can be summed up in 4 words- could have been better. There were so many characters and they were each quite complicated so they could have been developed better. But there were story lines that were just forgotten by the end. Joanna is getting divorced, I guess that's the end of that story. She has some sort of relationship with her brother-in-law; what kind of relationship, we'll never know. Then at the end there's a short paragraph where the manuscript is determined authentic! That's ...more
I can't believe so many people loved this book. This is drivel! The lead character is a whiny brat, and she is surrounded by self important whiners. The lack of care of this manuscript is apalling. The entire thing is completely unbelievable and total waste of time. Hopefully everyone out there who already has it got the free Kindle edition, because that's what it's worth.

The only reason it's two stars rather than one is it does seem to have had the benefit of some copy editing. I value correct
Trish Bodine
This is an amazing book. I just happened to be reading Macbeth in the classroom, and this book was my guilty pleasure book. I liked it a lot! The plot is well thought out and fits with many of the articles that I have read dealing with the authenticity of Shakespeare being Shakespeare. The characters are believable and likeable.

One criticism: There are a few typos in the Kindle version of the novel. It is not anything that is detrimental to the story, but it can be irritating to see an I just i
Free kindle download --at least when I got it.
The story was interesting, I felt that it bogged down a little when quoting from the "Shakespeare manuscript" but those passages weren't overly long (skim-able).
I think the most interesting thing about the book was the way it handled its agoraphobic protagonist. I don't know if it was accurate, but it was interesting.
The book switched point of view between three people/ narrators.
Overall the book was an okay read. Not annoying, not life changing.
The book had such potential, but really it fell short of what I had hoped it would be. I finished it, but only because I was home sick with nothing better to do and I was curious to see how the plot wrapped up. I felt like the ending fell flat and the main character drove me crazy! She started out a injured person, but became an annoying little girl by the end of the book. She didn't grow or change, she simply went from one safety net to another. For a freebie this time, I got what I paid for.
I liked parts of the main story line of this book and found it enjoyable to read....however, there were a lot of things going on that didn't really hang with the storyline or were just kind of happened and then dropped. I think the author did well with some of the character development and kept the story moving -- despite a lot of subplot activity that was kind of distracting. I think with more writing and refinement the author could produce a very good book.
This book left much to be desired on numerous levels. The plot was okay and I stayed with it just to find out if the manuscript was authentic. The characters had the potential to be bigger than life (actors, drama on stage and off, etc.)but they were sorely underdeveloped, so left me constantly aware that I was simply reading a book rather than being pulled into the story enough to forget they are not real people. Won't give this one any recommendation.
I finished it, but not because I wanted to. This is our September book club selection, primarily because one of the girls knows the author. Which will make it hard when I rail against the awful writing, convoluted plot, and poorly-developed characters. You don't make someone a main character and write from his point of view only to kill him off halfway through! What the hell? Somebody could have used an editor. Or a shredder.
I got this as a free Kindle read. The book seemed to have so much potential in the beginning. I like the cast of flawed characters, especially the agoraphobic protagonist, and was intrigued to explore the possibilities of where the story could lead. There was enough mystery to keep me reading, but the abrupt ending earned this book 2 of 5 stars, which is slightly generous.
A manuscript of a different Hamlet by Shakespeare is found in a crate full of old papers shipped from London. Is it authentic? A possible forgery, a theft, a murder, drug use, politics, divorce, gay couples, agorophobia, and of course the theater all play a part in this book. A good beginning but many things are not fleshed out enough. Amateurish.
Interesting premise, flawed execution. What really drove me crazy was the author's constant use of the non-word "alright." Like nails on a chalkboard - I'd get angry every time I read it. Ugh!

Oh, and I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure a blow to the head doesn't cure Alzheimer's.
It felt like there were gaps in the story, and then it just ended. We went from "oooh, it's a mystery" to "yep, done." Really? At least two storylines were almost entirely unresolved.

There have been other "suddenly appearing Shakespeare manuscripts" done much better than this.
A fascinating story; good characters; too many strange typos -- but for a free download to my Kindle, it was better than I expected. I really liked it, and at the same time, learned something about theatrical companies.

An interesting plot, starting with the discovery of an old manuscript, and a promising cast of characters. Though I enjoyed the story, it's telling could have been sharper, with enhanced character development.
Free on Kindle... sometimes you get what you pay for. The story has a lot of promise and I would have given it a higher rating if it had completed the stories it started in some more satisfying way!
Maybe it was that I read an electronic copy with plenty of errors to drive this English teacher nuts. Maybe it was that the characters were a little inconsistent. But I didn't love this one at all.
I was a Goodreads, first reads winner.

It was a good book,with well rounded characters and storyline. Definitely worth a read, love the cover!
Don't bother. Every character elicited the same emotion: pity. That and a mystery that is never solved make for a boring novel.
Tracy Whited
entertaining but could have screamed at the abrupt ending!!!
Charles Pearce
Poorly written and edited with sub-story ideas that lead nowhere.
it is okay. A lot of unnecessary side plots
Kinda sad I spent my time reading this one.
Not a bad Kindle read for $.99.
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