Young Will: The Confessions of William Shakespeare
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Young Will: The Confessions of William Shakespeare

3.0 of 5 stars 3.00  ·  rating details  ·  18 ratings  ·  8 reviews

A fresh and vivid re-imagining of Shakespeare's early years in Stratford and in London

It's 1616 and William Shakespeare is back in his native Stratford-Upon-Avon. His extraordinary career as a playwright and poet in London seems like another world. A strange encounter with a witch-like madwoman in his local churchyard fills Will with dread, and sends him reeling back in me
Hardcover, 407 pages
Published October 13th 2004 by Truman Talley Books
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A tale of confessions.... Will confessed to being a bisexual libertine, a murderer x 3, an adulterous husband, an absentee father, a criminal usurer, a conscienceless coward, a thief, a perjurer, a plagiarist and an opportunistic hack. Whether any of it is true remains to be proved by future historians. Nevertheless it's an interesting story about how things "might" been for players and writers during Shakespeare's time & I believe Cook covers the general historical aspects of the time quite...more
This is undoubtedly well-written and believable based on what is known of both Shakespeare and the period, but I found this version of Shakespeare ultimately unsympathetic. This is especially true of the middle aged Shakespeare of the framing narrative. I see him as vacillating between paranoia and self-righteousness. Neither is appealing. The cowardice and pragmatism that led him to his most reprehensible actions are somewhat more sympathetic in context, but when the older Shakespeare looks bac...more
Victoria Grusing
Disappointing book about an amazing writer.
Cassandra Kay Silva
Cook really tried to stick with what is generally thought possible regarding Shakespeare life. I think the fun of writing a book about Shakespeare would be rather to go where other people might not have dared tried since so little is really known about him and since so much myth and mystery surrounds who he may have been (He tries this toward the end). I was hoping for more characters in the book to be represented by analogous characters in the authors actual plays, and was sad that it was not t...more
This novel (published posthumously) by Bruce Cook is an enjoyable memoir of William Shakespeare's raging youth. I have no idea whether any of the adventures of Young Will are verifiable or not, but he apparently led a life of crime; crimes ranging from scrumping apples to murder.

Well, involuntary manslaughter. Or negligent homicide. Whichever.
Although much of the account of these early years of the great playwright is speculative at best this is still an entertaining possible young Shakespeare. From Stratford-Upon-Avon to the streets of London, Bruce Cook recreates the late 16th Century and the life of theatre pretty splendidly.
A solid narrative with a significant twist that I did not see coming at the end that almost makes you wary of Shakespeare. I love Bruce Cook (also Bruce Alexander of the Sir John Fielding series) for his research and care of historical detail. His was a sad loss to historical fiction.
Is it weird that I have a very real memory of writing this review over a month ago? Oh well. This was the most fun $1 bargain book read I've ever encountered.
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Bruce Alexander Cook was an American journalist and author who also wrote under the pseudonym Bruce Alexander. He wrote historical fiction and nonfiction.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Cook's first book was a nonfiction work, The Beat Generation, published in 1971. His first novel was Chicago-based Sex Life, in 1978.

He wrote four novels feat...more
More about Bruce Cook...
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