Tracey's Reviews > Kissing Shakespeare

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
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did not like it
bookshelves: ya, two-time-periods, time-travel, shakespeare, no-longer-owned, netgalley, 1-star

Oh dear. I have this feeling I should have run screaming from this book. But the premise both repelled and interested me. I do love a good time travel story. (A good time travel story.) I love the idea of going back and meeting, say, Shakespeare. Unfortunately, that's not really what this book is about.

What the book is about is a self-centered and not very intelligent girl put into a ridiculous circumstance, and an utterly predictable doomed love story. Shakespeare is barely a secondary character, a cardboard cutout, almost uninvolved in the plot.

Yeah, this is gonna be long. I'll spare Goodreads and confine most of it to my blog: http://agoldoffish.wordpress.com/2012...

Suffice to say that the writing was poor, the story had holes bigger than Henry VIII at his goutiest, and I found the the whole thing a predictable, objectionable mess.

This absolutely earns the Penguin of Disapproval (stolen from Popcorn Dialogues):
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Reading Progress

May 14, 2012 – Started Reading
May 14, 2012 – Shelved
May 16, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-39 of 39 (39 new)

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message 1: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Sounds like it would have made a dynamite short story, actually, if you took out the objectionable bits. On second thought, if you took out the objectionable bits there wouldn't be much left, would there?


Tracey The supposed premise of the book - "girl must go back in time to somehow prevent Shakespeare from taking a different path, even if it means seducing him" - might have been something to pare down and produce a good story. A good writer could do something with that - suspense and romance and moral ambiguity and all sorts of juicy stuff. But in this it was "You want me to do WHAT? Oh, okay. *pout* Hey - he is kinda cute... C'mere Will, baby. Wait - no. Just kidding! Put your pants back on! Wait, he never really planned to go be a priest to start with?" There was no point to the whole messy exercise.


message 3: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Tracey wrote: "...suspense and romance and moral ambiguity and all sorts of juicy stuff"

Oh yeah! ;-)

But all the things you pointed out on your blog page... I mean this is a YA book, and, and... she's supposed to do what?

I mean, I know it's fiction and all... but really!


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Maybe I should read the blog post..... ;)


Tracey LOL - settle in with a snack and a comfy cushion if you do - I let loose. Not that I'm ever a woman of few words. "Never say in one word what you can say in 100" - Jed Bartlet.


message 6: by Hayes (last edited Aug 03, 2012 08:03AM) (new)

Hayes You wrote:"Mutton isn’t eaten a lot in the Northeast – I’ve never seen it in the store, only lamb; it’s a forgivable gap in knowledge. It was just the proverbial last straw.

I thought you were too generous here... it's not a forgivable gap in knowledge. If her parents were these grand Shakespearean actors she bloodly well would have know what mutton it... and she would have heard the expression "Mutton dressed as lamb", and if she has studied French she would have known mouton...


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

The time travel aspect (as explained in your review) does seem a bit too far-fetched. And, why an American, indeed?


Tracey @Hayes - I think I was trying to remember whether I knew what mutton was when I was 17; then again, considering what I know I was reading then, I'm sure I did. My nieces probably don't know what it is (I'll have to ask), but they don't have Miranda's "qualifications".

@Jeannette - It felt sort of like a half-baked idea, as if the author hadn't put any thought into how the kid was going to get back in time, and then she sort of did one of these:




message 9: by Jake (last edited Aug 03, 2012 06:38AM) (new)

Jake When I see really bad reviews, I become compelled to see who backed the author up and put them in print. I always assume they are self-published, and this time...

Surprise! It is Random House! The same company who put 50 Shades of Crap on paper. Wow, RH, you just continue to sink down in your own sewage.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I love the comic. :)


Tracey It's a wonderful comic - and versatile. :)

Jake wrote: "Surprise! It is Random House!

I never registered that. It's ... so sad.


message 12: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Tracey wrote: "...but they don't have Miranda's "qualifications""

I'm sure your nieces are plenty bright.

I too love the cartoon. In our house if we don't know why/how something works the answer is always "PFM", Pure Effing Magic.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

My brother installs MRI and CAT scan machines, and he was explaining how they work to me and Andreas -- a lot of it went over my head. And then he gets to the point where he states, "From here it's all FM." Even he couldn't follow it at some point.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Do you have a link to this cartoon handy, Tracey. I'd like to send it to my brother.


Tracey Where did I just read something like that … Ah: I read an article that talked about the über-geeks at sci fi conventions who want to know how writing inconsistencies are explained ("In episode 63, Riker clearly says that the dilithium crystals are degraded, yet two hours later…"). The standard answer has become "a wizard did it".


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

haha! That's pretty close.


Tracey Here it is:

http:// star.psy.ohio-state. edu/coglab/Pictures/miracle .gif

- you just need to take out the spaces.

If you right click on a picture and then click on "View image info" (in Firefox - "Properties" in IE) it will give you the url.


message 18: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Thanks, Tracey


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks!


message 20: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Mr. Engineer loved it too!


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

I need to show it to my Mr. Engineer later. :)


Tracey Hayes wrote: "Sounds like it would have made a dynamite short story, actually, if you took out the objectionable bits..."

You know, I just went back and looked at my own review, and I think one thing I mentioned in there would make a fun story: someone who knows the future sees that Shakespeare is considering becoming a priest, and goes and recruits Anne Hathaway to change his mind. I can't remember if it's proven or not that he married her because she was pregnant - THAT would keep him away from the Jesuits!

I kind of want to write that version now.


message 23: by Hayes (new)

Hayes It would be a much more satisfactory story, really. Was there ever any "danger" of his entering the priesthood? Or was that a fabrication on the author's part, a plot vehicle?


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Weren't the English "officially" Church of England at the time? Would it be likely that Shakespeare encountered a Jesuit? Or was Will alive during Bloody Mary's short reign? (geez -- I hope I've got this right! LOL)


Tracey In reality? No, not that there's any evidence for. There are I think 7 years of Shakespeare's life unaccounted for (no documentary evidence whatsoever - so far), and there are theories about his involvement in Catholicism because relatives were Catholic (I think a cousin was burned at the stake, but I can't swear to it).

In the book there wasn't much more evidence; in the end (Spoiler, if anyone cares:) it kind of ends up that he was just being polite to the renegade priest, and never seriously considered becoming one himself. Thereby rendering the whole book null and void.


Tracey Jeannette wrote: "Weren't the English "officially" Church of England at the time? Would it be likely that Shakespeare encountered a Jesuit? Or was Will alive during Bloody Mary's short reign? (geez -- I hope I'v..."

Exactly. That's one of the only positives of this book - the conspirators want to make sure young Will knows he could die of being Catholic.


Tracey And now that I'm home, let's see. WS died at 52 in 1616, so he was born about six years after Bloody Mary died. (She was only 42! I didn't realize that.)


message 28: by Scott-robert (new)

Scott-robert Shenkman "Henry VIII at his goutiest" ROTFLMAO!!


Tracey It would be a decent-sized hole... :)


message 30: by Scott-robert (new)

Scott-robert Shenkman Well, Bill Shakespeare was born on or about 4/26/1564 and Mary Tudor died on 11/17/1558, so technically it was only 5 1/2 years. Mary died of ovarian cancer, much to her sister's relief. So sue me, I have a PhD in Tudor English history.:)

And Henry had a big giant hole in his leg and it smelled all the time - extraordinarily gross. Everyone commented on it. But not to his face!


Tracey Scott-robert wrote: "So sue me, I have a PhD in Tudor English history.:)..."

Then - as if there was ever any possibility - do NOT read this book. Your head will explode. :P

...much to her sister's relief. My turn to ROTFLMAO!


message 32: by Scott-robert (new)

Scott-robert Shenkman Oh please, every time I try to read any kind of time travel story, I try to picture me walking up to...me when I was a little kid and my head DOES expplode. Then my wife has a big mess to clean up because I'm sort of incapacitated without a head.


message 33: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Tracey wrote: "@Hayes - I think I was trying to remember whether I knew what mutton was when I was 17; then again, considering what I know I was reading then, I'm sure I did. My nieces probably don't know what it..."

Just found this:

http:// www. buzzfeed. com/babymantis/20-spectacularly-nerdy-science-jokes-1opu

you need to take out the spaces here too


message 34: by Scott-robert (new)

Scott-robert Shenkman I found out what mutton was when I was 26 and ate it in Iceland.

I won't be doing that again.

I mean eating mutton. I love Iceland.


Tracey Scott-robert wrote: "I found out what mutton was when I was 26 and ate it in Iceland.

I won't be doing that again.

I mean eating mutton. I love Iceland."


LOL!

Hayes wrote: "http:// www. buzzfeed. com/babymantis/20-spectacularly-nerdy-science-jokes-1opu..."

Hee! I still giggle like a school girl over sodium-sodium-sodium-sodium BATMAN!


message 36: by Kim (new)

Kim Tracey wrote: "I can't remember if it's proven or not that he married her because she was pregnant - THAT would keep him away from the Jesuits! ..."

Not necessarily. I have a friend who has lots of involvement with Jesuit organisations. He maintains that there are many Jesuits who like the ladies. ;)


Tracey Kim wrote: "Not necessarily. I have a friend who has lots o..."

*facepalm* See? And the whole silly story is rendered irrelevant twice: Not only was this Shakespeare never really considering becoming a priest, but seducing him might not have "saved" him.


message 38: by Kim (new)

Kim It's a very silly plot indeed!


message 39: by Hayes (last edited Feb 03, 2013 09:50PM) (new)

Hayes Tracey wrote: "Hee! I still giggle like a school girl over sodium-sodium-sodium-sodium BATMAN! ."

The solution/precipitate one made me laugh right out loud.


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