Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Note: The Sonnet Lover

Goodman, Carol. The Sonnet Lover. New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.

This is another very quick mention of a book rather than a full-fleged review or commentary.

I listened to the audio book of this novel because of its Shakespearean elements. The plot revolves (rather loosely, admittedly) around some sonnets that might or might not be by Shakespeare and around the identity of the Dark Lady.

The novel is very light—some scenes near its end are pretty much cliché murder mystery / thriller scenes—and that may be its ultimate downfall. Goodman paints absolutely beautiful images—especially in her Italian scenes—but the characters seem very shallow and the engagement with the Shakespearean elements is tangential (and sometimes a bit silly).

In short, I'm afraid the novel was, for me, disappointing. But it was also readable and enjoyable. It's good for the beach—if not for the classroom.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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