Christopher Rush, Author . Overlook $25.95 (457p) ISBN 978-1-59020-097-1

Part literary genesis, part historical thriller, the latest from Rush (A Twelvemonth and a Day , etc.) brims with bawdy luridness and graphic violence as he channels the first-person voice of the world's greatest writer. As a bedridden Will Shakespeare dictates his will to a gluttonous lawyer, he recounts barbarous Renaissance times, from the plague-ridden streets of “sweltering Stratford” to gory slaughterhouse days before landing his first job at the Rose Theatre, through to the “Bloody Mary burnings” and tortures of the Counter-Reformation (“the nipples crisped and torn off with white-hot pincers... tender tongue, sensitive as a snail, quivering in the vice, while long needles go savagely to work”) and beyond. Rush takes on contentious areas of the Bard's life, including his anticlericalism, the connection to assassinated rival Christopher Marlowe, the mystery of his son and the why of a master dramatist's turn to sonneteering. Some moments are decidedly didactic, as when Will dissects his own Twelfth Night . Nevertheless, this ravenous soliloquy fairly bursts with life. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/23/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 459 pages - 978-1-905636-14-3
Paperback - 459 pages - 978-1-59020-254-8
Ebook - 297 pages - 978-0-85790-784-4
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