Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Shakespeare Curse

The Shakespeare Curse
By J L Carrell
March 2011

I picked this book up in high hopes having thoroughly enjoyed its prequel, The Shakespeare Secret.

I shouldn't have bothered - it was twaddle from cover to cover and I would have given up on it had I not been stuck on the train for three hours with nothing else to read, except the London Evening Standard.

The plot follows the story of Macbeth, with the author exploring the possibility that the apparently incongruous insertion of the slapstick witches in the play (double, double, toil and trouble) and follows an assumption that Shakespeare was party to a black magic ritual which he inserted into Macbeth, only to remove it before the First Folio was published as he was in fear of the demonic spirits it conjured up on stage.

The plot then jumps across 400 years as the ancient past is brought to life with followers of the dark arts seeking out the original text to invoke an apparition of their own - leaving a train of sacrificial murders in their wake.

I started out assuming that the magic bit was a smokescreen for a more earth bound plot but it wasn't to be. It was hocus pocus from end to end, mumbo jumbo all the way - utter unbelievable bilge.

Maybe I live too deeply in a post modern society, where spells and magical arts are relegated to the childish world of Harry Potter. The basic premise was fanciful, lacked credibility and as a result the book was a bore, only finished by stint of skim reading and lack of anything else to occupy my time.

If you see this book lurking on a bookshelf somewhere, pass it by. 

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