The Muse Book Review Archives

Sixty-Minute Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing reviewed by Marcia Berneger
Interview with Marcus Damanda by Pamela Jenewein
Loss of Innocence reviewed by Cheryl Malandrinos
Audio Classes by DDP reviewed by Lea Schizas
Interview with Michael Perronne
Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill reviewed by Gene Berger
Diverting the Buddha reviewed by Barbara Ehrentreu
Launch Out Into the Deep reviewed by Mary Schneider
The Life Organizer reviewed by Alice Berger
Sixty-Minute Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing reviewed by Marcia Berneger
Swapping Paint reviewed by Christine I. Speakman
Through the Ages and The Sun is Hot reviewed by Christine Speakman

Sixty-Minute Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing
By Cass Foster
Five Star Publications
I was never very fond of Shakespeare, with his archaic language and complicated plots that seemed to go on forever. And, while I can still recite parts of Lady MacBeth's soliloquy, compliments of a drama class many (many) years ago, I wouldn't list the great author's works among my favorites to read. Cass Foster has set about to change that with his new series Sixty-Minute Shakespeare. While his versions of the great classics are unchanged in their Old English language and intricate plots, he has successfully shortened the plays to foster accessibility for readers such as myself.
The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare series is written with an eye toward the theater. Whether used for scene work in a drama class or as a fully staged production, each play contains staging tips for scenery and pacing. For the classroom teacher or even the avid learner, the books also include images and themes from Shakespeare's works, related websites, and a liberal sprinkling of footnotes throughout each play to explain and/or define the archaic terminology.
"Much Ado About Nothing," one of several plays in the series, follows Cass' unique format. The plot, while shortened to an hour runtime (if performed) still tells the story of Claudio, Hero and Don John. When Don John tricks Claudio into believing that his love, Hero, has been unfaithful, he leaves her. Hero's father, upon learning the truth, manipulates Claudio into reuniting with his beloved. Woven into this is the compelling love story between Beatrice and Benedick, tricked by friends into loving each other, only to realize that their feelings for one another were there from the start.
The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare series is the perfect compromise for readers wishing to enjoy the brilliance of a true master without spending hours with each play. It is also ideal for the teacher desiring to introduce his/her students to the same experience within the limited time frame of a classroom. On several levels, Sixty-Minute Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" is a GREAT READ.
Marcia Berneger--Muse Book Reviewer
          *GREAT RERose, LargeADRose, Large
Rose, Large 

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