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My Name Is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and…
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My Name Is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare (edition 2008)

by Jess Winfield

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2702062,447 (3.24)42
Member:cshawzye
Title:My Name Is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare
Authors:Jess Winfield
Info:Twelve (2008), Hardcover, 304 pages
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My Name Is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare by Jess Winfield

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
If the first half of the book had been as good as the last half, I'd have given it 4 or 4.5 stars. As it happened, though, it took me a real effort of will to pick it up again after I put it down. The only thing that got me to read it again was my sense of responsibility ~ I got it for free in exchange for the review. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the second half of the book was really good.

I wrote a fuller review at http://justonemorepageblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-name-is-will-review.html. ( )
  Storeetllr | Jan 9, 2017 |
Alright, I'm not going to lie. This book was a little weird. Fair warning, it alternates chapters. Every other chapter is about Willie and the others are about William Shakespeare. I was not prepared for that at first and got a little confused for the first two to three chapters (requiring me to go back and re-read them once I figured out what the hell was going on).

All that aside, I liked the beginning and the end, but the middle was a little trippy and farfetched, not to mention a tad convoluted at times. I will say this though, the title does NOT lie. This is a book of sex, drugs, & Shakespeare. Mostly, it's about drugs, then Shakespeare. The sex is just sort of sprinkled through out.

Anyway, the book was good. It wasn't one of my favorites, but I definitely enjoyed it. It was funny and raunchy and interesting all rolled up into one novel. Seriously though, the middle is weird. I'm pretty sure it wasn't only the characters who were trippin' during this story. ( )
  cebellol | Jul 22, 2014 |
The subtitle to this book is "A Novel of Sex, Drugs and Shakespeare." That's about as accurate a description as I think you can get.It is relatively well-written, though some of the descriptive passages felt a little forced. I thought that Winfield navigates the time flip (alternating chapters follow two distinct timelines) very well. The stories parallel each other enough to make sense, but not so much as to be repetitive. I think the flipping is useful as well in building some suspense, since you always have to wait to find out what happens next in either timeline.Both the sex and drugs parts of the book are well handled. They are presented to be highly entertaining, but not quite so much as to be gratuitous. They are also written in a way that makes it hard to believe these are not based on autobiographical accounts. Assuming they are not (as Winfield claims in an interview at the end of the book), I think that's an accomplishment - writing things that are just believable enough to have maybe happened but just crazy enough to be hard to believe.The Shakespeare bits are entertaining as well. It is clear that Winfield is both well versed in Shakespeare, and well practiced at playing with Shakespeare (neither being a surprise, given his background). I was especially impressed with the Elizabethan dialogue. I'm sure a true scholar would have many things to criticize, but if it was more authentic I imagine it would have been slow and tedious to follow. It got the point across - I could imagine Shakespeare speaking in the way Winfeild portrayed, even if I know it might not be accurate.In the interest of full disclosure, I read this after a string of non-fiction books, so anything was likely to feel engaging and entertaining. Regardless, I enjoyed the reading, and would recommend it to anyone looking for something fun, and a little irreverent. ( )
  Drifter83 | Dec 23, 2010 |
There's a reason this was on the clearance rack. It tries too hard to be funny, witty, and to push the envelope. Unfortunately, it isn't successful. ( )
  JenSay | Oct 1, 2010 |
I'm very fond of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged which Jess Winfield was a co-author on as a founding member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. I love Shakespeare and am always happy to see him performed and to see people play with him and his words and ideas (as opposed to treating him like an old dead irrelevant white guy). This is Winfield's first novel so I figured I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately it just didn't work for me. It tried too hard, ultimately, and that made me impatient so I abandoned it. I read today that they're performing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival - go see it if you can! ( )
  kraaivrouw | Jul 25, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446508853, Hardcover)

"Utterly delicious, original, witty, hilarious and brilliant. Shakespeare In Love on magic mushrooms. The Bard has never been this much fun."
-Christopher Buckley, author of Boomsday and Thank You For Smoking

A Tale of two Shakespeares...

Struggling UC Santa Cruz grad student Willie Shakespeare Greenberg is trying to write his thesis about the Bard. Kind of...

Cut off by his father for laziness, and desperate for dough, Willie agrees to deliver a single giant, psychedelic mushroom to a mysterious collector, making himself an unwitting target in Ronald Reagan's War on Drugs.

Meanwhile, would-be playwright (and oppressed Catholic) William Shakespeare is eighteen years old and stuck teaching Latin in the boondocks of Stratford-upon-Avon. The future Bard's life is turned upside down when a stranger entrusts him with a sacred relic from Rome... This, at a time when adherents of the "Old Faith" are being hanged, drawn, and quartered as traitors.

Seemingly separated in time and place, the lives of Willie and William begin to intersect in curious ways, from harrowing encounters with the law (and a few ex-girlfriends) to dubious experiments with mind-altering substances. Their misadventures could be dismissed as youthful folly. But wise or foolish, the bold choices they make will shape not only the 'Shakespeare' each is destined to come... but the very course of history itself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Graduate student Willie Shakespeare Greenberg is targeted by the Reagan administration's war on drugs when he tries to deliver a psychedelic mushroom to a mysterious recipient, while a would-be playwright in a distant century delivers a sacred relic to a Catholic dissident.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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