Book: Chasing Shakespeares

Title: Chasing Shakespeares
Author: Sarah Smith
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 352 pgs

Summary: If you like any sort of research-based/mystery-type fiction, this book might be for you. Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith is the story about a graduate student from Northeastern University who finds what he thinks is a letter written by THE William Shakespeare. In his search to prove Shakespeare wrote it, Joe Roper gets involved with the Oxfordians, a group of people who believe the Earl of Oxford was the real William Shakespeare.

Excerpt:
pg 248 – You can’t help it. They’re just there, the beautiful wrong people; you come across them, you can’t help it. Then they have you writing poems, they have you believing in things you aren’t suited to believe, and the worst of it is you aren’t going to come to your senses someday, your senses are here.

Why should you read this book?
This book was very interesting in its facts. If you love Shakespeare, it’s interesting to watch a character deal with the idea that maybe, just maybe, Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare. If you’ve heard about the other theories, that Kit Marlowe was the actual Shakespeare, etc etc, then you’ve reached familiar ground. In actuality, this book reads more like a snappy history mystery than much fiction, and rather than feeling for the characters you continue to read in order to find out whether they prove Shakespeare as Shakespeare, or as Oxford, or as Marlowe, or whomever they decide he is.

Good book to read if trying to strengthen your hook, your idea that pulls the reader in. Also good for suspense, on an emotional and mental level. Trying to research modern London will also slightly benefit from this book.