"[The First Folio's] 386-year history is perfect for Collins' peripatetic narrative style... Collins is pleasant company on these journeys through musty and scholarly byways; fans of Bill Bryson... might find the style similar... This is great, informative fun." —Oregonian
"Collins knows his way around a good literary mystery, and knows how to milk the bizarre and wonderful detail... The Book of William is filled with geeky delights...Collins pours all of the mountainous curiosity and good-hearted wit he showed in his last book, The Trouble with Tom, into The Book of William. Not only is he a first-rate storyteller, he has a keen eye for useful marginalia... It would be easy to say that this is a book for bibliophiles, or theater lovers, and it is. But as far as what some of us want out of our summer reading—to get lost, to learn something, to laugh—we’d make the case for this as the perfect beach read." —Time Out Chicago
“Exemplary scholar-adventurer writing.” —Kirkus (starred)
“Smashing…[Collins] is an enthusiastic and amusing writer — a good companion… an adept and committed bibliophile, and in the course of his journey into the history of the Folio’s individual copies, he comes to a not-so-startling realization; books outlive even the greatest of us.” —Palm Beach Post"Collins has done it again. This history—spanning the globe and 400 years in the life and fortunes of one of the most famous books in the English language—is not the dry province of historians, bibliophiles, and antiquarians...Witty, detailed, and highly entertaining, it will be appreciated by fans of Shakespeare, history, or human folly." —Library Journal
This one is about the first printing of a collection of all the plays Shakespeare.
I look forward to reading more of his writing and I recommend this book highly to readers interested in Shakespeare and/or book collecting.
As with everything Paul Collins writes, he provides a somewhat discursive but extremely entertaining story.
A good book, but truly for specialists-- the bulk of the text traces the whereabouts of folio copies, from collectors to companies, and centered around a Southeby's auction of one... Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. R, Castillo
I found this book to be informative, engrossing and a delight for this old Anglophile to read. You don't care for Shakespeare? Read morePublished 7 months ago by Alfred J.R.
Nice popular narrative (or "book biography") of the First Folio that should please anyone drawn to the subject from interest in either Shakespeare or rare books. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Montana Skyline
As I order dozens of books a month, I couldn't understand, weeks after ordering it, why I had bought Paul Collin's THE BOOK OF WILLIAM until, that is, I read the first page: an... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Boyd Hone
For a text that is essentially about historical publishing and modern book collecting "The Book of William" reads like a mystery. Mr. Read morePublished on August 22, 2012 by B. Wilfong
I read this book in one sitting, so for me, it really was a "can't put it down" read. I knew a little about Shakespeare, a little about printing, a little about the First Folios,... Read morePublished on January 28, 2012 by Aphra Behn
I've heard of Shakespeare's First Folio, of course, but I never would have imagined that there was so much interesting information to know about it. Read morePublished on June 18, 2011 by Happy Reader
Until I saw this book recommended very recently in paperback by the New York Times, I had never heard either of the book, or its author, Paul Collins. Read morePublished on October 27, 2010 by Neil A. Orman
The most revered author in the world never bothered to publish the works for which he is famous. Today, only ten words are known to exist in his hand: his name, written five times. Read morePublished on April 27, 2010 by David J. Loftus