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Shakespeare Wrote for Money Paperback – December 1, 2008
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SHAKESPEARE WROTE FOR MONEY is on the meager side (131 pages), but that is one of only two criticisms. Hornby's reading interests are diverse and eclectic, and his columns are informal and informative, never stuffy or donnish, and usually both fun and funny. The quality of the last three columns (and this is the second criticism) dropped markedly, as if Hornby was losing interest and motivation, and indeed in the last column he announces that he is quitting the gig. A bonus is the funny and kind introduction from Sarah Vowell, whose humor and style is similar to Hornby's.
Examples of Hornby's (1) wit and (2) insight:
(1) Hornby juxtposes a book about the Band and another about the Stasi: "It goes without saying that the two wires that led me to the books * * * came from different sockets in the soul, and power completely different * * * electrical/spiritual devices: [the books] are as different as a hair dryer and a Hoover. Yes. That's it. I'm the first to admit it when my metaphors don't work, but I'm pretty sure I pulled that one off. (I wish I'd hated them both. Then I could have said that one sucks, and the other blows.Read more ›
Now at the end of his "Stuff" career, his voice and style are no longer a surprise but remain something to enjoy. He's not bouncing off the walls anymore, which makes one wonder if he's traded to decaf and quit smoking. He takes some breaks, too; and there's one month where football on television became a priority and another when he's reviewing films to vote in the Brit version of the Academy Awards. But when he's on, he's on, as when he wants to wholly admire "On Chesil Beach" but he can't entirely let go an unintentional anachronism author Ian McEwan lets slip in a reference to the Beatles and the Stones. He wonders what's wrong with flinching when reading "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. This time around (columns from 2006 to his last, September 2008), Hornby discovers, for starters, a wonderland in Young Adult novels, chats up his brother-in-law's books because they deserve it, and notes how many recent books are devoted to particular years, like "1599: A Year in the Life of Shakespeare."
I came away with some titles to follow up on and a lot of fun conversation from the other side of the pond. I don't blame him for moving on, but I'll miss these columns.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A completely delightful anthology of reviews from Nick Hornby's articles for "Believer" magazine from 2006-2008. Read morePublished 4 months ago by The Inconsistent Reader
Having read and enjoyed the previous collections of Hornby's column, I wasn't surprised that I also enjoyed this one. Read morePublished 20 months ago by morehumanthanhuman
Nick Hornby is a one of the best writers of our generation. He always engages the reader. If you have not read his work before, you will find this collection to be a good... Read morePublished on January 2, 2014 by Ida's Girl
If you like Hornby and want to delve deeper into what makes him tick, then go ahead an buy this. Otherwise, stay clear.Published on November 13, 2012 by Alexandru Duta
I love Nick Hornby. I truly like the way he writes. "Shakespeare Wrote For Money" is the third volume of "Books I've Been Reading" columns that he wrote for the Believer magazine. Read morePublished on April 5, 2012 by AnnMarie Lamser
I'm a huge fan of Hornby's columns in The Believer and loved his first collection of them in "The Complete Polysyllabic Spree". Read morePublished on May 17, 2010 by Sam Quixote
I said this for Hornby's previous collection of essays on his monthly readings and purchases, but it bears repeating: You know what's more fun than writing about great books? Read morePublished on August 15, 2009 by Kelsey May Dangelo
I LOVE HORNBY. He's so interesting and funny. And a damn good writer too. This trilogy: The Polysyllabic Spree, Dirt vs. Read morePublished on August 8, 2009 by Smokey Cormier
A friend kindly lent me this book. I'll freely admit that I'm not a big fan of Hornby in general, and actually had no idea that he had ever written monthly columns for the Believer... Read morePublished on August 3, 2009 by frumiousb