Reviews - What do customers think about The Playmakers?
The Playmakers Sep 3, 2007
Any reader will find this an intriguing and well told tale about Elizabethan England and the men who held power of life and death over the ordinary citizen. It was a time when men were burned at the stake or beheaded for the crime of daring to think original thoughts, particularly about religion. Spies were everywhere and their word, whether false or true, could bring ruin and death to their chosen victims. It was in this same time when the fledgling theater was taking its form and drawing to itself, writers and thinkers of the day. While it rewarded them with fame, it could also bring them death. Patronage by powerful men was no guarantee of safety as Christopher Marlowe, author of plays like Tambourlaine and Doctor Faustus, learned when his friend Thomas Kett was burned at the stake and another friend Thomas Kyd was tortured to force him to accuse Marlowe of athiesm, a charge that would bring him before The Star Chamber where a trial with foregone conclusions would bring him to the executioner. Marlowe had involved himself with William Shakespeare, an up and coming theater producer, at the time he was charged with being an athiest. Marlowe's patron, Walsingham, concocts a plot to save Marlowe and let him continue to write plays. That plot requires the cooperation of Shakespeare. Thus, two levels of 'playmakers' are working toward their own ends in this great tale of who really wrote what plays. A great visit to a past both admired and reviled filled with characters you will know from reading history, but they step off the page in The Playmakers. Highly recommended for something different and a very satisfying read. Enjoy. I sure did.
Not what I was expecting, but a great read all the same Dec 11, 2005
I bought this, thinking it would be a serious and vigorous literary discussion on a thoery that I am well-read upon and interested in. That is, the theory that Christopher Marlowe wrote Shakespeare. Instead, this is a dramatic, exciting and colorful and very funny window into this time in history. I must admit, I was little non-plussed at first as this is a subject with which I treat with a great deal of reverence, but after conferring with my wife (with whom I must credit with passing on this marvellous work)I have to agree that it is about time someone brought the Bard into the 21st century. Mr Johnstone, I dips me lid!
Far from a dry ol' read Jul 21, 2005
A while ago when I read of Shakespeare and the doubts of his originality as the author of the famous works, I would never have thought a book like The Playmakers would make it come to life like it has. I loved this book from cover to cover and I was sad to reach the end. Mr Johnstone has written a most enjoyable story of the era and the characters of intrigue. Well done.
A timely snapshot of intrigue Jul 21, 2005
The author is to be congratulated. He captures a period around Shakespeare's era with more completeness than I have read about or thought of before. Getting all the personalities of the day with the politics and risk of being called a heretic is believable indeed. It finally makes sense of the Shakespeare rumours, finishing with a clever twist. A great read.
The Playmakers Jun 27, 2005
This book was a fantastic read. Not only am I a book worm I also love Shakespeare - this was perfect! Two signs that make a book fantastic are that it was read in two days and at the end goes onto my book shelf. No Garage Sale box for this book!! It's gone on the shelf with Wilbur Smith and Maeve Binchy, Edward Rutherford and Bryce Courtney. I can't wait for the next one!