Books by Philip Goodin

FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

"Mildly diverting fare for readers who can forget those Hamlet parallels."
For most actors from the Welsh provinces, it would be excitement enough to fill in for an absent member of the Chamberlain's Men in a repertory that includes William Shakespeare's new play, Hamlet. But his temp job holds even more surprises for Nicholas Revill, whose new roles include the treacherous nephew in the play-within-Shakespeare's-play. When a chance encounter introduces him to the household of theatrical patrons Sir Thomas and Lady Alice Eliot, Nick can't help but be struck at the similarity of the story he's acting in to the Eliots' recent history: Sir Thomas married his brother's widow very shortly after said brother died while sleeping in his walled gardens. Newcomer Goodin generates some teasing questions with this coincidence, especially after evidence implicates the playwright who created the fictional murder in the real one. But none of these questions gets very far; the plotting, after a strong start, limps into non-Shakespearean formula (each of the five acts ends with one more death); and the suspects, including the Bard of Avon, are no more than shadows. Goodin is no match for the fast company he's chosen to run with (surprise surprise), but he can turn a neat phrase of his own, and the details about stagecraft and the actor's life are telling while never oppressive.Read full book review >