George V. Reilly

Review: Shakespeare in an Hour

Title: Shake­speare in an Hour
Author: Christo­pher Baker
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Smith & Kraus
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 112
Keywords: drama, history
Reading period: 28 July–1 August, 2010

Quick, readable intro to Shake­speare's life and plays, setting him in the context of the religious and political turmoils of the late Eliz­a­bethan and early Jacobean eras. You can't do justice to Shake­speare in an hour, of course, Most useful if you didn't already know anything about him or his work.

Review: The Best American Crime Writing 2005

Title: The Best American Crime Writing 2005
Author: Otto Penzler (editor), Thomas H. Cook (editor)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 384
Keywords: non-fiction, crime
Reading period: 9-16 December, 2007

Female sex slaves, Ukrainian oligarchs, an obsessive silver thief, white-collar criminals facing jail time, virus writers, self-de­struc­tive surgeons, and the Madrid bombers, are just some of the stories in this collection of non-fiction writing on crime and criminals, published in various magazines in 2005.

The book is bracketed by two pieces by James Ellroy. In the foreword, he argues that "true-crime writing offers a less ki­neti­cized and more sobering set of thrills [than crime fic­tion]—chiefly couched in human rev­e­la­tion". In the concluding continue.