Reviewed by Molly Martin
The narrative opens with a broken down car, cryptic coded message ‘emus are cranky,’ ‘because they cannot fly,’ a boiling cauldron and three old women. Jeffrey Case a thirty-eight year old disinherited scion of a wealthy family, divorced, cabdriver longs to become an actor. He has dabbled in acting for years with little success. Following delivery of a mysterious passenger to 2 Glassie Jeffrey finds himself caught up in a series of strange happenings. In his attempt to return a package containing only a head Jeffrey returns to 2 Glassie where he finds a group of peculiar Shakespeare quoting individuals all dressed in 1950s garb. Unable to rid himself of the head Jeffrey attempts to throw it into the sea only to have the head snagged by a black falcon. Nightmares filled with images of himself bowling severed heads toward headless bodies and a horrifying torture chamber, ice cream vendors who play Greensleeves and offer more than icy treats, retired workers and young junkies all figure in the conundrum. The head on a book shelf, the head in the fridge, and the head in the bushes, women who yodel at odd moments, and an ex wife called Moonflower are all a part of the enigma surrounding Jeffrey Case. A mesmerizing flutist, conversations with Shakespeare himself, Hecate’s hex and witches dust move the narrative forward. A night of great debauchery, The Bard’s Players, Jeffrey performs as a double act on a regular basis and Yorrick understudies everyone.
Shakespeare is Alive and Well and Living in Sun City is the second offering produced by writer Lyne and read by this reviewer. Well rounded, spiritedly portrayed characters, vividly painted settings and animated dialogue all move the tale along at breakneck speed in this fast paced romp.
Writer Lyne skillfully weaves a fanciful, complex tale using the theater as his back drop, Shakespeare in a ‘what if’ role and human foibles at their best. Snappy dialogue, betrayal, lust and puzzlement couple with fascinating settings and absorbing storyline keep the reader moving along from chapter to chapter. Lyne has taken a well known theater figure, Shakespeare, placed him and his work in modern times to produce a highly entertaining work sure to please Shakespeare lovers and those who know little of the Bard alike.
Not for everyone; while language is not profane or vulgar there is some graphic sexual content.
For those who may not understand Aussie terms a small glossary might prove helpful to the US reader, but those few words only add to the fun for the reader.
Good book for a lazy summer afternoon, ages 13 and up.
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
Shakespeare is Alive and Well and Living in Sun City, by Allen Lyne
Booksunbound, ISBN 1 59201 034 2
Available in print and ebook formats
Reviewed by: molly martin