Shakespeare is Alive and Well and Living in Sun City , by Allen Lyne

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


A Handicap for the Devil? by Allen Lyne

Reviewed by Molly Martin

Jonathan Goodfellow, accountant nearing retirement lives a humdrum life, and works at a humdrum job. Landlady O’Reilly tells him what to do. Overweight Miss Bloomingdale, company receptionist is a real pain in the neck. His fellow workers, Jones P senior THE boss, and Jones P junior the head of the accounting department all are vexatious and perhaps even more. Jones P. – the P stands for Percival – is a devilish member of an occult Black Circle Club whose members practice trances, and all become lawyers. The world’s attorneys, led by the obese Jones P. senior, have formed a strange alliance with Satan. In exchange for particular compensations he will give them the world. Hell has been transformed into a golf course where the Devil wants to be left alone to play golf and hopefully break 100. The dwarf, Earnest Jamieson, Marijuana, an odd assortment of roomers, Cowley, Sampson, The Crone, a handgun and a five iron all figure in Goodfellow’s strange move toward death and return to earth to act as a Messiah. Jonathan wakes up in heaven facing a hippie god, who is moved to give humankind one more chance. God charges Johnathan, who has to be the mildest man on earth, to serve as his Messiah to bring back the directive that we mortals are to revise our behaviour. If we falter, God vows that he will disregard his plan to end the world when it becomes due. Jonathan and the astonishing bedlam he creates while on his mission from God is a most extraordinary jaunt and a most startling aftermath. Talking bunnies, a star over his boarding house – life is getting strange.

Writer Lyne has composed a whimsical, jocose work heavy in perceptive understanding about the human animal. A Handicap for the Devil? is an animated exploit filled with an extravagance of energy that strings together smoothly and grasps the fascination of the reader from the opening lines. Professional playwright Lyne’s inaugural novel, draws on his many years of stage experience to produce a premium and exceedingly engaging work.

Lyne’s plentiful list of intriguing characters, including even Jonathan’s talking bunnies are vivid and creditable. The band of often obsessed disciples, are as richly drawn as the at times preoccupied, psychedelic hippie god, both Jones’ P. Senior and Junior, the toughs, the dwarf and the balance of the often motley but always entertaining coterie gracing A Handicap for the Devil?

On the pages of A Handicap for the Devil? writer Lyne presents his tenets with respect to many of today’s social ills including the growing disparity between haves and have-nots, inhumanity, war, and famine. His notions are sure to agree with those held by with many readers.

Not for everyone: some graphic language included, and for the super religious some notions presented are sure to cause consternation.

A good tongue in cheek type work for reading on a rainy afternoon. Happy to recommend for those who enjoy the genre.


A Handicap for the Devil? , by Allen Lyne
Books Unbound E-Publishing Co.