However, the follow-up question is Does the world need yet another book about the life of Shakespeare if it's by Bill Bryson? Here I would have to give a resounding "Yes". .
I make no excuses that Bill Bryson is one of my favorite authors. His style of writing captivated me from the firstbook I ever read by him, "Made in America". Anyone that can make the history and origins of words as readable as he did there is well worth reading. .
Here, as Bryson puts it, is the history of Shakespeare, his life and his inspirations, but only the parts that can be well documented. Much of what is written about the bard is pure speculation based on what fragmentary knowledge can be found. Bryson distills the fluff from what is fact and then writes in his usually engaging style to make what essentially could be dry and boring, into the interesting. .
I must admit I did find one part a little tedious, that on Shakespeare's sonnets, but this can probably be tied up in the fact that I don't care for Shakespeare's sonnets in the first place. I can't put the full blame on the author in this regard. Overall, though it was a good read..
Rate this one 8 stars.