“An exhilarating and impassioned introduction to Shakespeare’s plays” – The Shakespeare Bookshop Newsletter

    A recent review, from The Shakespeare Bookshop in Stratford-upon-Avon:

    In Shakespeare on Toast he trades reference for irreverence with a much more personal book, aimed at encouraging both students who are new to Shakespeare and older Bardophobes haunted by the unpalatable version of Shakespeare they were served up at school…

    In a recent radio interview, Crystal was introduced as ‘the Jamie Oliver of Shakespeare’. The comparison goes beyond the culinary metaphor of the title in conveying something of Crystal’s missionary zeal, his boundless enthusiasm for his subject, and a colloquial style – cheeky and
    unpretentious – that speaks directly to the young generation… Crystal manages to be populist, without dumbing down…

    Indeed, for Crystal, the book is absolutely about not dumbing down, its aim rather to wean readers off the white bread sterility of ‘Shakespeare Made Easy’ for the real thing, Shakespeare wholemeal.

    I’ll be speaking at The Shakespeare Bookshop in Stratford-upon-Avon, as part of their lunchtime literary event series, on April 8th 2009. See here for more…

    “Humourous, unpretentious and fascinating” — The Independent On Sunday

    Last weekend’s Independent on Sunday chose Toast as one of their Christmas Stocking Fillers, going as far as to say:

    Ben Crystal, a professional actor, wrote the zippy, anecdotal Shakespeare on Toast (Icon £11.99) to give the reader “the ability to go to any Shakespeare play and feel comfortable reading or watching it”.

    He’s succeeded. It’s humourous, unpretentious and fascinating.