The Tragedy of Arthur

The Tragedy of Arthur

by Arthur Phillips

Gail Reid (12/09/12): A young, successful author Arthur Phillips and his twin sister Dana, a struggling actress, have an unusual pedigree. Their father has been imprisoned during much of their lives for a long series of con games and hoaxes. Arthur and Dana maintain a relationship with him during stints both in and out of prison. The elder Phillips has bestowed on his children a genuine love for all things Shakespeare. Family time is often spent decoding some obtuse passage from the Bard.

When the father discovers that he is dying, he confides in Arthur that he has been in possession of a missing, obscure Shakespearean work for the past 30 years. Is this the final con from a lifelong criminal or is it an opportunity to bequeath to his children something of great value to make up for his absence in their lives?

I would recommend this book only for Shakespeare fans. The author intertwines a sonnet or quote whenever possible and does an admirable job of showing off his wealth of knowledge. Although the character and the book's author have the same name, this is a work of confusing fiction. It's too bad that the writing style is also rather complex. Underneath it all is a curious story.
Rating: **

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