Saturday, September 02, 2006

86. "The Lambs of London" ~ Peter Ackroyd


Charles and Mary Lamb are buoyant siblings who engage in conversations about their favorite bard: Shakespeare.

Enter William Ireland, a young son of a bookstore owner, who finds (via a mysterious benefactor) items belonging to Mr. W.S. First, a signature, then a stamp... then a full-length play?

Mary adores Shakespeare. Mary adores William. Charles adores Mary in a strange love-hate way. William wants the adoration of his father. It is a Freudian nightmare.

Truth versus art. When did it become an opposition? Isn't all art truth unveiled?

Ackroyd has an annoying habit of breaking the action for a flashback, easy to overlook except when the flashback has nothing to do with the story and seems to be injected into the book only for shock value and to tie in with the title -- all of us are lambs, in a sense, steadily led by popular opinion or fate.

2.25 out of 5.0 Overcast Fridays.

5 comments:

Bibliolatrist said...

2.25??? This is also on my list to read -- now I'm not sure. Guess I'll wait for some more reviews.

Kristin Dodge said...

I know, and I apologize in advance to those who loved it and/or recommended it to me.

Please do not send hate mail.

Oh, but the book I'm reading now... I may have to amend my rating system. Indeed.

Wörtwurst said...

"Truth versus art. When did it become an opposition? Isn't all art truth unveiled?"

Seen the recent Smithsonian piece on Shakespeare (http://www.smithsonianmagazine.com/issues/2006/september/shakeapeare.php)? Some serious critics think that Shakespeare wasn't even Shakespeare!

Also, a good short novel to consider is Huxley's "After Many A Summer Dies the Swan."

Wörtwurst said...
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Kristin Dodge said...

Many thanks... it is now officially added to my list.