Shadowplay – Joseph O’Connor – (Audiobook) – 07.08.20

I just finished listening to this audiobook, and I have a kind of mixed reaction. First, it has a lot to commend it: based on the life of Bram Stoker, mostly during the time when he worked as a stage manager at the London Lyceum Theatre with the famous actors, Sir Harry Irving and Ellen Terry, the language is rich and lyrical and the setting of theatre life and London life at the time of the Ripper is very evocative – you can almost hear the cockney voices and smell the greasepaint and smog. The theme of the book seems to be one of sadness and unfulfilled yearnings. Bram longed to be a successful author and husband but his books did not so well in his lifetime, and his marriage fell apart. All the characters seemed to struggle with inner demons and feelings of insufficiency and failing to reach their self-imposed ideals. For me, as well as the slightly depressing tone, I found the book at times a little confusing and slow (maybe due to listening on Audiobook, as then if I’m not fully paying attention to a paragraph, I can’t just read over it as I would if I was reading on Kindle). Definitely well written and interesting, and yet I just didn’t totally love it.

Published by sarahrwray

I'm an erstwhile writer and forever reader and book reviewer.

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