"NOT EXACTLY SHAKESPEARE: THE SHORTEST BOOK YOU'LL EVER BE FORCED TO PRETEND TO HAVE READ" By Martin Freznell

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, September 18, 2017 Under: Book Reviews

I grabbed this one from my TBR list because it was short, and took my curiosity.  I wasn’t doing a cop-out – looking for an easy ride to shrink my review pile (honest) – it was more that the mysterious blurb sold me on this book.  What was it about?  Was it a short story, a funny monologue… a witty self-help guide?  I had literally no idea; all I knew was that it looked like a lot of fun, and something I could read with a cuppa.

What it actually was is the second of those three, mixed with a lot of humorous, yet cynical vitriol.  Martin Freznell hasn’t written a book (nor, I think, would he ever claim to have), but a scathing, funny column article about all the things in society which piss him off - and that’s cool; political correctness, teachers, lattés, sell-out “soccer moms” (or, as we call them round here: “ladies who lunch”; I call them the Home Counties solvent-unemployed), having kids, Trump (of course), and sex… all of these random and obscure topics are trampled on by Freznell; and, whether you admit it or not, he is saying what most of us definitely think (unless we’re PC-liberal, society-brainwashed sheep).

This is the shortest book review I have written to date, and that seems quite fitting where “Not Exactly Shakespeare…” is concerned.  At one point midway, Freznell jokes that he would go back and make a change earlier in the book, but he can’t be bothered; be warned here: he’s probably not joking about that – I’ve probably put more effort into writing this review!  And I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that.

Freznell’s is a very funny book, for the grown up free-thinkers among us, with a great invitation into the author’s personality; I really enjoyed reading it, and had to go along with pretty much every word of it.  One thing I didn’t go along with (and to this, I have to admit I thought Martin was joking, and had to check… he wasn’t) is Amazon’s $5 price tag.  For a book of… what… 6 or 7,000 words, which, if I’m being serious for a moment, is in dire need of formatting (for what platform, though, I’m not sure); let’s be clear: this is more of a blog or column than a book.  Sure, I enjoyed it, but I was lucky enough to receive a free review copy – I must confess that had I paid $5 for it, the fun would have worn a little thin, and I would have felt I had joined Freznell’s list for scorn!  A star off for the price, I’m afraid.  But if, like me, you can grab a discounted copy, then go ahead and nab it for your lunch or coffee break – it’s definitely worth a read.

In : Book Reviews 




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