Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Bard Would Not Be Amused

Spanking Shakespeare

by Jake Wizner

Published by Ember

2 Out of 5 Stars

When I saw the title of this book, I immediately let loose with one of those Beavis and Butthead snort-laughs. Then I saw the words "lewd," "hilarious," and "vulgar" on the front and back cover and knew it had to be mine. If only I had ended my relationship with this book there because the funniest thing about the novel is the title.

The novel was, as promised, crude. However, it failed to deliver on the hilarious part. When one is dealing with bathroom/sexual humor, there's a fine line between being funny (like American Pie or The Hangover) and just being disgusting (like the American Pie and The Hangover sequels). A willingness to talk about defecation and erections does not automatically humor make. Sure, there were a few amusing moments, but very few. Also, I didn't relate to the characters at all. They seemed flat and one dimensional, especially Shakespeare's friends. Shakespeare himself seems a stereotype--a self-pitying wannabe writer who is a senior in a high school the likes of which I cannot imagine existing (Hemingway High, where students are apparently allowed to write about their embarrassing encounters with sex and porn in the school newspaper and one teacher is allowed to constantly refer to his left testicle). In the end, I just didn't care about Shakespeare and his struggle with his hormones. Also, I had trouble buying that he was a talented writer as his writing assignments (scattered throughout the book) were mediocre at best. The nice thing about the book is that he does mature by the end and learns to care about someone other than himself. Too bad I never cared about him.

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