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  Home > Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Individual Memoirs >

Me and Shakespeare: Adventures With the Bard
Me and Shakespeare: Adventures With the Bard
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Product Code: 4324

Herman Gollob

Publisher: Doubleday

One man’s post-retirement passion for the works of history's greatest literary genius becomes an inspiring intellectual and spiritual adventure--and a lesson in the ageless wisdom to be found in literature.

In the twilight of a successful career as a book editor, Herman Gollob attended a superb Broadway production of Hamlet with Ralph Fiennes. The experience proved so galvanizing that it ignited a latent passion for literary scholarship and for all things Shakespearean. Shedding the drudgery of fixing halt and lame manuscripts, he engaged in a fever of self-education via a vast array of books, videotapes, performances, and lectures--becoming, as he put it, "an old man made mad by love of Shakespeare." In short order, he became so well versed that he began teaching a popular Shakespeare course for seniors at a small local college in New Jersey. He then made a visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.; sought out encounters with great actors and directors--including Olympia Dukakis, Michael Kahn, David Suchet, John Barton, and Cicely Berry; took a summer course on Shakespeare at Oxford; and made a pilgrimage to the Globe Theatre in London to see, of course, Hamlet. This late-blooming Bardomania even enriched the growth of his Jewish identity, resulting in a uniquely Hebraic theory about King Lear.

In relating this tale of an autodidact's progress, Gollob interweaves his rich family history, personal experience, and past meetings with the great and notorious, including Orson Welles, James Jones, Lee Marvin, Frank Sinatra, Donald Barthelme, James Clavell, Dan Jenkins, Willie Morris, and a host of others. Like Great Books by David Denby, Me and Shakespeare is a memoir that attests to the lifelong power of literature to enrich, enlarge, and exalt. It is, as well, one of the most entertaining and unusual books on Shakespeare ever written.

From the Back Cover
"Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a well educated, intellectually curious book editor. His name is Herman Gollob, and he has written a remarkable, witty, and wise book about his love of Shakespeare, at once a kind of a memoir and the record of one man's search for meaning in the plays of Shakespeare. It's almost as much fun as lunch with Herman, and that's saying a good deal, and immensely perceptive and challenging for anybody who shares Herman's love for the plays. I had a great time reading it."
-- Michael Korda, author of Making the List and Another Life

"Shakespeare is more fun now than he ever was in this household before, mainly because Herman Gollob has run him all around Texas and introduced him to real barbecue. This book is a pure delight, even if you don’t have a castle or a ghost to hang out with." –Dan Jenkins

"We should have known all along--all of us whose books Herman Gollob made so much better during his brilliant career as an editor. We should have known that when he got around to writing his own book, it would be as smart, as funny, as knowing, as crisp, and as pleasurable to spend time with as the man himself. Somewhere right now, Shakespeare is bragging to his friends: 'Me and Herman . . ."'–Bob Greene

"How refreshing to have a study of Shakespeare that avoids the flatulent portentousness of the 'higher' criticism and that sets off immediately in an authentic human voice--the voice of a cantankerous, obsessed Texan, rattling and skidding over the landscape, a sort of dirty-mouthed Lionel Trilling lobbing improprieties at us. Among his many felicities, we should all especially applaud Gollob's saving Shakespeare for the Jews, or rather for the Judeo-Christian tradition, in which Shakespeare--despite the claptrap from some critics about his being a nihilistic existentialist--is as securely planted as an everlasting oak.” –Thomas Cahill

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