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The Tragedy of Arthur

The Tragedy of Arthur By Arthur Phillips The Tragedy of Arthur The Tragedy of Arthur is an emotional and elaborately constructed tour de force from bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Arthur Phillips one of the best writers in America The Washington Po

  • Title: The Tragedy of Arthur
  • Author: Arthur Phillips
  • ISBN: 9781400066476
  • Page: 327
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Tragedy of Arthur By Arthur Phillips The Tragedy of Arthur is an emotional and elaborately constructed tour de force from bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Arthur Phillips, one of the best writers in America The Washington Post.Its doomed hero is Arthur Phillips, a young man struggling with a larger than life father, a con artist who works wonders of deception but is a most unreliable parent.The Tragedy of Arthur is an emotional and elaborately constructed tour de force from bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Arthur Phillips, one of the best writers in America The Washington Post.Its doomed hero is Arthur Phillips, a young man struggling with a larger than life father, a con artist who works wonders of deception but is a most unreliable parent Arthur is raised in an enchanted world of smoke and mirrors where the only unshifting truth is his father s and his beloved twin sister s deep and abiding love for the works of William Shakespeare a love so pervasive that Arthur becomes a writer in a misguided bid for their approval and affection.Years later, Arthur s father, imprisoned for decades and nearing the end of his life, shares with Arthur a treasure he s kept secret for half a century a previously unknown play by Shakespeare, titled The Tragedy of Arthur But Arthur and his sister also inherit their father s mission to see the play published and acknowledged as the Bard s last great gift to humanity Unless it s their father s last great con.By turns hilarious and haunting, this virtuosic novel which includes Shakespeare s lost King Arthur play in its five act entirety captures the very essence of romantic and familial love and betrayal The Tragedy of Arthur explores the tension between storytelling and truth telling, the thirst for originality in all our lives, and the act of literary
    The Tragedy of Arthur By Arthur Phillips

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    One thought on “The Tragedy of Arthur

    1. Jason Furman on said:

      Arthur Phillips is our most reliable creator of unreliable narrators And in the case of this book, it is Arthur Phillips himself who narrates That is the Arthur Phillips who is the author of Prague, The Egyptologist, Angelica, The Song Is You, as well as the discoverer of what may be a newly discovered Shakespeare play The Tragedy of Arthur.The book begins with a short preface from Random House , followed by an Introduction to the newly discovered play by Arthur Phillips, and then the Shakespear [...]

    2. Jill on said:

      The very first thing I did after finishing The Tragedy of Author Arthur Phillips s ingenious faux memoir was to Google to see what was true and what wasn ty to find that much of Phillips s traceable past has been erased.Did he really have a gay twin sister named Dana, a scam artist father who spent his adult life in prison, a Czech wife and twin sons of his own Methinks not What I do know is that Arthur Phillips shares his birthday with the Bard himself, that he was born in Minnesota, and that h [...]

    3. Daniel on said:

      The best book I ve read this year, and well worth a review I shall write one when this damn essay is finished In the meantime, read this book Time Passes I found The Tragedy of Arthur in the classics section of my local bookshop This, possibly, is a bit presumptuous Arthur is a play by William Shakespeare that may not have been written by William Shakespeare All the tests, all the critics, all the academics say that this lost work, now found, is a miracle They attest that something so obviously [...]

    4. Obsidian on said:

      This book is odd It is set up as a memoir, but it s not The author takes a fictional account of his family and includes the Arthur legend in it with some Shakespeare thrown in It shouldn t have worked, but honestly the book as a whole really does work if you read the play first it s in the back and work back through the fictional introduction by the author talking about him wanting to show the world about his father And as we know about the Arthur legend, it is ultimately a tale of fathers and s [...]

    5. Beesley on said:

      Good book, well written, enjoyable, and thought provoking Shakespeare pervades this book, so it is probably mostly of interest to those who like Shakespeare or are at least interested in Shakespeare There were some things about this book I did not like 1 I found the first chunk of it very rough going because I hated the narrator and thought he was whiney In fact, the narrator uses that word, whine, than once about himself, possibly three times or Telling Around the time the narrator went to co [...]

    6. Pamela on said:

      When I ve described this novel to friends, it s always sounded interesting That s strange because I actually struggled to finish it, and only did so out of a sense of duty and respect to the person who enthusiastically bestowed it on me It s another in that line of novels that masquerades as a memoir of the protagonist who shares the same name as the author Arthur Phillips The memoirist Arthur Philips has a twin sister Dana whom he claims to love above all others despite the fact that he can eas [...]

    7. Keith on said:

      The Tragedy of Arthur is a title with a double meaning In one sense it refers to a lost Shakespearean play of that name and in the other it refers to the narrator of the tale, someone who may or may not be the novelist Arthur Phillips Like the real Arthur Phillips, the fictional Arthur Phillips grew up in Minnesota, has lived in Prague, has written a novel named after that city The fictional Arthur has a father was was a con man possessed of wild and grandiose schemes who spends much of his life [...]

    8. Victor Carson on said:

      I see that I am in the small minority of readers who dislikes this novel I also admit that I did not read the play itself after suffering through the author s Introduction The pace of the book is very slow, endlessly repetitive, and self absorbed, like the fictional author who shares his name with the actual author of this book The idea of writing a fictional memoir, using your own name and some real facts about your own life is bizarre, bordering on ridiculous No publisher would have put up wit [...]

    9. Roger Brunyate on said:

      Clever, clever maybe too cleverThink, for a moment, of a novel as a painting You have the central subject a picture of human beings living their rich, messy, and often complicated lives You have the means by which the artist puts this across his choice of medium, his style, his handling of paint or language And then you have the frame the structure that holds everything together, that comes between the artifact and the real world For a long time in my reading, I thought I was dealing with a four [...]

    10. Bruce on said:

      The structure of this novel is odd and intriguing It begins with a preface allegedly provided by the publisher, Random House, but which is clearly part of the narrative and the conceit that the author is using The book s very title is, of course, part of the imaginative content, the first person unreliable narrator having the same name as the true author, and The Tragedy of Arthur being the title of a recently discovered Shakespearean play, that very title having several possible interpretations [...]

    11. switterbug (Betsey) on said:

      You don t have to be a Shakespeare scholar to feast on this book To wit, whether you love, like, devour, admire, or even scorn Shakespeare, you can easily negotiate your way through this accessible problem play and trundle along with page turning merriment By the final pages of this faux memoir novel play, you will have also amassed a literate and impressive font of Bardology You ll acquaint with the big hits and the B side of the Bard You ll learn facts about his peerage, his years, the sources [...]

    12. Kurt on said:

      I love everything about this book The official setup of the book is that Random House is publishing a recently discovered Shakespeare play about King Arthur fully authenticated by all legitimate scholars and forensic tests , and the man who found it has died, so they ask his son Arthur Phillips, a famous enough novelist to write an introduction The problem is that Arthur Phillips knows that his dad was a spectacular con artist, and he s convinced that this play is his father s greatest con, so h [...]

    13. Simon on said:

      When I reviewed Arthur Phillips s last novel The Song Is You, I faulted Phillips for filtering the central relationship a love affair that never quite happens through a series of moments that felt a little sentimentalized than actually lived In the new The Tragedy of Arthur Phillips takes a sharp left turn into the personal by way of metafiction What we are reading is supposedly Phillips s introduction to the first publication of a newly discovered Shakespeare play about King Arthur The introdu [...]

    14. Emily Leathers on said:

      After reading the preface, I decided to do what was suggested skip to the back of the book and read the play, and then return to the Introduction which is actually the meat of the book This turned out to be a good idea for me for two reasons 1 since it clearly is the case that this play was written by the character s father to describe their lives, knowing it s contents provides a few interesting connections while reading the introduction, and 2 it seems that I enjoy Shakespeare s writing style [...]

    15. Jane on said:

      Too clever by half A supposed lost early play of the Bard is discovered by Arthur s father, a con man, who has spent most of his life in jail, for, among other forgeries, faking lottery tickets, making crop circles The play is given to Arthur, his son and narrator of the Introduction Is this drama really by Shakespeare, or is it a fake To me the play itself was a pastiche of the history plays and of Macbeth, thrown together in a jumble Random House, Arthur s publisher, insists on its publication [...]

    16. Marjorie Hakala on said:

      So here is a novel in a shape I ve never seen before 1 A brief preface from Random House stating how excited they are to publish this brand new Shakespeare play, alluding to the role of the Phillips family in bringing the text to light, and suggesting that maybe we should go straight to the play and come back to Arthur Phillips introduction later.2 A 256 page Introduction about Arthur Phillips and his family and how his father came to leave him a quarto of The Tragedy of Arthur by William Shakes [...]

    17. Felice on said:

      There are a whole lot of Arthurs in The Tragedy of Arthur There s the author, Arthur Phillips, the main character, Arthur, his father Arthur, King Arthur and a long lost Arthur That last one is the second of the two tragedies of Arthur In that list there s the lost Shakespearean play about King Arthur and the tragedies of all the other Arthurs who appear in the novel Got it Good because it s worth getting.For the moment let s concentrate on the character Arthur He was raised by a forger, conman [...]

    18. Ellie on said:

      The Tragedy of Arthur by William Shakespeare The First Modern Edition of His Lost Play, with an Introduction and Notes by Arthur Phillips by Arthur Phillips was not at all what I expected Which is funny since I love Phillips work and know enough to not set up any expectations He works in his own way and it is rarely the way anyone else works It s better.The synopsis of the story presents the protagonist as naturally Arthur Phillips the narrator as separate from Or supposedly identical to the wor [...]

    19. Chelsea on said:

      Possibly the most brilliantly structured book I ve ever read Really a 4.5 stars for me I m awed by the genius that went into creating a believable Shakespeare play and how the themes in the introduction are approached, but I also didn t get the same gut feeling that I usually get when I finish a 5 star book.

    20. Susan on said:

      This is a very clever book Arthur Phillips created a Shakespearean play and created a Shakespeare scholar to provide scholarly footnotes to the fake play His introduction is actually a novella, the story of a writer named Arthur Phillips who was named after his father, a professional forger.Reading the Shakespearean play is a hoot Arthur Phillips who, in this situation, is difficult to refer to because he is the author, the main character and the forger is a bright man In fact, while reading thi [...]

    21. John on said:

      In his funniest novel to date, Arthur Phillips Prague , The Egyptologist , Angelica , The Song Is You , pokes fun at the genre of memoir and of Shakespearean scholarship in his irresistible The Tragedy of Arthur , which allegedly one William Shakespeare wrote as a play that was left out of the 1597 Folio edition of his plays those recognizable to anyone familiar with Shakespeare s oeuvre Pulling no punches, Phillips casts himself as the befuddled famous literary son of his father, the artful dod [...]

    22. Larry H on said:

      I don t know if this ever happens to you, but when I love an author, I eagerly anticipate their next book, and often buy it shortly after it is released, because I can t wait to get my hands on it This was definitely the case with Arthur Phillips, whose book The Song is You was among the best books I read in 2009 But sadly, although I ve seen almost nothing but fantastic reviews for his latest book, The Tragedy of Arthur, I was really disappointed by it.The concept behind the book is really inte [...]

    23. Miles on said:

      The Tragedy of Arthur is a Comedy of Lies I recommend it very highly It takes Shakespeare as its context, and forgery and truth telling as its subject, and bends the reader s mind around an infinite regress of fictions purporting to be realities How so Read on if you want the semi spoiled version I don t think it will take anything away from your pleasure in reading the book.Arthur Phillips, the author, writes in the first person of a character named Arthur Phillips, who is the son of a notoriou [...]

    24. Rebecca H. on said:

      Arthur Phillips s new novel The Tragedy of Arthur was great fun I ve seen comparisons of this book to Nabokov s Pale Fire, and the comparison works to a certain extent they have a similar structure, both made up of a primary text and a commentary on that text but it s a rather unfortunate comparison for Phillips s sake because who can compare to the great Nabokov This book doesn t have the insane brilliance of Pale Fire, but there s a charm and wit to it that are appealing.The text in Phillips s [...]

    25. Sara on said:

      This book was a struggle to get through and ultimately I couldn t get through it, finding myself flipping pages without a clue what had just happened because I had that much trouble focusing on it or, importantly, caring This is a fake memoir, with the author claiming he and his twin sister were gifted a copy of a previously unknown Shakespeare play but unsure whether it s the real deal or a fake by their noted con artist father The book opens with a long introduction by Arthur really the story [...]

    26. Carl on said:

      To call a novel clever is usually to damn it with faint praise In the case of this novel, I feel inordinately compelled to have clever be the first adjective I use the imagination that goes into this epitome of the postmodern novel simply boggles the mind.But the praise is not faint, at least from me As a faux memoir, the introduction is an entertaining, well wrought if somewhat overwrought text Phillips effectively manages the complex interplay of solipsism, unreliable narrator, fake personal h [...]

    27. Jim on said:

      I read the Introduction and skipped most of the actual play I read the first few scenes and realized that I wasn t in the mood for Shakespeare, even fake Shakespeare, unless I m watching a performance I still skimmed the play a bit and while I couldn t get into the actual play, the notes were really interesting I loved the bit where Arthur recognizes an older term that his dad used in a brief stint as a football commentator, a job he didn t hold for long because his prime audience wasn t able to [...]

    28. John Pappas on said:

      Phillips new novel, in which he himself is the protagonist, takes the form of a faux introduction to a newly discovered Shakespeare play, one that has either been stolen and hidden away or brilliantly forged by Phillips con man father Complete with the entire text of the fake play, emails and legal letters to Random House, and other metafictional devices, Phillips creates a marvelous ruse in which the nature of a text s relationship to its author and audience is explored What makes Shakespeare s [...]

    29. Lauren on said:

      Hmm So I LOVE Phillips The Egyptologist It is one of my all time favorite books, but I haven t loved anything else by him haven t even really liked most of his other novels This one is intriguing, and his indebtedness to Nabokov is even clearer in this book than in The Egyptologist, in which he explicitly tips his hat to Nabokov and Pale Fire specifically The narrator of The Tragedy of Arthur reminds me of Lolita s Humbert Humbert at times The structure of the novel is similar to Pale Fire s in [...]

    30. Christopher on said:

      Note Customer review from the Vine Program Like Mr Phillips, I have never been much of a Shakespeare fan even though I count Macbeth as one of my favorite works But, in this utterly unique and engaging novel, Mr Phillips rekindles a love of Shakespeare as well as deepens some of the mystery surrounding the Bard The premise of the book, without giving too much of the story away, is that Mr Phillips father, a small time con artist with a love of Shakespeare, discovers a long lost play of the Bard [...]

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