Rave Reviews for
My Name Is Will - A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare
“Hilarious, fascinating . . . a cunningly witty, frolicsome, time-warping bildungsroman . . . Winfield slings bucketfuls of double-entendres and wily puns... But serious business underlies the literary larkiness... Winfield's high-spirited tribute is a celebration of the power of language and story through which we learn who we are and who we might be as we strut and fret our hour upon the stage, bit players reaching for the heavens in a drama beyond our grasp.”
Donna Seaman, LOS ANGELES TIMES
“A lusty, pun-drunk first novel by the professional wiseacre and award-winning cartoon producer Jess Winfield . . . to say that Jess Winfield knows his Shakespeare is laughable understatement. Upside down – boy he knows him, inside out, and round and round . . . Winfield must have known how much harder it would be to pull off a strange eventful history like this one sans tights, sans stage, sans everything – but where there’s a will there’s a way. . . In MY NAME IS WILL, Winfield may be accused of treating his favorite literary lion unceremoniously. But, after all, no gentleman is a hero to his varlet.”
Liesl Schillinger, NEW YORK TIMES
“Pulls off a potentially clumsy conceit with nuance and panache, as the lives of our two Williams intersect across time and space with mind-bending results."
Adriana Leshko, WASHINGTON POST
“Happily outrageous . . . The sex throughout is well done and not for the prim . . .Winfield delights in puns from low to high (“iamb what iamb”'), and cleverly sprinkles conversations in the earlier age with lines that would later turn up in the plays... Well done, Winfield.
Jeffrey Burke, BLOOMBERG.COM
"The two narratives in
Winfield’s whimsical debut are unified by their shared
irreverence, humor and literary gusto. Winfield uses his
deep understanding of Shakespeare’s work and times (he is a
founding member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company) to
great effect, and his affection for the material shines
"Bawdy puns, a clever construction, and a deliciously irreverent sense of humor make this debut novel irresistible."
"The words of Stratford-upon-Avon's most famous resident have never rung with such screwball truthiness... Winfield's twin heroes vault off the page with 3-D, Technicolor, surround-sound exuberance."
Thane Tierny, BOOKPAGE
Winfield's own love of Shakespeare, love of words and love of theater shine through. He plays with words and captures the feeling of the times and places he is setting the action in, yet the themes remain timeless . . . this is a book that even Shakespeare may have enjoyed.
"Jess Winfield's My Name is Will cleverly twists two parallel plot lines — one set in California in the 1980s, the other in Stratford-upon-Avon in the 1580s — into a single bizarre adventure that'll have you questioning the Bard's religious history and rooting for a guy trying to deliver an enormous hunk of fungus to a mysterious buyer."
"MY NAME IS WILL is more than mere entertainment. Its greater value lies in Winfield's studied response to one of literature's enduring mysteries: what caused William Shakespeare to be so great? Winfield's answer -- soothing balm to anyone at a crossroads in life -- is at once simple and imponderable."
Christine Watson, SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL
“Lively, smart, and mature . . .William is utterly convincing as a character: callow and a bit lost, but witty and kind, and fully possessed of the ability to charm or flay with words . . . [In] the chapters on Shakespeare . . . the book comes to life with intelligence, humor, and high stakes.”
NEW YORK SUN
"Utterly delicious, original, witty, hilarious and brilliant. Shakespeare in Love on magic mushrooms. The Bard has never been this much fun."
CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY, author of Boomsday and Thank You For Smoking
"MY NAME IS WILL fuses a witty campus novel, based on the narrator's hectic experience of the mythological University of California of the nineteen seventies and eighties, with a subversive historical one about the equally legendary Elizabethan era of the young Shakespeare, to create a provocative twin narrative, in which youths fight their way through a world of rampant sex and drugs to the beginnings of maturity. The narrative’s ingenious achievement is to suggest how, by saturation in the past, a youthful rebel in Elizabethan Stratford and one in modern Berserkeley can share comic misadventures, both paradoxically illuminating the historical Shakespeare family's inveterate Catholicism.”
HUGH RICHMOND, PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF ENGLISH, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
Rave Reviews for
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised)
Arts Theater, West End, London
Click any quote for full review.
"Niftily updated... Wig-flinging, wisecracking, twinkle-toed mayhem... Tirelessly funny and accessible."
“Wildly imaginative, thoroughly affectionate to its source material, and above all, infectiously fun."
“This is still a hoot. A neat blend of nerdiness and slacker charm. Treat yourself! (Four Stars)”
"As much a celebration as a send-up... A preposterous riot of inventive physical comedy.”
“Get thee to a performance!”
WHAT'S ON STAGE
Rave Reviews for
What Would Shakespeare Do? Personal Advice From the Bard
"There is real spiritual insight here.... This is both an amusing and thoughtful book... The fact that Winfield never loses his humble sense of humor about it all is one of the book's most winning qualities."
DETROIT FREE PRESS
“A funny, insightful, and thoughtful wee book.”