Review: Doctor Who – The Shakespeare Notebooks by Justin Richards


2 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to like this book. I really did. It has such promise – after all, any Doctor Who fan knows that the Doctor has met many a historical figure on his travels. In fact, those are often my favourite episodes of the show – not the ones where he travels to the future, but where he goes back in time and we get to see recognisable figures from history.

I do believe, however, that this book will be a much more enjoyable read in hardback or paperback format. I read the eARC, which I highly doubt did it justice. Judging by the illustrations, which of course were in black and white for me, the book is very nicely presented. What I did like was how it didn’t just focus on the ‘new’ Doctor, but all of his other faces, and brought in companions old and new as well. Those who remember the times of Jamie and Zoe, as well as newer fans of Amy and Rory, will be happy.

Unfortunately, I think this book suffers from having a rather niche audience. Sure, it will appeal to Doctor Who fans, but ironically the Shakespeare element of it won’t work for all. Ultimately to me, it felt a little like an attempt to cash in on the ever-popular ‘crossover’ book, mixing characters from different fandoms (if you can refer to Shakespeare as such!).

As much as I love Doctor Who, and as much as I like to read anything about it that I can get my hands on, this sadly did not work for me. It feels more like the sort of book an ultimate fan would buy to complete their collection – it’s not one I can see myself reading again, unlike the adventure story series about the Doctor.


4 thoughts on “Review: Doctor Who – The Shakespeare Notebooks by Justin Richards”

  1. While I like much of Justin Richards’ work, his tendency to throw heavy-handed Shakespeare references or parallels into them often turn me off (Time and the Daleks – an audio adventure he wrote with Shakespeare scholar Daleks was particularly hard going for me) so I was likely going to avoid this.

    Glad to hear I’m making the right choice. 🙂

    1. Ahh I didn’t realise he’d done that!

      Yeah, it really felt like a total waste of my time, sadly 😦 I actually skim read the large majority.

  2. I read the Star Wars one based on Shakespeare. It was funny but rather a novelty so I only read it once and got rid of it. These books kind of remind me of things like Barry Trotter.

    1. Yeah, I don’t really like those kinds of books, or at least buying them new because I know they’ll be a one read sort of book that I’ll eventually get rid of.

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