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VOYA -This book is designed to help students read a play written in an English used 350 years ago-but the reader has to get to page 105 among the appendices to learn the book's intended audience. This information would have been more helpful as an introduction, instead of the offbeat one found here. The book's strength lies in its page-by-page notes that explain difficult words, archaic phrases, and historical/literary allusions. An occasional note may be more than the student wants, but most are useful without being dumbed-down. The notes are also helpfully placed alongside the text rather than at the bottom of the page, a feature students might like if they are not put off by the resultant double-column appearance.
While the notes should be useful to students at any grade level, the appended material, both introductory and supplementary, is marked by style and vocabulary making it suitable only for the most advanced and/or interested high school or undergraduate students. Among the appendices is a modern poem with no explanation for its inclusion, and no identification of the poet whose poem does allude to the The Tempest. One gets the impression of a mountain of unrelated three-by-five cards being used, with no effort to bridge them together. A long appendix titled "Classwork and Examination," which is a collection of very good ideas for teachers, is strangely addressed to students.
The cover features a fine color photograph of Sweden's Max Von Sydow as Prospero and Rudi Davies as Miranda, but one wonders if a picture of the young lovers or Caliban the monster would have been more appealing to young readers. Students could make good use of this book by ignoring most of the scholarly appendages and using the excellent footnotes to elucidate one of the most enjoyable of Shakespeare's profound works. Illus. Charts. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology. Appendix.
VOYA Codes: 2Q 2P S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q, For the YA rea