Literature and Fiction Tips

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Come Like Shadows - Welwyn Wilton Katz

"Come Like Shadows" has everything a young person´s book should have: mystery, drama, a tiny touch of romance and a huge helping of suspense. Its targeted audience would probably be the 14-to-16 age group. Kinny, a Canadian teen, gets an opportunity to be assistant to the director of a summer production of Shakespeare´s Macbeth, to be performed at the prestigious Stratford Theatre Festival. From the start, things go awry, and ´the Scottish Play´ lives up to it´s reputation as a jinxed production.

In the very first rehearsal, an actress dies in a mysterious accident. Living up to the dramatic maxim, "the play must go on," the production continues, but mysterious difficulties continue to plague the cast and crew. A mirror, which Kinny finds at a junk shop, is the perfect prop for the famed witch´s scene; but it seems the mirror has some frightening powers, and both Kinny and her friend Lucas are caught up in its spell. In it, Kinny sees the ancient crones of the play; her vision of their actions is both puzzling and terrifying. Lucas, who is hoping to play Macbeth himself, sees the true Macbeth in the mirror, and discovers him to be a fine and honorable man, despite the darker character painted by Shakespeare.

Mishaps continue during the play rehearsals, foreshadowed by the appearance of an ancient, hunchbacked woman who lurks in the shadows, where only Lucas notices her. After an unexplained fire damages the theater, the troupe goes on a field trip while repairs are made, traveling by bus through Scotland. Along the way they are joined by aged Mrs. Maugham, stranded by a bus strike, who bears a striking resemblance to the hunchbacked woman Lucas had seen during the mysterious mishaps. They travel on together to Kincardine O´Neil, the small Scottish town for which Kinny was named, only a few kilometers from the stone circle where the real Macbeth reportedly died.

The climax of this beautifully researched and written tale, which brings together the witches, the true Macbeth, Kinny and Lucas in an agonizing conflict of evil and honor, will leave readers gasping.


Supreme Courtship - Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley's satire is trained on that most hallowed of legal institutions - the U.S. Supreme Court.

The President of the US is hated by Congress for refusing to sign any spending bill sent to him. The Senate has retaliated by refusing to confirm his Supreme Court nominees - his arch-nemises implies that one of the nominees is a racist because the review of "To Kill A Mockingbird" that he wrote in the elementary school newspaper said "Though the picture overall is OK, it's also kind of boring in other parts." The President one-ups the Senate by nominating a judge so popular with the American people that confirmation is assured - Judge Pepper Cartwright, star of "Courtroom Six," the most popular reality TV show in the country. Can the President, the Judge, and the Court survive?

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