Despite the reshifting of values that has affected every aspect of life in the 21st century, William Shakespeare still stands as the greatest writer the English language has ever produced. Even so, many people have never read him. If you have never read “the Bard”–or if you’ve tried and given up in frustration–you need Shakespeare For Beginners. Author Brandon Toropov opens with the observation that Shakespeare’s genius is not in his (or England’s) history, it’s in his words, most notably, his plays–in his brilliant stories, unforgettable characters, and the impossible beauty of his language. So Shakespeare For Beginners skips the historical foreplay and goes straight to Shakespeare’s plays. The book offers clear, concise descriptions and plot summaries of each play; it lists key phrases and important themes, explains the main ideas behind each work and features excerpt of important passages (with explanatory notes on tough words.) And it is the only ‘entry level’ book available outside Great Britain that covers all of Shakespeare’s plays.