by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor

(Hyperion Press; 256 pages, hardcover)

Ready to buy? Check these links:

To read reviews from actual readers, click over to the review page at

Still need convincing? Read on!

The definitive irreverent reference book, Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged) takes Shakespeare off his pedestal and puts the fun back into the work of the greatest playwright the world has ever known — and teaches you something along the way.

“The entire Shakespeare industry consists of people simply guessing about who Shakespeare was and what he wrote. Not knowing much about Shakespeare’s life hasn’t stopped everyone from cashing in, filling in the blanks with scholarly supposition when they can, and simply making it up when they can’t. It’s a shocking record, and we’re proud to be part of it.” — from the author’s introduction

“Something wickedly funny this way comes! And wickedly smart, too, as you’d expect from the ‘other’ RSC. Martin and Tichenor’s learned nonsense crackles on the page, much as it does on the stage.” Bob Mondello, National Public Radio

From the directors of the Reduced Shakespeare Company comes an openly hysterical (yet surprisingly informative) guide to everything you always wanted to know about Shakespeare — but couldn’t be bothered to ask.

“These two well-measured gentlemen have disported themselves playfully and thoughtfully throughout His Bardship’s legacy — I suggest you follow. An essential additional edition of English erudition.” Jasper Fforde, New York Times bestselling author of The Eyre Affair and Something Rotten 

Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged) provides complete study guides for every one of the Bard’s magnificent dramatic achievements (and all of his crappy ones too), and includes chapters dedicated to every other aspect of Shakespeare’s life and legacy, his sonnets, how to act his words and scan his poetry, and the monolithic Shakespeare industrial complex. Plus! At no extra cost, a viewers guide to the best films based on his plays!

“A very funny book, which I enjoyed reading hugely. As the authors themselves say, all you need to know about Shakespeare. My friend Abbey loved it.” Simon Russell Beale, genuine Shakespearean actor

“Where can any reader learn everything he or she needs to know about the greatest dramatic poet the world has ever known? Somebody, somewhere needs to boil down all the pertinent information into one brilliantly concise, intellectually cogent, and entertainingly readable volume. Until somebody does that, we’ve written this.” — from the author’s introduction

“Funnier than Shakespeare’s comedies, they have dined at the great table of Shakespeareana and made off with the scraps.” Jasper Fforde, New York Times bestselling author of the Thursday Next series, the Nursery Crime series, Shades of Grey, and The Last Dragonslayer

Liberally sprinkled with lists, definitions, quizzes, essential vocabulary, and the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s trademark irreverence and wit, this “reduced” handbook will delight enthusiasts, skeptics, and fledgling fans alike.

“They’re so deliriously Bard-besotted, even their footnotes cracked me up!” Bob Mondello, National Public Radio

Filled with such helpful essay questions as “Do you know anyone named King Henry? What’s she like?” and “Is Shakespeare still relevant today? Why not?”, Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired (abridged) is the only Shakespearean irreference book you’ll ever need!

The mix of scholarship and slapstick is delightful and never at all murky!  Edge Magazine

“Told in an engaging style sure to grab anyone’s attention!” Everett Herald 

(NOTE: Reduced Shakespeare was originally sub-titled The Complete Guide to America’s Greatest Living Playwright. The publisher decided that was too subtle. Buyer beware.)

Click here to hear excerpts from Chapter 7: Who Wrote This Stuff?