Tom Stoppard: A Life (Recently Read)

I am a huge Tom Stoppard fan. I can't wait for the day I get to see all three parts of Coast of Utopia. (I have the published plays - they're wonderful.) I've seen Arcadia four times. I love re-reading his work.

So I was really looking forward to Ira Nadel's Tom Stoppard: A Life.

To my dismay, it turned out to be a big disappointment. It seemed interminable. I remained interested in the things I was reading about - Stoppard's research process, his adult family life, his rediscovery of his childhood history, his support of political dissidents, his relatively conservative views on art and British politics - but the writing was long-winded and dull.

I was glad I slogged all the way through - there's an amazing bit near the end discussing Stoppard's stepfather asking him to give up the name "Stoppard" - but I wish it had been the kind of lively, engaging read I found in the next book I picked up, Stacy Shiff's A Great Improvisation.