Publication Date: 27/10/2022 ISBN: 9781788166805 Category:

Astonish Me!

Dominic Dromgoole

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication Date: 27/10/2022 ISBN: 9781788166805 Category:


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.




‘Anyone in love with the arts will fall in love with this beautifully written and fascinating book’ Kathy Burke

Astonish Me! is an adrenaline-charged rollercoaster through history’s seismic first nights, exploring how individual artists can change and shape the story of culture – and allow us to see ourselves in new ways.

It tells of times when ‘the air between people seems to alter’ as art achieves profound change, across the globe and across history.

Dominic Dromgoole has created a radical and fresh canon. He begins in New York in 1963, as Lorraine Hansberry remakes American theatre and a nation’s perception of race. And then, as the lights go up, we find ourselves in Renaissance Florence, watching Michelangelo’s David being hauled into the Piazza della Signoria. The dust settles and we are transported to the birth of theatre in fifth-century Athens – and then to Paris to meet with Diaghilev and Stravinsky for the Rite of Spring. We witness kabuki’s creation, as a radical women’s performance, in Kyoto; the Sex Pistols shattering Thatcherite Britain at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall; and watch as Hitchcock directs Psycho.

Publisher Review

Anyone in love with the arts will fall in love with this beautifully written and fascinating book -- Kathy Burke Dominic Dromgoole takes moments from our cultural history and shines a new light on them. Astonishingly vibrant, bristling with energy, wit and wisdom -- Hugh Bonneville On Hamlet: Globe to Globe: 'His love of language is contagious ... the storytelling segues into scholarship with extraordinary skill as he ricochets the modern world with a 400-year-old text.' * The Times * Dromgoole's witty account offers insight about the play and its enduring appeal ... Compulsively readable. * The New York Times (100 Notable Books) * Erudite and fascinating ... truly compelling. * Observer * Exhilarating ... he succeeds in making the familiar unfamiliar. -- James Shapiro On Will and Me: How Shakespeare Took Over My Life 'A superbly written, infectiously high-spirited narrative ... a hard book to put down.' -- Terry Eagleton * The Irish Times * Friendly, inclusive, I warmed [to it] immediately. A terrific book. -- William Leith * Evening Standard * His book is an absolute delight ... The outstanding quality is his sheer, overwhelming love for Shakespeare. * Sunday Times * This book is clearly a triumph. -- Jonathan Bate * Spectator *

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible