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Joint Review & Giveaway: All Men of Genius by Lev A.C. Rosen

Title: All Men of Genius

Author: Lev A.C. Rosen

Genre: Comedy, Steampunk, Speculative Fiction

Publisher: Tor
Publication date: September 2011
Hardcover: 416 pages

Inspired by two of the most beloved works by literary masters, All Men of Genius takes place in an alternate Steampunk Victorian London, where science makes the impossible possible.

Violet Adams wants to attend Illyria College, a widely renowned school for the most brilliant up-and-coming scientific minds, founded by the late Duke Illyria, the greatest scientist of the Victorian Age. The school is run by his son, Ernest, who has held to his father’s policy that the small, exclusive college remain male-only. Violet sees her opportunity when her father departs for America. She disguises herself as her twin brother, Ashton, and gains entry.

But keeping the secret of her sex won’t be easy, not with her friend Jack’s constant habit of pulling pranks, and especially not when the duke’s young ward, Cecily, starts to develop feelings for Violet’s alter ego, “Ashton.” Not to mention blackmail, mysterious killer automata, and the way Violet’s pulse quickens whenever the young duke, Ernest (who has a secret past of his own), speaks to her. She soon realizes that it’s not just keeping her secret until the end of the year faire she has to worry about: it’s surviving that long.

Stand alone or series: It can be read as a stand alone novel as the story is self-contained, but it seems that there is another book set in the same world in the works. HOORAY!

How did we get this book: We both got signed review copies at BEA

Why did we read this book: Thea was actually the one to first notice the book when we were planning our BEA schedule and bring it to Ana’s attention. What made us want to read it? Well, it is a Steampunk retelling of Twelfth Night set in Victorian London and with elements of The Importance of Being Earnest so how could we NOT want to read it?

REVIEW

First Impressions:

Ana: All Men of Genius has been marketed as a Steampunk retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Well, I love Steampunk (when done well) and the two aforementioned plays are my favourites by their respective authors so I was super excited to read this. At the same time, I was quite wary as there is this really thin line separating great homage from simple reproduction. I need not have worried: Mr Rosen’s book is basically made of awesome and I loved every single second of it.

In fact, you will have to excuse me while I wax poetic all over this review.

Thea: I remember catching wind of this title right before BEA and then excitedly telling Ana that this sounded like an awesome candidate for a joint review – there’s the steampunk goodness PLUS the wonderful literary allusions/inspirations, not to mention the fun cover and clever title. It is, in short, the perfect amalgam of things that we Smugglers love. I went into this book expecting a delightful romantic comedy of errors and a lighthearted romp through a steampunkified Victorian London – and I am happy to report that All Men of Genius delivers exactly that, with some surprising depth to boot.

On the Plot:

Ana: Violet Adams is a brilliant inventor and mechanical genius who would love nothing more than to attend the world-famous Illyria College. Unfortunately for Violet, the College will not accept women, who are regarded by society as the lesser gender. But that will not stop Violet and aided by her twin brother Ashton and their best friend Jack, she comes up with scheme to masquerade as her brother and attend the colleague: her goal is to become the College’s best student and at the end of the year, reveal herself as a woman. Things get a little more complicated when Ernest, the Duke of Illyria and the headmaster of the College, becomes infatuated with Violet-as-Ashton (who reciprocates the feeling much to her own dismay) at the same time that his ward Cecily also develops feelings for the student. Violet has to deal with all of this and attend the lessons and concoct the experiment that will prove her genius amongst serious competition with other students. Meanwhile, there is something afoot in the labyrinth beneath the College where long lost secrets still dwell.

I can’t even begin to express how much I loved this book.

In terms of the plot it follows Violet and her friends during this one year at College and it deals with several different threads. In this alternate universe London, the College is a centre for scientific experiments in a proper Steampunk manner featuring not only automata and steam-powered machines but also biological/medical advancements in genetics that allow (terrible) experimentations with animals and even with human beings.

As an aside, this is probably my only main criticism of the book: that there is little ethical questioning about this (although some of the characters do show some horror to what some of the students are doing) but since learning that there will be a sequel, I hope this will be addressed somehow.

There is also the mystery of what is going on in the basement of the school which may or may not relate to a group of Mad Scientists that wish for World Nomination and that sounds a bit trite because well, not all Science Fiction needs to feature the mad conspiracies. BUT it not only kept me going and what’s the best thing about this, is that the eventual revelation is completely anti-climatic and I totally loved that it was so. It not only fit the story but more to the point it fit its mood and atmosphere.

And then of course, there is the scheme itself and how to keep Violet’s identity a secret from everybody; there is all the falling in love and falling out of love and love returned and love spurned. Most of it is a comedy of manners and a comedy of errors and I am a sucker for both especially when done with such aplomb. I mean, I loved everything about it: the writing, the narrative style which features an almost omniscient narrator, the banter between the characters and their adventures. This is where the novel follows the original plays very closely – if you are familiar with either play, you will know exactly where the story is going and who ends up with each other (well, more or less since Ashton don’t really play his original role, but more on that later). But what fascinated me the most is that even with that, this story was still fresh and original and the author’s own not only because of the Steampunk elements but because of how it developed. For example, it is very common in Shakespearian plays for characters to fall in love at first sight and this happens here when Jack falls in love with Cecily but she totally calls him on that – how is it possible that he can love her at first sight without knowing her?

More than that though, I loved how the story was set in a somewhat similar Victorian London and despite the scientific advancements, it was still a society with prejudices and sexism. I thought the author was at extremely ease with exploring and examining subtly and with compassion those issues, dealing with gender bias, sexism, racism and homophobia really well.

To sum up: All Men of Genius is charming, fun, funny, romantic and as the English would say, totally my cup of tea.

Thea: What Ana said. If you’re familiar with Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest, you can basically guess how All Men of Genius plays out. I loved the allusions, both obvious and subtle, to each play; Violet’s invention of a mechanical perambulator (in which neither a baby nor a novel can be forgotten or switched); the phonetic similarities between Ashton/Sebastian, Violet/Viola, Miriam/Maria, the delightful “Malcom Volio” for Malvolio; and so on and so forth. But more than the similarities in names and plot devices, I loved that this hybrid version of Wilde’s and the Bard’s comedy of mistaken identities has a much deeper examination of sexism, sexuality, and status. It’s actually incredibly impressive that Mr. Rosen is able to stay so close to the source material while translating it to a context that is both engrossing speculative fiction AND a bitingly relevant societal critique.

Like Ana, I was easily drawn in by the comedic elements of this story – Violet, dressed as a man, heads to Illyria to fulfill her lifelong dream and prove that a woman is just as eligible for a career in the sciences as a man. Like her inspirational Shakespearean counterpoint Viola, Violet defies convention in order to find a place in a society that forces women into set roles – and she’s not the only one to do so. Her twin brother, Ashton, also plays within the niceties towards outward facing society, but is an unapologetic “invert” (the Victorian term for homosexual) that loves as he wills – which is freaking awesome. There’s also Cecily, the sixteen year old ward (the embodiment both her Earnest namesake and Olivia from Twelfth Night) who is beautiful and believes herself to be in love with Violet-as-Ashton. But rather than stunting her character as a love-struck girl, Mr. Rosen gives her a voice beyond that of the blandly naive young ward and shows that part of the reason she falls in love with “Ashton” is because “he” treats her as an equal and admires her scientific skill and know-how. There’s also Miriam, Cecily’s governess, who is so much more than her Twelfth Night counterpart, Maria, with her desire for freedom, both socially and sexually. Long story short – I loved the way that Mr. Rosen managed to pay tribute to the plays that inspired this novel, but managed to make them relevant and thematically brilliant by dealing with sensitive issues of gender, sexuality, and social norms.

But let’s not forget about the Speculative Fiction element! After all, this is a steampunk novel set in an alternate Victorian London. Like Ana says, I think the charm of this book in terms of world/setting is in that Illyria is not a mere college devoted to the creation of dirigibles and automata. While Violet IS a mechanical genius, Illyria allows for other kinds of brilliance – from the genetically/biologically ambitious (Victor Frankenstein would have been gleefully at home here) to those who long to gaze at the stars and divine the meanings of their celestial movements.

The only plot element that I felt was slightly undercooked was that of young Volio and his nefarious schemes. The mystery of the school’s labyrinthine corridors and the secrets they harbor are the underlying impetus for the climax of the novel, and while it works in a wonderfully absurdist Wilde-esque way, it felt a bit of an easy way to pin everything on a main villain. Plus, by the end of the novel we only really learn a tiny bit about the mysterious society of Illyria – but as there’s a sequel in the works, I’m certain more will come to light in a future installment.

On the Characters:

Ana: If I loved the plot because it was so close to the originals, I loved the characters all the more because this is where All Men of Genius deviates from the original stories the most because the author took some of the characters into different paths and gave some of them voices.

A significant difference for example comes with Ashton, Violet’s twin brother who, in this story, is gay and although he is a bit of a secondary character, there is enough exploration of his difficult situation in a society that doesn’t accept queer people. At the same time, I loved how sister and his friends accepted his sexual orientation without any problems whatsoever.

There is quite a diverse cast of characters, the majority of them beautifully rendered in depth. I even felt that the villain had his reasons (but that might be because I secretly always felt bad for Malvolio in Shakespeare’s play). I loved the bittersweet relationship between another young, Sir Toby and the older Governess Miriam. I loved that Miriam was given a personality separate to what was happening to her ward Cecily, that she is just like Violet, an independent woman who wants to be able to do more with her life and be as free to love and have fun as she wants. There is this beautiful scene where Violet – just like Miriam- muses about the simple pleasure of going out with friends to a tavern to drink and be merry, a pleasure that is denied to her because she is a woman. And I loved that – I loved every single female character in this book because they had personalities and arcs of their own independently of any male counterpart even though all of them were involved in a romantic storyline. This to me, is awesome.

Thea: I completely and wholeheartedly agree. There are many familiar elements and homages paid in All Men of Genius, which makes those differences all the more potent. With his portrayal of Violet, Mr. Rosen gives our heroine not only the pluck and survival instincts of Viola, but also takes into account the context of Victorian England and prevailing sexism. Should Violet be caught in her disguise, she, like other women who dared to pose as men in order to gain an education, would be thrown in prison indefinitely (or worse). I loved that Violet addresses and weighs these possibilities against her own actions and makes the conscious decision to go to Illyria, because the stakes are so high. I also loved that while Violet discovers freedom when she poses as a man, she also discovers her own desire to be and grow as a woman. The balance is wonderfully wrought, and I loved the finesse and skill that Mr. Rosen shows his heroine.

I also have to agree with Ana that all of the female characters in this piece are fantastic and my easy favorites – Cecily grows in her own confidences and becomes a young woman, but it is the widowed Miriam that captured my heart. A governess, a widow, but still a young woman yearning for freedom and life outside of marriage, Miriam’s quest for happiness was completely unexpected (to me) and added a depth and nuance to a novel that was for the large part a sparkling, light comedy. I also adored Ashton and his support for his sister and his resolve to be happy, just as I loved the easygoing prankster Jack, who also grows and learns what it means to truly love someone. Finally, there’s the Duke of Illyria himself, the Ernest of this piece (who is also equal parts Orsino). Ernest is a sympathetic hero that one can’t help but feel for – romantic and soft-spoken, his romance with Viola-as-Ashton (and as Viola) is hilarious and heartfelt. There’s a kiss that literally comes out of nowhere that had me gleefully laughing, and I’m kind of glad that Lev Rosen goes there (I always wondered about the attraction between Orsino and “Sebastian” in Twelfth Night, and I think the way it is handled here, with much introspection, is very clever indeed).

Final Thoughts, Observations & Rating:

Ana: As you can see, I loved this book with all my heart to the point I can hardly contain myself. It’s been a while since I had so much unreserved fun reading a book. All I can say now is that All Men of Genius is an Ana-Book through and through and I hugged it when I finished reading it. It has a secure spot on my top 10 this year.

Thea: I also truly loved the book, and like Ana, had a very fun time reading it. Absolutely recommended to all, and a Notable Read of 2011.

Notable Quotes/ Parts: From Chapter 1:

VIOLET and Ashton’s father was leaving for America to help decide where time should begin. It was Violet’s duty to retrieve her brother and bring him to the door to say good-bye, but he was not paying her any attention. Instead, he was absorbed in his piano playing. If she had been luckier, she thought, her twin brother would have inherited her father’s obsession with time, at least insofar as learning to play the piano with some sense of it.

“Ashton!” she shouted. He ignored her. “Ashton!” she shouted more loudly. She was standing by his shoulder. He could clearly hear her, but was pretending not to.

“If music be the food of love, play on!” Ashton yelled over his rackety playing. Then he attempted to sing the same lines along with the music—to think of it as “in tune with the music” would imply that the music had a tune. Violet, impatient, tapped him on the shoulder with a little force.

Ashton finally stopped playing and turned to look at his sister. “I think I play the piano rather well. Perhaps not technically well . . .”

“Or well at all,” Violet said, smiling.

“If I were speaking to someone who was about to do me a very large favor—indeed, who was about to assist me in a most unorthodox scheme—I think perhaps I’d be a little nicer.”

Violet narrowed her eyes. She did need his help, so she forced a falsely cheerful smile. “Anyone can play technically well, brother,” she said sweetly. “But you play with real feeling.”

“Thank you,” Ashton said with a large grin. “Your compliments mean ever so much to me.”

You can read the first two chapters of the book online HERE, and find a very cool and long-ish excerpt HERE.

Lev Rosen has also provided some juicy extras in the form of deleted scenes on his website HERE – but in order to access them, you need passwords. And passwords can only be got by playing Viola’s lockpicking game HERE, through twitter contests, or by somehow making Lev smile.

Rating:

Ana: 9 – Damn Near Perfection

Thea: 8 – Excellent

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

We have one autographed (!) copy of All Men of Genius to giveaway to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, and let us know what YOUR favorite comedy of errors is. The contest is open to US and CANADA ONLY and will run till Saturday October 8 11:59PM (PST). Only one entry per person, please! Multiple comments will be automatically disqualified. Good luck!

Buy the Book:

Ebook available for kindle US, nook, google, kobo & apple

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88 Comments

  • Megan @ Book Brats
    September 30, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Would it be strange if I said my favorite comedy of errors was Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors? It’s seriously one of my favorite Shakespeare plays and I just love every minute of it!

    The book sounds wonderful! Thanks for the great contest.

  • SonomaLass
    September 30, 2011 at 1:07 am

    THANK YOU for bringing this book to my attention! I’m a theatre historian who specializes in cross-dressed performance — I love Shakespeare, and I have directed Earnest (a cross-gendered version, actually). Not to mention that my love of steampunk runs deep and wide. I cannot imagine a more perfect premise for a book; it’s going on my wish list immediately!

    I’ve played one of the Dromios in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, but picking a favorite is very difficult. I think I’ll go with a more modern play, Noises Off. Definitely one of the most fun and challenging comedies I have ever directed.

  • Ashley
    September 30, 2011 at 2:32 am

    This book sounds fantastic! I think my favorite Shakespeare comedy is Much Ado About Nothing, but if we go modern comedies of errors, there was a movie called Casanova with Heath Ledger that I love and watch every time it’s on TV.

  • Tracy F
    September 30, 2011 at 3:34 am

    (Sometimes it seems like my life is a comedy of errors, but I love it.)

    Besides that, though, while I love Shakespeare, and Oscar Wilde, for a lighthearted, easy read my favorite comedy of errors is Esther Friesner’s Magyk by Accident. Hapless wannabe wizard who accidentally gains possession of the biggest supply of magyk in the kingdom, who has No Clue what to do with it, and a talking other-dimensional cat? Yup, yup, bring it to me!

  • Pippi55
    September 30, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors

  • sandyl
    September 30, 2011 at 3:53 am

    I really enjoyed The Importance of Being Ernest. This books looks to be just as good.

  • Frank J
    September 30, 2011 at 4:58 am

    I personally consider every Discworld novel featuring Rincewind to be a comedy of errors, but if that doesn’t count, then definitely Much Ado About Nothing

  • Lisa (starmetal oak)
    September 30, 2011 at 5:32 am

    My favourite comedy of errors is probably To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis!

    Thanks for the review, I wish I grabbed this at BEA!

  • Blog Tour! | Lev AC Rosen
    September 30, 2011 at 5:40 am

    […] Monday I’ll be at Mad Hatter Tuesday I’ll be at Pink Raygun with a reviewbuttal & an interview over at Number One Novels Wednesday I’ll be at Fantasy Cafe Thursday I’ll be at Grasping for the Wind And Friday I’ll be at Fantasy Book Critic with a review & Bonus Review at The Book Smugglers! […]

  • Mandi Venard
    September 30, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Shakespeare The Comedy of Errors.Please enter me in the contest,I love reading your reviews,this one is now at the top of my to read list.Thanks.

  • NinjaPenguin
    September 30, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Ooh, this is definitely going on the To Buy list. I love Twelfth Night, and I love Earnest. Apart from those two, I think Connie Willis’s To Say Nothing of the Dog is my next favorite.

  • NinjaPenguin
    September 30, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Ooh, this is definitely going on the To Buy list. I love Twelfth Night, and I love Earnest. Apart from those two, I think Connie Willis’s To Say Nothing of the Dog is my next favorite.

  • Heather R.
    September 30, 2011 at 6:33 am

    This book looks A-W-E-S-O-M-E! (enough to deserve a cheerleader chant:) I enjoyed your reveiw, just heard about this book last week and it’s moved up a notch on my wishlist. I’m ashamed to say I have never read “The Importance of Being Earnest” even though I really like Wilde, I need to remedy that soon. I think my favorite book/play/movie about mistaken identities and the comedy that ensues would be Cyrano de Bergerac:)Thanks for the contest!

  • SwiftScribbler
    September 30, 2011 at 6:34 am

    This book sounds awesome! I think my favorites are Robert Asprin’s Myth books.

  • Joan
    September 30, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Think my favorite comedy of errors is the original Pink Panther movies.

  • rhonda
    September 30, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Comedy of Errors the best!!

  • raych
    September 30, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Perfect Ana-book = likely Raych-book, ERGO! I hate to be a copycat but To Say Nothing of the Dog is the comediest of errors.

  • Becci
    September 30, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Ooo! This book sounds amazing! I always love stories where a female has to pretend to be male to do things that only men are supposed to do (i.e. Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series). Can’t wait to get my hands on this book one day!

  • MarieC
    September 30, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I love the writings of Oscar Wilde and this book sounds awesome!

    There are two stories I love that relate are “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime” by Wilde and the manga, “Ouran High School Host Club” by Bisco Hatori.

  • LeAnn
    September 30, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Is it bad to say Comedy of Errors or Twelfth Night? I do love Shakespeare and those crack me up. I can’t think of a contemporary comedy.

  • Marla
    September 30, 2011 at 8:08 am

    There have been many good works brought up, and I love some of them, but to throw a new title in.. “Kung fu hustle”. Oh yes. A farce! false identities, chaos caused by foolish characters, and a happy conclusion!

  • Heidi
    September 30, 2011 at 8:13 am

    When I announced the existence of this book to my boyfriend, he accused me of going behind his back and hiring authors to pander to my specific tastes. Why? Because not only do I love well-done steampunk, but Twelfth Night has always been my favorite Shakespeare, and I adore The Importance of Being Earnest to the point that I utilize “Bunbury” as my user and screen name everywhere. Cheesy I know to say that this book is the very embodiment of my favorite comedy of errors, but there it is. Thank you for the review, I’m now dying to read this book. 😀

  • Jon
    September 30, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors

  • Michelle
    September 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I feel a little unoriginal saying this, but Twelfth Night is definitely my favorite comedy of errors. I also really liked the modernized movie adaptation She’s the Man with Amanda Bynes. (:

    Thank you so much for hosting such an awesome giveaway! I’ve never even heard or seen this title anywhere, and from your reviews it sound so good!!

  • Bhand35
    September 30, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I have heard nothing but good things for this book. Your review just made me want to read it even more thanks.
    As for a favorite Much Ado About Nothing

  • Bhand35
    September 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I have heard nothing but good things for this book. Your review just made me want to read it even more thanks. As for a favorite Much Ado About Nothing

  • Bhand35
    September 30, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I have heard nothing but good things for this book. As for a favorite Much Ado About Nothing

  • Brian
    September 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

    My favorite Much Ado About Nothing. Thanks for the great review I look forward to reading this more then ever.

  • Navi
    September 30, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Honestly this is a bit lame but I haven’t read/seen enough commedy of errors in my time…however from the things that I have seen/read that have elements of error and humour I would have to say that the following are my favorites:
    -Ouran high school host club (seen the show haven’t read the books)
    -She’s the Man ( I didn’t read the twelfth night but after seeing this I really want to)
    -The Miles Vorkosigan Series by Lois McMaster Bujord
    (specifically The Warrior’s Apprentice”
    -Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

    Thanks for the contest!!

  • Celia
    September 30, 2011 at 9:42 am

    My favorites are Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night.

  • Alex
    September 30, 2011 at 9:53 am

    This book sounds amazing – I love cross-dressing tropes!

    My favourite comedy of errors I most recently read would have to be To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (thanks to Ana’s recommendation!). It was hilarious, heartwarming and just overall fabulous (and also contained enough discussion on what makes history to make this history nerd SO HAPPY).

  • Susanna
    September 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

    As You Like It is probably my favorite Shakespearean comedy of errors, but I also love the movie Charade (with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant). It’s really a suspense film, but misunderstandings and constantly changing identities are hilarious and unexpected.

  • Seema
    September 30, 2011 at 10:10 am

    For me Be Cool by Elmore Leonard is one of the best books ever written within the “comedy of errors” setting.

  • Justine
    September 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Nobody likes A Midsummer Night’s Dream? I am aghast!

  • Lorraine
    September 30, 2011 at 11:09 am

    IN books one of my faves is Good Omens, but in movies I like Murder by Death.

  • jenmitch
    September 30, 2011 at 11:11 am

    i’ll join the club and say “to say nothing of the dog” by connie willis. i was introduced to her books from this blog, and now she is one of my favorites.

  • pscott
    September 30, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I LOVE the Importance of Being Ernest! I must read this book ASAP!

  • Elizabeth
    September 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    First of all, hooray for Tor for breaking away from the pack with an awesome illustrated YA cover. MORE THIS. Second of all, I’m dorky enough that Fawlty Towers is my favorite farcical comedy of errors…Will that still qualify me for the giveaway?!

  • Paige
    September 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    This looks brilliant!

    And my favorite comedy of errors is either Connie Willis’ Bellwether, or any of Joan Aiken’s Arabel and Mortimer short stories.

  • Carol
    September 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I would LOVE to win this book!

    Favorite comedy of errors is She’s the Man (film). Oh, and Twelfth night the play the movie is based on. 🙂

  • Raina
    September 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    She’s the Man was my favorite adaptation of Twelfth Night, and I can’t wait to read this book

  • Erin
    September 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Definitely To Say Nothing of the Dog…”Cyril…Man overboard!”

  • Margaret S.
    September 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I hope “To Say Nothing of the Dog” qualifies as a comedy of errors, because it’s by far my favourite. Reread countless times, and it never gets old. Oh, look! Erin just up-comment of me named it, too. I guess it counts.

  • Amy Kathryn
    September 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    So not fully comedy of errors but I love Waiting for Guffman and 50 first dates…they have aspects! Not to mention all the classic ones named above.

  • Ellie
    September 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Twelfth Night!

  • Emily
    September 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I’m going to have to go with Much Ado About Nothing. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Franki
    September 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    This book looks so incredibly wonderful! I would really love to read it… but anyways, my favourite comedy of errors would have to be Much Ado About Nothing, because I haven’t read/seen Twelfth Night as of yet, however, as a fan of Tamora Pierce it looks like just the thing I would enjoy.

  • Deserae
    September 30, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I love The Importance of Being Earnest. It made me laugh out loud when we read it last year. Lalalalaloved it.

  • draconismoi
    September 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I’ll just join in the praises of Connie Willis being tossed around here….but if we’re going for a more dark take on the comedy of errors, I’d put Fargo in my top 5.

  • Kate & Zena
    September 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I’m not sure what my favorite comedy of errors is because I’m not fully sure what it is. I love, “The Boys List”…anything by e.e. lockhart.

  • Amy C
    September 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I love Much Ado About Nothing, especially the way Beatrice and Benedick spar and the way things balanced on the edge of a tragedy yet flipped back to a happily ever after — very satisfying.

  • bigfoot24
    September 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    My favorite comedy of errors would have to be Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. So many funny things happen in this play! By the way, this book sounds amazing! 😮

  • Jamie
    September 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Actually, Twelfth Night is what made me like Shakespeare after years of stubborn rejection of all things Shakespeare, so I must say it is my favorite.

  • Tina
    September 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    My favorite comedies of errors are Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Shaw’s Heartbreak House.

  • Stephanie K.
    September 30, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

  • Kristin
    September 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    This book sounds marvelous. My favorite comedy of errors is either The Importance of Being Earnest or Gail Carriger’s Soulless.

  • Meghan R.
    September 30, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    That is a tough question! I’d have to say that “Noises Off” is currently my comedy of errors. It is hilarious!

  • Su
    October 1, 2011 at 6:28 am

    After all those Shakespeare responses, I feel a bit silly saying mine: The Mr. Bean TV series. 😀 Every episode has me in stitches.

  • hapax
    October 1, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Oh, it’s so very hard to pick — but I have to say Bea and Benedick. If only one I’m allowed to choose, the top spot’s always MUCH ADO’s.

  • Susan Laura
    October 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I would have to say Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

  • Isabel Fine
    October 1, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Twelfth Night is my favourite. Specifically, Des McAnuff’s production. That was the most I have laughed in a theatre since Spamalot.

  • Julie Witt
    October 1, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I’m so glad you waxed poetic over this book, because it has now made it a must read for me! Thanks so much for the amazing review and giveaway 🙂
    My favorite is definitely Much Ado About Nothing! I loved the book and even the movie!

  • Tiffany
    October 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

    My Uncle Oswald!!

  • Jen B.
    October 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    The first time I saw this cover it drew me in and I wanted to know more. I love Steampunk and this story sounds really good. My favorite comedy of errors is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. That movie really has stood the test of time.
    jepebATverizonDOTnet

  • Hannah Koppers
    October 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    It took an extensive amount of wheedling on the part of my friend to get me to watch ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’, and then when I did, I baked her thank you cookies, because that movie skyrocked to the top of my favorites list.

  • Priya
    October 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I adore “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Shakespeare- hilarious!

  • Jen
    October 1, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    While I love Midsummer, Twelfth Night will always top my list of favorites. The subplot with Malvolio always leaves me dying.

  • Fig
    October 2, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I know there are so many books that are fantastic comedies of errors, but I have to go with TV. Fawlty Towers!

  • Josephine
    October 2, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Three’s company

  • Autumn
    October 2, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    So many choices! I’m going to be unoriginal and say The Importance of Being Earnest; Wilde’s satirical wit never fails to make me grin. Besides, any play with such a wonderful subtitle as A Trivial Comedy for Serious People necessarily must have a high place in my affections.

  • Missie
    October 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    It’s a hard choice, but I’ve long had a soft spot for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

  • Kimberly B.
    October 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Wow, this book sounds amazing! I must admit, I am very Old School; in addition to Shakespeare and Wilde, I also love Plautus, particularly “Pseudolus” and “The Braggart Soldier,” as well as the modern musical they inspired: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

    Thanks for the terrific giveaway!

  • Kay-Kay-Bay
    October 3, 2011 at 12:01 am

    “Twelfth Night” is one of the best, which is why I’m so excited about this book.
    I also love the play “Hay Fever” by Noel Coward.

  • Scarlett
    October 3, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Thank you for bringing this book to my attention and for hosting the giveaway. I have a horrible memory so was reading through the other comments to get inspiration for favorite comedy of errors. I’ll have to second the opinion of Su and say Mr. Bean…I laugh so hard with these episode that I literally cry!

  • Kaethe
    October 3, 2011 at 7:10 am

    I’m a huge fan of The Importance of Being Ernest. It’s Wilde at his funniest.

  • Carmen
    October 3, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I love The Importance of Being Earnest, too!

  • Audra Holtwick
    October 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    The Importance of Being Earnest–
    audie@wickerness.com

  • Lili
    October 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    My favorite comedy of errors is Much Ado About Nothing!
    Lili 😛

  • Quill2006
    October 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I’m not positive that they fit the definition of a comedy of errors, but if not, they seem close to me! My favorite recently has been the TV version of Jeeves and Wooster.

    This book looks awesome! I’m an easy sell for any girl-passes-as-boy plot, given my adoration of Tamora Pierce’s Lioness quartet.

  • Katrina
    October 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Yay! Awesome plays and steampunk and feminism!!!! Sign me up!

  • Sam S.
    October 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for the giveaway! How about “Candide”? (It’s a comedy, more or less, and there are plenty of errors, but I’m not sure if it’s a comedy of errors.)

  • mems
    October 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Much Ado About Nothing!

  • online ged
    October 4, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Your post really helped me to understand . It has great details and yet it is easy to understand.
    That’s what i was looking for. I will definately share it with others.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • bookworm134
    October 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

    My favorite comedy of errors is a movie, The Birdcage! But if we are going for classic stories Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes the cake for me.

    Thanks for the giveaway! You rock my black socks!

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