"This is Shakespearean scholarship at its best, brilliantly researched yet compulsively readable. It's a book for our times, enduringly fascinating and appealing to both enthusiasts and the general reader. Highly recommended!"
– Alison Weir, New York Times bestselling author
"A richly detailed labour of love."
– Financial Times "Best Summer Books 2023"
"Shakespeare’s Book, a new history of the men who created the First Folio... Those seeking to learn more about the history of the First Folio could do no better than to read Laoutaris’s book: it is lively and impeccably researched."
– Prospect Magazine
"Shakespeare’s Book shines a brilliant light. Meticulously researched and compellingly conveyed, Shakespeare’s Book sits comfortably alongside the likes of Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World and James Shapiro’s 1599 as a Shakespeare study that manages to be edifying and entertaining in equal measure. Mr. Laoutaris brings vividly alive the many individuals involved in the Folio by way of illuminating potted biographies. His book as a whole is a richly informative account of what he calls ‘one of the most significant conservation projects in history.’”
– The Wall Street Journal
"Like Shakespeare’s plays, Laoutaris’s book revolves around detailed interpersonal relationships. From his pages, you will learn about the lives of Heminges and Condell, the Folio’s main patrons, and many others, including Shakespeare’s friend and rival Ben Jonson and the various minor poets who offered praise of the book and its author."
– Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"Shakespeare’s Book by Chris Laoutaris is a must read for anyone with even a slight passing fancy for Shakespeare. These characters come to life as the result of Laoutaris’ in-depth research into the backgrounds and politics of each. To say this is a book to be read and reread, and have a place on the library shelf, would be a major understatement."
– New York Journal of Books
“This fascinating study celebrates the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio and reflects contemporary interest in the history of the book (the First Folio in particular). The notes are extensive and helpful, the bibliography is enumerative, and the index is detailed. This well-produced volume is replete with color images.”
– Choice Magazine
“Mr. Laoutaris traces the tangled negotiations that led to [the] acquisition of printing rights for the 22 plays the King’s Men did not control. His resourceful sleuthing ties the Folio’s birth to the politics of its time.”
– The Economist
"[A] masterful and engaging study.... impressively readable, written with pace and assurance... Shakespeare's Book is sure to take its place among this century's most valuable contributions to Shakespearean studies. By showcasing this unprecedented compilation, Laoutaris draws attention to the First Folio's importance to our awareness and appreciation of the English language's premier poet."
– Washington Independent Review of Books
"Chris Laoutaris’s engaging account of how Shakespeare’s ‘First Folio’ was published 400 years ago yields enjoyable detail. The emphasis on the genius of Shakespeare can make you forget that his works have always been part of a curated publishing exercise. Laoutaris illustrates how the survival of Shakespeare is partly thanks to a carefully planned business strategy. As Heminges and Condell implored casual browsers, 'What ever you do, buy.'"
– Suzi Feay, Financial Times "Best Books of the Week"