Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hamlet's Father” as Want to Read:
Hamlet's Father
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hamlet's Father

2.58  ·  Rating Details ·  190 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
We all know Shakespeare's classic ghost story -- the young prince Hamlet's dead father appears to him, demanding vengeance upon Hamlet's uncle Claudius, who has usurped the throne and, to add insult to injury, married Hamlet's mother.

Hamlet dithers and delays, coming up with reason after reason to postpone his vengeance. But it's not for the reason Shakespeare told us. It'
Hardcover, Signed Edition Limited to 1000 Numbered copies, 92 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Subterranean Press (first published 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hamlet's Father, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hamlet's Father

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 367)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament

Kermit Prince of Denmark

The Muppets Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Meets Winnie-the-Pooh (conclusion)

The story so far:

Hamlet (Kermit) is strangely unconcerned about multiple murders and Ophelia's suicide. What really bothers him is that he's thrown out his old Pooh Bear toy (Fozzy) and replaced it with a plush Piglet (Miss Piggy).


[Pours himself a stiff drink, knocks it back, then pours another one]

My God, I need a glass or two of rye
Denmark is Denmark, that is, I am I

mark monday
Mar 28, 2015 mark monday marked it as unread-forever
i'm just going to repeat Katie's great comments:

"Awesome. Because just what Hamlet needs is rampant homophobia and dumbing down of the moral questions. There is nothing entertaining about this version, there is nothing to keep reading because he's taken away all moral ambiguity, all questions of life and death. Also, you can't make someone gay by raping them. The end."

what happened to Card? what made him go insane over the years? after reading his various anti-gay tracts, i can't help but wonder
Sep 07, 2011 Katie rated it did not like it
Awesome. Because just what Hamlet needs is rampant homophobia and dumbing down of the moral questions. There is nothing entertaining about this version, there is nothing to keep reading because he's taken away all moral ambiguity, all questions of life and death.

Also, you can't make someone gay by raping them. The end.
Riku Sayuj
Jan 14, 2013 Riku Sayuj rated it liked it
Shelves: r-r-rs
A simplistic but sometimes compelling reinterpretation. Of course, points taken away for inserting plot elements to further the ends of the reinterpretation. A better attempt would be to only try and reinterpret existing events and not include new ones just to drive the new plot. 85/100 for the attempt Uncle Orson.
Aug 14, 2016 Karl rated it it was ok
This awful book is an ARC of the re-telling of Shakespeare's Hamlet story.

The illustrations and dust jacket by Tom Kidd make this book worth keeping.

What is it our mom's used to say "If you can't say anything good, Don't say anything." is totally applicable to this book.
Jan 23, 2015 Mimi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-for-me, humor, 2015
Hilariously bad

The premise is an explanation--of sorts--for Hamlet's continuous dawdling, but written badly. The writing by itself is strange and the narrative is interrupted often by Orson Scott Card's personal views of... well, no need to repeat them here since we all know that they are. Contrary to the brief summary, there really is no twist on this Shakespearean classic; the "twist" is only a reiteration of Mr Card's personal views. I found the whole thing predictable.

I couldn't sleep last n
Sep 10, 2011 Wealhtheow marked it as won-t-read
Recommends it for: bigots and people too lazy for Shakespeare
I'm astounded that this got published in the first place. Here's a straightforward review of some of the novella's problems. I can't say I ever read Hamlet and thought, y'know what this needs? Less emotional, moral and linguistic complexity, more barely serviceable prose and homophobia. I mean, that just never crossed my mind. I guess that kind of out-of-the-box thinking is why Card can charge $35 for a novella.
Jan 31, 2013 Amelia rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Craig Childs
Jul 10, 2011 Craig Childs rated it really liked it
This story is a revisionist retelling of Hamlet. It first appeared in Marvin Kaye's 2009 anthology The Ghost Quartet; then it reappeared in 2011 as an illustrated 92-page hardcover by Subterranean Press (1000 numbered copies, each signed by the author).

OSC provides a plausible answer to the question that scholars have debated for centuries: Why was Hamlet so quick to swear to avenge his father's death, but then hesitate time and again to kill his uncle Claudius?

It's necessary to be familiar wi
Anne Francia Chavez
Oh hell no. This really, REALLY saddened me because I really, REALLY liked Ender's Game.
Jul 05, 2015 Diane rated it did not like it
Shelves: waste-of-print
I am really glad that I listened to this as an audiobook while doing something else that was constructive. if I had been reading it myself, I would have rued the time spent.

The 'story' of Hamlet is simplified, rather like reading one of the old Classic Comics of my youth. The BIG disappointment comes at the end, after we've gone through the scene of everyone killing everyone else, or themselves, and Horatio confesses to killing King Hamlet because he sexually abused the Companions when they were
Aug 08, 2015 Blackkit10 rated it liked it
Recommended to Blackkit10 by: Kim Croft
I liked this story. No, it's not like the original and not supposed to be. I see nothing homophobic about this book at all. Homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same thing and should never be compared to one another.
As for the author's personal feelings about homosexuals, I could care less. So he's a homophobe, so what? I've got breaking news, not everyone has the same opinion and just because their opinion is not the same as mine or yours doesn't mean they don't have the right to have it.
Feb 14, 2013 Tara rated it did not like it
A highly edited and extremely subjective retelling of Hamlet.
The only reason I made it through this book is because I like the original. Fortunately it's short.
A disappointing one from Orson Scott Card, who is usually a very engaging writer.
Mar 20, 2011 rivka rated it really liked it
Shelves: osc
Hamlet's Father seems ever-so-familiar . . . until it is terribly, horribly, and all-too-believably NOT familiar.
Ana Maria Rînceanu
I have a thing for retellings and after reading Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel, I was dying for more of Hamlet. So I found this book and waited a couple of months to buy the audio-book, which is narrated by Stefan Rudnicki whom I really like.

The premise of Hamlet having an indifferent father for darker reasons than originally depicted by Shakespeare intrigued me and for the most part I enjoyed this book even though the Hamlet depicted here is too much of a goodie two-shoes and I sort of sus
Truth be told, I have never actually read Shakespeare's Hamlet all the way through, making it difficult to review Card's adaptation without being able to compare and contrast with the original. So I'll just stick to a brief summary for now and I've got Hamlet in my queue for a more thorough review later on.

Hamlet's Father is essentially Hamlet but with one twist that I suppose is aimed at making us see the entire story in a new light (big hint: it has to do with his father). The problem for me w
Juanita Johnson
Jul 15, 2012 Juanita Johnson rated it liked it
I used to be madly in love with Orson Scott Card, and he will always hold a special place in my heart, but I'm finding myself in a place where his books are beginning to be the same...different names on the characters but the same plot. In this book, however, he shows a spark of what enamored me with him in the beginning. Hamelet's relationship with his father is retold. His behaviors explained and his transgressions understandable. Honestly, I must have been a bit slow and I didn't see where he ...more
Fantasy Literature
Jun 02, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it did not like it
Those of us who majored in English in college have all read Shakespeare’s Hamlet at least once, and we’ve all seen at least one performance. Some of us go to as many performances as we possibly can, enjoying every new spin on the old tale. I’ve seen at least three movies made from the play and seen it staged at least five times. I’ve studied the text of the play in detail, and one thing never changes: Claudius murders King Hamlet in order to bed the king’s wife, Gertrude, out of good old heteros ...more
Jun 05, 2015 Cevin rated it it was ok
Having just finished the Bard's original Hamlet again, I was at first intrigued by the additional back story that his version offered. But once Hamlet returns to Elsinore, the plot really starts to diverge from the original. And the dark secret was just too much. I wanted the story to be retelling with insight into Hamlet's melancholy and inaction. Instead it's really a different story.
Dec 17, 2014 Dodecahedron rated it liked it
Very interesting, thats for sure. I gave this three stars for that reason alone; the moral and social commentary left something to be desired.

It seemed odd that hamlet, who was so wise and logical turned into an impulsive fool so quickly. Also the very end was unsatisfying, I don't see why hamlet was damned.
Feb 20, 2016 Ellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well. I don't know. There are now reasons for everyone's actions, and twists I never saw coming. And I don't think it was bad. I just am rather not fond of the ending. I mean, I understand why Hamlet ended up where he did, I'm just unhappy with it. At least Horatio is still alive.
Cate Neuhauser
Apr 20, 2016 Cate Neuhauser rated it really liked it
I love alternative views of stories and fairy tales. This did not disappoint. It takes the tale of hamlet and turns it into more of a family issue rather than one of state and succession.
Aug 04, 2014 Megan rated it liked it
Twisted but an interesting twist too! That was much more enjoyable than the original Hamlet which I can't even bring myself to continue to read. Lots and lots of death tho.
Oct 05, 2013 awgusteen rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned, the-hate-shelf
Dear Lord, this was awful.


I don't know what Card was thinking with this one at all. It's a re-telling of Shakespeare's Hamlet....that completely contradicts the actual play and turns a compelling tragedy into 96 pages of beige prose and stilted dialogue. The changes to the story, are ludicrous and insulting. (Spoiler alert: Hamlet's dad is a pedophile)It's as if Card didn't understand the play at all. Card used to be a very good writer, but I don't think he's produced anything
Douglas Hayes
I'm a big Orson Scott Card fan. Spoiler alert: It was a good enough read until the end!
One Star!
Fortunately it is a short book.
Aug 21, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
I loved this perspective of Hamlet. Great insight into what might have been going on, things not explored in the original.
May 09, 2016 Rachel rated it it was ok
It was well thought out, but I didn't love it, not sure I even liked it. The plot kind of gave me the heebie jeebies.
Scott Lee
Aug 22, 2012 Scott Lee rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Sebesta
Jun 18, 2015 Kathy Sebesta rated it it was ok
Strange and unsatisfying. It makes Hamlet a very pathetic creature. What was Card thinking?
Luke Langley
Apr 02, 2015 Luke Langley rated it liked it
A creative twist on Shakespeare's classic. It is approachable, entertaining and shor
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick Volume One: The King of the Elves
  • Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper
  • The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs (Narbondo, #5)
  • The Office of Shadow
  • The Queen of Sinister (Dark Age, #2)
  • Mortality Bridge
  • Ares Express
  • The Curse of Four (Black London, #4.5)
  • The Wolf Age (Morlock Ambrosius, #3)
  • Haven (A Trial of Blood & Steel, #4)
  • Ghosts of War (The Ghost, #2)
  • A Throne of Bones (Arts of Dark and Light, #1)
  • City of Ruins (Diving Universe, #2)
  • Blue and Gold
  • Twilight Forever Rising
  • Down to the Bone (Quantum Gravity #5)
  • A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality
  • Demonstorm (Legends of the Raven, #3)
Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th
More about Orson Scott Card...

Share This Book