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Hamlet's Father

2.58  ·  Rating Details ·  202 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
In this twist on Shakespeare's classic ghost story, young prince Hamlet postpones vengeance upon his unclebut not for the reason Shakespeare told us. Hamlet discovers things are not quite what they seem in the kingdom of Denmark.
Published May 1st 2012 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

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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
Jan 20, 2012 mark monday marked it as unread-forever  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 13, 2013 Riku Sayuj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 01, 2012 Amelia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Craig Childs
Jul 06, 2011 Craig Childs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 14, 2013 Tara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: osc
Hamlet's Father seems ever-so-familiar . . . until it is terribly, horribly, and all-too-believably NOT familiar.
Anne Francia Chavez
Oh hell no. This really, REALLY saddened me because I really, REALLY liked Ender's Game.
Jan 28, 2017 Annalisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this audiobook mostly because of the narrator, Stefan Rudnicki, who did an excellent job reading the book, but found that sometimes I drifted off to sleep because it wasn't all that interesting. I don't normally fall asleep while I'm listening to an audiobook. It is short which is nice about 2 1/2 hours. It does not stay true to the play itself which I found interesting. I did find it to be a bit homophobic which I guess is just the author's point-of-view being reflected in the writing ...more
Avaminn F'nett
Dec 19, 2016 Avaminn F'nett rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I mean it's not as homophobic as its reputation suggests, but seriously, why does this exist? It is so bad and completely destroys everything good about the original play.
Ana 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
Jul 05, 2015 Diane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 08, 2015 Blackkit10 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Fantasy Literature
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
Juanita Johnson
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
Sep 22, 2013 awgusteen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Scott Lee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzanne Moore
According to Card's version of Hamlet, Claudis kills Hamlet's father in revenge for molesting him when he was younger. Hamlet never felt close to his father growing up ... his father was always off "hunting" with other young men. Turns out his father was a closet homosexual/pedophile. As Hamlet uncovers the reason behind his father's death, he finds out more about himself and fears he will be cursed to an afterlife where his father will spend eternity, loving him in an "unnatural" way. This was ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Melanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because of the line on the back of a novella collection this was part of. It said "What if Hamlet's father was killed by someone entirely unexpected?". That intrigued me, so I read it. And I felt like I wasted my time. It wasn't spooky or scary, just weird and twisted. I think I'm going to have to start actively avoiding Orson Scott Card books in the future. I'm always left feeling unsatisfied by his work.
Laura Hogensen
This retelling started off well, but it quickly devolves as Card tries to move the plot forward instead of sticking with the philosophical questions that Hamlet debates at the halfway point. The idea that Ham's father was murdered for a different reason than in the play is fun to ponder, but Card's reasoning for the murder is overwrought. The big reveal came across as silly rather than scandalous. Also, quite simply, the book is just not well written. Don't bother with this one.
Don Weidinger
Mar 15, 2013 Don Weidinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
whether Prince or pretty, cold water to make king wise, greater fool wise who does not know he is wise or wise who does not think wise, philosopher first and Saint, spirits in heaven or hell, don’t fear opinions of fools, a better father than you know, certainty as feeling right as what happened wrong to defeat a greater wrong is right, running pal along corridor, St Augustine Confessions, only do right if desire right.
I've abandoned many Card novels for various reasons, but this is the first time I was just bored. I'm sure some basic knowledge of Shakespeare's play would've helped. Call me an illiterate swine, but I've never really enjoyed the Bard. *ducks to avoid flying vegetation*

Addendum: Having read a few reviews, it seems I was wise to quit when I did. Nothing like a king raping young boys to enrich my day. *shakes head at Cards preoccupation with homosexuality*
Mary Richard
I'm not sure its possible to review this book without writing a spoiler. Perhaps its enough to say that the author has engaged in some revisionist fictional history. Unless the reader is familiar with Shakespeare's version, a reader might develop some misconceptions about the original characters and plot on reading this book.
Nov 21, 2012 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was so ready to love this. Orson Scott Card, one of my favorite authors--especially for taking on moral dilemmas--playing with Shakespeare? Yes, please! ...I really wish I hadn't. I found the subtexts and "plot twist" heavy handed and distasteful and the rampant homophobia and the equating of pedophilia and homosexuality disturbing.
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.
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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...

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