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

Caliban's Hour

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  894 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Are magic and romance really so separate? In this rich fantasy novel, Tad Williams--New York Times bestselling author of To Green Angel Tower--explores the tangled roots of sorcery and passion, and gives us an astonis hing answer. Caliban is the Beast who finds in Prospero's daughter, Miranda, the Beauty to whom he tells his incredible story--an extraordinary tale of dark ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by HarperPrism (first published 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,598)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Stef Rozitis
Mixed feelings about this one. A lot of what it has to say about colonisation is very true (although Caliban as a representative of the "colonised" is in some ways a poor specimen, but maybe that in some ways hits the point home even more). Prospero was ruthless, cruel, too narcissistic in his own privilege to be intentionally evil (leading him to glorify his awful dealings with Caliban as a type of "love" on p164 but still with the epithet "little savage".

So I found Prospero ABSOLUTELY believab
Feb 20, 2015 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one who loves the play
Shelves: fantasy, audio, 3-star
I've been calling Caliban's Hour a Shakespeare fan-fic, and every virtual page just cemented this for me. It's both a sequel to The Tempest and the story from Caliban's point of view. It's both knowledgeable of the play and completely dismissive of it ... and anyone who's read any of my blog knows how "dismissive of Shakespeare" is going to sit with me.

Basically, the tale takes place some twenty years after The Tempest, and a shadow has come to Verona seeking Miranda - seeking revenge. It's not
Isaac Timm
Dec 17, 2008 Isaac Timm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2008
I good little book for those who think Prospero from the Tempest was a massive tool. Fight the power Caliban, fight the power. It's very rewarding retelling of the Tempest from Caliban's view point; because Caliban was a plot device for Shakespeare I don't think the bard worried about or justified the treatment of Caliban, but he did give Caliban some very good lines: "You taught me language; and my profit on't, I know how to curse."
Aron Bosco Caesar
Nov 25, 2014 Aron Bosco Caesar rated it really liked it
I don't usually browse the YA shelves, but the first time I saw this book it caught my eye because of two names I recognized: Caliban and Tad Williams. I was already a fan of Williams' writing, and the idea of some kind of spin-off or re-telling of The Tempest was too much to pass up. After verifying that this is what the book was, I bought it and read it in one sitting.

To describe the framing device of the story would verge on spoilery, so instead I'll just say that it is a re-telling of The Te
Morgen Rich
Feb 25, 2013 Morgen Rich rated it it was amazing
Review of Caliban’s Hour by Tad Williams

Originally published in 1995 (HarperCollins), the 2011 Kindle version of the book (The Beale-Williams Enterprise) is the one I picked up. At under 200 pages, it’s a short novel. But don’t let the size of Shakespearean fantasy fool you. Caliban’s Hour delivers Williams’s signature powerful punch.

You won’t find snappy dialogue in this book. Almost all of it is a monologue spoken by the title character. What you will find is beautiful prose and an enthralling
Apr 21, 2010 Daniela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
To this day this book will always be linked to watching Tad Williams life and in action during a reading where he spend minimal time actually reading from one of his Otherland books and instead spend a lot of time just talking, answereing questions and being highly entertaining.

If you ever have the chance to attend one of his readings, do so. He's very funny. ALso very nice and took his time during the book-signing to add personal messages. The reason why I'll never part with this book.

The boo
May 26, 2015 Vera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
'Caliban's Hour is pased on 'The Tempest' by William Shakespeare. It is a sequel as well as 'the other side of the story', for 'Caliban's Hour' tells the story of Caliban, the wild creature that only has a side role in Shakespeare's play.

It's twenty years after the magician and rightful Duke of Milan Prospero and his daughter Miranda have returned to Italy from the island they had been living on for a couple of years. Miranda is now queen of Naples and the mother of three children. The creature
Jul 02, 2012 Heather rated it it was ok
It's a fascinating concept -- what happened to Caliban after everyone left the island? But it's just too long and whiny for me. Very interesting ending though . . .
John Mayer
Feb 19, 2010 John Mayer rated it really liked it
This slender volume can be easily read in a few nights at bedtime. It could probably be read in a setting, but I didn't find it compelling enough for that, though it picks up toward the end. It is the tale of _The Tempest_, told from the point of view of the much despised Caliban. I suspect many who have read the play – I've never seen it performed –tend to side with the deformed monster against his tyrannical oppressor. Here our inclinations are justified. It seems that Caliban was a comely eno ...more
Mar 07, 2011 Bitsy rated it really liked it
I’ve been on a bit of a Shakespeare kick recently and so I was surprised to stumble across this book, Caliban’s Hour by one of my favorite authors Tad Williams. It is a short novella written from the point of view of Caliban giving his history and version of events from the play The Tempest. For those familiar with his work his novels tend to be on the longish side, and so to read a book only 200 pages long was interesting to say the least. Especially since the entire book is just a single night ...more
Sep 25, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a Tad William’s fan of many years, I was excited to have the opportunity to read Caliban’s Hour. The book was gifted to me by Tad’s wonderful wife Deborah Beale who I have corresponded with on Facebook. She took the time to critique my poetry which I appreciated very much. They have decided to jump on the e-book train with the reissue of Caliban’s Hour to digital format.
Another take on “The Tempest” by Shakespeare, the story is told from Caliban’s perspective. Tad Williams delivers a masterfu
Mar 06, 2011 Kyle added it
First, I've both read and seen performed Shakespeare's The Tempest. Don't read this unless you've done either of those. Second, I didn't particularly like The Tempest either. That worked in this book's favor.

Third, I've read and thoroughly enjoyed Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy and Otherland tetralogy. Williams normally takes a little bit to get to his stories going, but not so with Caliban's Hour.

Taking place 20 years after the events in The Tempest, Williams tells of the midni
Jan 08, 2008 Lissa rated it really liked it
In the tradition of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is Dead, this book is a re-telling of Shakespeare by a minor character. In this case, it is a retelling of The Tempest by the Shakespearean sidenote of Caliban, part of the comic relief in The Tempest. The book opens with a confrontation between Caliban and a now-middle-aged Miranda in her castle in Naples. He threatens to kill her after he spends one hour telling him his full story and explaining how she and her father ruined his life. Caliban te ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tad Williams fans; Shakespeare fans
Shelves: 2012
This is the awesome thing about Tad Williams: he can crank out some awesome fantasy and then blow your mind with a series like City of Golden Shadow. And when you think that you have had all of the awesomeness that you can take, you find a gem like Caliban's Hour. This is an excellent book that gives Caliban's (from Shakespeare's The Tempest) perspective. I highly recommend it to Shakespeare buffs. However, even with Tad Williams' awesomeness, I think that this would be a hard one to read withou ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Dee rated it really liked it
I love the idea of Shakespearean fanfiction, and have to respect any author brave enough to try it. I admit that The Tempest was never one of my more favorite plays, however, and I don't remember a lot of the details from it, so I may be missing the full flavor of this book.

That being said, I still enjoyed Caliban's Hour immensely. Tad Williams took a well-known villain, a literal monster, and turned him into a sympathetic character. Parts of his story are truly heart-breaking.

One of my favorite
Dec 31, 2008 Ben rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I didn't realize that this book was actually told from the perspective of the character Caliban from Shakespeare The Tempest. Since I've never seen/read The Tempest I was at a bit of a disadvantage, because it relies on having some knowledge of the play. My other big problem with the book was that the character of Caliban just didn't ring true for me. Not in the sense that the character wasn't true to the play (I have no idea if he was or not), but more in the sense that the character is a mix o ...more
Mar 18, 2010 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It's a long time since I read The Tempest, which didn't help my reading of this -- in the end, I quickly looked it up on wikipedia, which helps. It's a story best understood as a companion to the play, I think. It's well-written -- the descriptions are lovely -- but you have to know what Tad Williams was responding to, to really understand what he was trying to do. I think he succeeds in questioning the actions and attitudes of Miranda and her father, and in making Caliban an interesting, sympat ...more
Ramoths Own
Jan 31, 2015 Ramoths Own rated it it was amazing
I read this book years ago and remember that I loved it to death. I thought that the story was wonderfully told and made me want to read other books by this author.
Oct 24, 2015 Kurtzprzezce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Pewnie trzeba znać i lubić Szekspira żeby trochę bardziej docenić tę książkę. Nienajgorsza, ale też nie wyróżnia się szczególnie na plus.
Kevin Futers
Mar 25, 2014 Kevin Futers rated it it was amazing
An excellent look at Shakespeare's The Tempest from a different POV!
Anna Engel
I first read Caliban's Hour in middle school, when I was devouring anything written by Tad Williams. I remember being fascinated and thrilled by the untamed Caliban.

It's a quick easy read. Williams does a wonderful job describing Caliban's elevation from savagery to humanity, with the guidance of Prospero and Miranda, exiles from their former lives in Milan. However, I quickly got tired of him telling Miranda to be quiet and just listen.

But: I didn't realize until I was reading the reviews on G
Beverly Scofield
Jul 24, 2012 Beverly Scofield rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anticipating
I have had a deep sympathy for Caliban ever since I first read Shakespeare's "The Tempest." I often thought that he should be the star of a book. Tad Williams has done such a masterful, completely satisfying, job of giving him a context and a voice that I will no longer have to look for another book about my Caliban. And what a voice he gave to Caliban! It was not only a good book--it is a great book.
This is one of my all time favorites! I loved the way the story was told! Mr Williams sucks you and doesn't let go until the end! This story stayed with me for a long time. I gave it to my sister and then to my son to read and them both loved it as well. I am not good at writing reviews but I know what I love, and I LOVED this story! I highly recommend it! That's really all I can say.
Apr 27, 2008 Mo rated it it was amazing
A rather sparse but beautiful retelling of the story of Caliban, a character from Shakespeare's Tempest. Although I don't care much for most of Williams' other work, this one is a beauty. In a poetic but lucid style, Williams retells The Tempest from the view of its villain, Caliban. I especially love waht Williams has done with Ariel, one of my all-time favourite fictional characters.
Aug 29, 2011 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be judging from the cover. X^D Williams writing draws you in, no matter what the subject. It's more or less a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Not necessary for the library to keep, though especially if it hasn't been checked out in ages. But a good story nonetheless.
Jun 14, 2012 Ani rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Didn't finish this. Every author has to have a dud, right? It was dry, dull and not interesting. Along the lines of Grendel or even some of those other weird Foe or Across the Wide Sargasso Sea-type books that are meant to spin off or prequel or otherwise elaborate on some popular classic. Just. Doesn't. Work.
Jan 16, 2014 Devi rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I wavered between rating this three or four stars because its more of a three and a half star book. The main reason it loses points is because the narrative was at times plodding and at other times information seemed to come out of nowhere. Overall it was an enjoyable read but lost a few points for editing.
Aug 19, 2011 Christopher rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It follows the story of Caliban from Shakespeare's Tempest as he sneaks into Miranda's room and gives her his version of what happened to him. I would love to read it again, but I loaned it to my college Shakespeare professor and she never returned it. :)
Oct 11, 2010 J. rated it it was amazing
Without a doubt, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful novels I've ever read. After fifteen years, phrases, images, and moments still still stick with me. A short novel with a long tail, well worth the time and money.
Nov 19, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it

Great novella, a rarity in the fantasy world. Perhaps Williams best work. Nice take on Shakespeare's famous Tempest by utilising the intriguing Caliban as a focal point.

Very enjoyable.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 53 54 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • One for the Morning Glory
  • The Compass of the Soul (The River Into Darkness, #2)
  • Die geheime Bibliothek des Thaddäus Tillmann Trutz
  • Indigo
  • Beyond This Dark House
  • Hunter's Oath (The Sacred Hunt, #1)
  • Rogue Star (Firestar, #2)
  • The Dark Hand of Magic (Sun Wolf and Starhawk, #3)
  • The Cycle of Fire (The Cycle of Fire, #1-3)
  • The Nowhere Hunt
  • Aramaya (The Chronicles of Dion #3)
  • The Identity Matrix
  • The Music of the Night
  • The Shadow Guests
  • Rowan Blaize and the Hand of Djin Rummy (Enchanted Heritage Chronicles, #2)
  • Tsubaki
  • Immortal Darkness (The Phantom Diaries, #3)
  • Lacey and His Friends
Tad Williams has held more jobs than any sane person should admit to—singing in a band, selling shoes, managing a financial institution, throwing newspapers, and designing military manuals, to name just a few. He also hosted a syndicated radio show for ten years, worked in theater and television production, taught both grade-school and college classes, and worked in multimedia for a major computer ...more
More about Tad Williams...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Since your father has escaped my justice, it is you who must hear my words."
"Words. You keep saying..."
"Because that was the gift your father gave to me. And the curse that ruined me as well, changed my life to wretched misery. There are hours yet before the guard comes - nay, eons. An eternity, in fact. This is my time, Miranda. Now you will have your words back: before I kill you, you will hear my tale... and you will know what you have done.”
More quotes…