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Dating Hamlet: Ophelia's Story

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  237 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Ophelia lives to tell the tale of what happened at Elsinore

"The nights at Elsinore are longer than anywhere else.

I have stayed awake these many weeks, which has aided me greatly in my portrayal of one who has gone daft. For my skin is pale as fresh daisy petals, and my eyes sink inward, rimmed by bruise-like swells of purple. The servants and courtiers whisper that surely,
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Ophelia by Lisa M. KleinFool by Christopher MooreSaving Juliet by Suzanne SelforsRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom StoppardRomeo's Ex by Lisa Fiedler
Shakespeare Retellings
14th out of 40 books — 40 voters
This Lullaby by Sarah DessenThe House of the Scorpion by Nancy FarmerGingerbread by Rachel CohnThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddPictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
YA Novels of 2002
38th out of 115 books — 24 voters

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Community Reviews

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This book might have been interesting if I could have gotten past the writing. The horrible mixture of almost Elizabethan, overblown flowery language with 21st century "OMG, he's so cute I think I'm gonna die!!!1!" is so jarring that OMG, I think I'm gonna gag!!!!1!!

This is, of course, leaving aside that fact that a with most modern authors who try to write 17th century English, the author gets it wrong. Arguing that a sentence like "You have thy banana" (not an actual sentence from the book, bu
I really enjoyed this read. It's very interesting seeing the major events of the play through Ophelia's eyes. And the fact that the reader knows that Hamlet and Ophelia are conspiring together makes for entertaining twist on some of those famous scenes.
Lacey Louwagie
May 24, 2007 Lacey Louwagie rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who hate Hamlet
The School Library Journal review on the back of this book claims that, "Fans of the Bard will applaud this highly imaginative, lyrical text that plays with the story without damaging it."

The review is a BIG FAT LIE, for I have never seen a retelling damage the original story as much as this one has massacred Hamlet. In an attempt to make the telling "feminist," Lisa made EVERYTHING about Hamlet into an act. The premise of this book is that Ophelia and Hamlet together devised Hamlet's madness -
Ophelia never was one of my favorite Shakespearean heroines (perhaps because my acting teachers were often suggesting i play her~and i was always a little partial to Juliet~ever since we first read the play in ninth grade English). I always saw Ophelia as a bit weak and victim-like~i suppose i'm not the only one~and named a cat i got after my other "tough" cat Tiny disappeared when a roommate let her out into a strange neighborhood (i saw the cat as somewhat weak~that cat later became my baby wh ...more
incredible LaLa
jujur niyh gw ga pernah bener-bener baca buku ini sendiri dengan mata kepala gw...tapi cuma dengan kuping aja..jadi, dulu pas jaman SD kelas empat di Surabaya tetangga gw seneng bgt nyeritain tentang Ophelia ini...secara nama anaknya aja Ophelia...dulu sih pernah dipinjemin bukunya...cuma secara gw masih SD kaga minat bgt sama yang kaya ginian...
untung bokapnya kak Feli (panggilan anaknya yg namanya Ophelia) itu suka bacain gw or nyeritain gw tentang Ophelia-nya Hamlet ini... udah lupa sih cerit
Diana Tran
It's a different perspective, but no.
This just seemed silly and the language is too mixed between modern and pretend Elizabethian.

Rosaline is a lot better put together and not as silly. I like Lisa Klein's version better.
It's the feminist version of Hamlet, complete with drug-induced halucinations, secret dads, almost-rape, and poison-that-isn't-really-poison (a la Romeo and Juliet).

The English teacher in me was at once intrigued and horrified by the liberties taken with the text of the play. It was daring - interesting - to give Hamlet and Ophelia a happy ending, solely based on Ophelia's cunning and brilliance. But really, I'm not sure I ever wanted Hamlet to get a happy ending. I never really liked him enoug
Cathrine Bonham
This retelling of Shakespeare's classic tragedy gives the coveted position of protaganist not to the troubled prince of Denmark but to the plays much lamented victim Ophelia Hamlet's love interest.

The story starts out slow as most of the book is exactly like Shakespeare's play only from Ophelia's point of view. I would have to say the real action dosn't start until about Act four. When Hamlet is sent off to England it is left in Ophielia's hands to turn the inevitable tragedy into if not a comed
Maggie V
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Douloureux moment de lecture qui me fait voir Hamlet sous un tout autre jour (désagréable!)
Miss Price
Since I'm currently reading Ophelia, I had to add this one to my shelf that I read awhile ago. It's a fun take on Hamlet (well, can the story of Hamlet ever be FUN?)--let's change that to a clever take on the story of Hamlet. In this version, Ophelia is in on everything and the events of the story (and characters, for that matter) aren't what they seem. She cleverly uses pieces of dialog and events from the actual play but twists them into a new and original plot. I absolutely loved this book--H ...more
Nov 24, 2008 TheSaint rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
If you are not familiar with Shakespeare's Hamlet, its unlikely that you will understand the finer nuances of Dating Hamlet: Ophelia's Story by Lisa Fiedler. And that's a shame, because Ophelia's take-charge attitude makes a huge difference in the plot. Suffice it to say that in Shakespeare's version, pretty much everybody ends up dead, while in Fiedler's version, only the obviously awful people buy the farm; plus, instead of stuffed shirt Polonius as a father, Ophelia learns that her real dad i ...more
Kristen Landon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book began my foray into reading stories of this type, novels based on Shakespeare plays. I picked it up at a library book sale and it was well worth the buck. I'd say it may be even worth the full price but I'm pretty sure you can get it cheaper somewhere else.Who's got a need for a new hobby? Maybe me but of well. Anyways, this book is Hamlet from Ophelia's point of view and let me tell you. If you like alternate endings, this may be the book for you.
I loved this clever retelling of Hamlet that gave it an entirely different and strangely plausible ending. I was so taken with this one that I suggested it for a f2f book discussion group- we read it in combination with Hamlet and Rosenkrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. This would be great for a high school English class to read for Shakespeare studies with a challenge for students to come up with other alternate outcomes for the play.
Unlike Fiedler's other book, Dating Hamlet is told from Ophelia's point-of-view only. It also comes before Romeo's Ex (though reading them out of order isn't a huge deal).

I rather like Lisa Fiedler's way of retelling Shakespearean stories with humor (and with wonderful background). I'd like to see these novels made into movies.
Melissa DeJesus
I liked Ophelia by Lisa Klein just a bit more than this one. It explored more into why Ophelia was who she was. Dating Hamlet started right as Shakespear's Hamlet started, with the King already dead. It was just told by Ophelia.

It was still an interesting read and one for those who love the story of Hamlet as much as I do.
Crys (The Hodgenator)
I would have enjoyed this book more had I not already read Ophelia, which is a lot like this book.

I found the writing leaving something to be desired, but the plot line is creative. This would be great for middle schoolers, but I also recommend it to anyone who teaches Hamlet.
I'm pretty familer with Hamlet. I have not read it but I know the story well and have seen a movie version. This book was a light easy read, I didn't love it but it was fun. A little too many changes in the plot for my taste. In my opinion Lisa Fiedler's book Romeo's Ex is way better!
Bill Daisley
Alternate history ? I was intrigued by both the point of view and the placement of the story in modern times... while not the best writing & certainly not Shakespear... I enjoyed the book, finding it easier to empathise with this Ophelia than with the original.
Teens who like Shakespeare's play Hamlet, should read this. It's Ophelia's side of the story (she only faked her suicide so she's alive to tell the tale). And Ophelia does narrate all that happens in the Bard's famous play. This is great fun.
This was a fun book. I read it right after I finished reading Hamlet in English, so the puns seemed fresh, the dialogue was right on par, and the fresh perspective was really endearing. I would recommend it for a quick read.
Aug 10, 2008 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Preteens to Teens
Awesome! Shakespeare's Hamlet told from Hamlet's girlfriend Ophelia! And better yet, NO ONE ends up in the woods although a girl does dress up a a guy! (Inside joke from Mrs. Laszewski's class.)
Lizzy Bogo
Witty, fresh plot twists were funny and interesting. Fiedler even wove 'Romeo and Juliet' into the end, which was cool. Overall, it was a waste of time, though. Too much kissing.
This book was not very good. Although the plot was very interesting, it got boring at times and very hard to understand. I'm glad Claudius died but very sad Hamlet died too.
Jun 30, 2007 Z rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Shakespeare fans
A fascinating alternate telling of the story on Hamlet. It ingeniously diverges in significant ways from Shakespeare's Hamlet without contradicting it.
How can you change the ending of Hamlet. I give this to my students as a total Joke. 100% a joke. Seriously, Fiedler must have been kidding.
It was so much fun to read this book, plenty of humor and love. i couldn't put it down until i finished it!
Feb 12, 2008 Lindsey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grades 7-9
This is a retelling of Shakespear's Hamlet, by the same author of Romeo's Ex. I couldn't put this book down!
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Puts a whole new twist on the Shakespeare play. Depicts a very different Ophelia-- I like it!
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