I believe this is officially the 4th or 5th Hamlet retelling I've read and it's one of the better ones. Summarizing the plot here is kind of pointless...moreI believe this is officially the 4th or 5th Hamlet retelling I've read and it's one of the better ones. Summarizing the plot here is kind of pointless, because it's Hamlet told from Ophelia's point of view. What might be more helpful is to highlight some of the choices made in this adaptation. First off: the setting. Elsinore has gone from castle to elite boarding school with Hamlet Sr. as the headmaster. Overall, it works. It's insular enough to evoke the same claustrophobic feel of Elsinore castle. Then there are the characters: Ophelia, everyone's favorite girl-gone-crazy, evidently nearly drowned as a child and has since been seeing ghosts, bean sidhe and the morgens (of which her late mother is one). It does add another dimension to poor Ophelia, but ultimately doesn't do her any favors. The timing of the plotline is more or less the same, though this one starts a bit earlier - right after the death of Hamlet Sr. The narrative is very stylized and tends to incorporate actual phrasing from the original text where it fits. Overall, it works pretty well. The pace is rather slow, so patience will be required on the reader's behalf. The writing is lyrical, though occasionally repetitive, which might turn some readers off. I personally was on the fence with this one. At times, I really loved it and then at others, I found myself getting sick of the whole thing. No real surprises here, but still an interesting take on a classic.(less)
Here's one I've been meaning to read for some time now. I'm familiar enough with the history of manga and anime to know the significance of Tezuka's w...moreHere's one I've been meaning to read for some time now. I'm familiar enough with the history of manga and anime to know the significance of Tezuka's work, specifically Astro Boy. I've even read a different series that's based on Astro Boy, but I've never really known where to start. This is just volumes 1&2 put together in one book and even that appears to be somewhat of an editorial decision. The story arcs in this book are mostly from the early '60's. The storylines range from silly action to poignant absurdity (I'm referring to the Pero story in this case). Modern manga readers may note that the artwork has only begun to develop the trademark manga/anime "look". Astro Boy is a fun read, with many goofy jokes and puns. The action is almost a constant as Astro Boy and his teacher, Mr. Mustacio manage to get themselves into all manner of predicaments. Be prepared for some major suspension of disbelief, as there is some serious deus ex machina going on in some stories. Oh, and Astro Boy has machine guns in his butt, so that's a plus, right?(less)
No classic story is complete until you've read it in stickman form. Just sayin'. Really, this is a hilarious volume that makes the Odyssey entertainin...moreNo classic story is complete until you've read it in stickman form. Just sayin'. Really, this is a hilarious volume that makes the Odyssey entertaining for any age. Follow Zozimos on his adventures after he is banished from Sticatha. You'll meet golems, smart ladies, sailors and so much more. All in stickman form! Now I need to track down the next volume (aaaaand...ordered). (less)
Full disclosure time: I love Shakespeare and anything Shakespeare-related, which includes adaptations. I'm a sucker for a really good adaptation of on...moreFull disclosure time: I love Shakespeare and anything Shakespeare-related, which includes adaptations. I'm a sucker for a really good adaptation of one of my favorite plays. Now that that's been said, I've gotta say that this particular adaptation of Hamlet was one of the better ones I've read, but by no means the best. There quite a few things that I really liked about the book: Ophelia lives (!) and she's got considerably more, um, character (for lack of a better word) than she does in the original play. I've always felt like Ophelia needed more of a voice, so I love that authors are giving her one. I also liked the setting and incorporation of details from the play. For the most part. But I'll get to that a bit later. As you may recall, Ophelia's dad, Polonius, works for the royal family, so they live with Hamlet's family in a huge castle. Although this has become more of a modern castle, with security cameras and guards, elevators and various other deluxe amenities reserved for the very rich. The setting gives plenty of wiggle room for working through most of the famous scenes in some rather clever ways. Also interesting are the snippets of Ophelia on an Oprah-like talk show, telling her story of the events and the bits of the police interviews from after Ophelia's reappearance. There are a few things that prevented this from being a great adaptation, however. Mostly, the end. Eesh. I'm sorry, the climactic duel between Hamlet and Laertes just didn't work for me. I get what Ray was trying to do, but it just seems...not right. I don't know how to describe it without giving anything away. Anyway, it was a fun read with many clever features. It will likely help teens get more of a grasp on the original play as well. I have no doubt that many will read it and enjoy it without balking at the ending. And it still makes me happy that Ophelia gets to live a life of her own by the end. Good for her.
FCC disclosure: I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher and am in no way financially compensated for my reviews. Shucks.(less)
i actually read a different edition of this, but i have a feeling there's not too much that has changed in the fundamental story, which is utterly ama...morei actually read a different edition of this, but i have a feeling there's not too much that has changed in the fundamental story, which is utterly amazing. this book was the direct predecessor to 1984 and was banned in russia until 1988 (it was written in the 20s). a must-read for any fan of speculative sci-fi.(less)
Like the author, I've always felt that Ophelia was much maligned. For some reason, I've also always had a strange fascination with her character. Imag...moreLike the author, I've always felt that Ophelia was much maligned. For some reason, I've also always had a strange fascination with her character. Imagine my delight when I discover that someone has decided to give her a voice. And...it was merely OK. I was hoping to meet a much more interesting Ophelia, not simply one that was more or less vindicated in her actions. I had severe trouble with the way the book ended as well, but to discuss that would be to spoil the story (though, to an extent, some things are hinted at in the prologue). While it was a very Shakespearean thing to do, I just couldn't buy it. The book was overly long and very slowly-paced. I can't help but think that readers would be hoping for an Ophelia that kicks some butt or at least stands up for herself. Instead, they are left with an Ophelia that scarcely fights for what she believes in. Other readers might find themselves groaning at the very end. I did. I was also, I suppose, looking for more insight into Hamlet's motivations as far as Ophelia is concerned. Anyone looking for answers there will also be disappointed. (less)