First Reads Review - William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher
So I won this through the GoodReads First Reads program and was rat...moreFirst Reads Review - William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher
So I won this through the GoodReads First Reads program and was rather excited about it, because I'm somewhat a fan of Star Wars and because I'm an English major, so I've had to wade through my fair share of Shakespeare. And I must say that this story does lend itself rather nicely to the more dramatic flares of Shakespeare, to the comedy as well as the tragedy. It's full of nice touches, from a sensitive Wampa to a merry band of ugnaughts to some over-confident ATATs. There were a great many chuckles, but the book also did a decent job keeping the core themes from the movies, the relationships, the feelings.
I can't say, having never read the first book, if this does anything any better or worse. I thought there were some truly inspired ways of rendering the battles and the exposition. That said, there are a lot of them, and there's something to be said for not having to include all the particulars of a fight on the page. In Shakespeare, his stage direction for certain actions are merely "They fight" or something like that, and here there was definitely an effort to make the fights read more instead of envisioning for the stage. But this seemed much more of a book resembling a play than it does anything that could actually be performed. Which is probably the point, but I guess I would have liked to see a few more things when it came to battles left more vague.
The humor and the characters and everything like that were well handled, though, and I enjoyed reading everything. There was a lot going on, but it wasn't difficult to keep track of the various characters and what was going on. And while the beginning of the book, set on Hoth, dragged just a little, as did some of the time in the asteroid field, it was all well done. The main thing that bugged me was how Luke could be gone for what seemed like so long training to get back in time when Leia and Han seemed to spend very little time in any place. Still, that was an issue in the movie for me, so it didn't bother me too much.
And in the end this was a fun read. The writing was a good parody of Shakespeare, and the story had the right feelings. So lines were lifted direct from Shakespearean plays, others direct from the Star Wars movies. And it all melded well and worked for what it was. It might not have packed the same punch as Shakespeare, but it was good for some solid entertainment, and for that I'm willing to give it 4 stars out of five.(less)