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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,395 Ratings  ·  277 Reviews
Listening Length: 9 hours and 40 minutes

It is a tale of ghosts, of madness, of revenge - of old alliances giving way to new intrigues. Denmark is changing, shaking off its medieval past. War with Norway is on the horizon. And Hamlet - son of the old king, nephew of the new - becomes increasingly entangled in a web of deception - and murder.

Struggling to find his place in t
Audible Audio, 9 hours and 40 minutes
Published May 20th 2014 by Audible, Inc.
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Mark There are few lines from Shakespeare scattered around the novel, but to be fair, if we wanted to read the soliloquies, we could just read the play. As…moreThere are few lines from Shakespeare scattered around the novel, but to be fair, if we wanted to read the soliloquies, we could just read the play. As Joan says (above), " the authors are not regurgitating Shakespeare." Also, any student tempted to skip the play and read this instead is likely to be disappointed with their grade. The authors assign clear motives to many of the characters, which are ambiguous in the play. That's really part of the fun. (less)

Community Reviews

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Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks-i-own
Richard Armitage needs to narrate all the audiobooks ever. His voice is magnificently toe-curling.
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shakespeare purists may not appreciate this novelization of his Hamlet, but I liked it a lot. I thought it was a good adaptation.

Being a lover of audiobooks, I was excited when I heard about Richard Armitage as narrator. I've listened to some of his other book narrations and he is fantastic. He creates distinct voices for each character and because he's an actor, he performs the book more than mere reading. He is flawless and I thoroughly enjoyed his interpretation of each person.

I highly recomm
I enjoyed this. It was fun. I recommend it.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a reworking of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The story has become more of an action-filled thriller, while the ethical and psychological issues still remain. As explained in the two afterwords, one by each of the two authors, Shakespeare's Hamlet has been reworked, just as what we today most commonly see on the stage is also a reworking of Shakespeare's original. There exist in fact several “original versions”; scenes and lines pre
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
"No my heart just can't hide that old feelin' inside
Way deep down inside
Oh baby, you know when I look in your eyes I go crazy."
I Go Crazy, Paul Davis, 1977

4.6 - audiobook

A splendid piece of entertainment. One of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies retold in modern day language in the form of a short novel performed by the supremely talented British actor, Richard Armitage.

Mr. Armitage doesn't just read or narrate, he performs this novel adaptation of Hamlet, employing different voices and tones wit
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A pretty thoroughly re-imagined story. If you are a purest that thinks that any treatment of this story is an affront to the Bard, then you probably need to move your snobby little self down the aisle to read something else. I thought it was clever, imaginative, and fun. And no one other than Richard Armitage ever should be hired to read a book again. Thorin has the voice.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm not going to lie: I wouldn't have picked this up had it not been narrated by Richard Armitage. I enjoyed it, though, and Richard's narration more than earned it the final, firth star.
I've only half read the play years ago, so I can't say I would have noticed most changes if it weren't for the authors' afterword. Part of my winter break plans is to (re)read some classics, so I'll try rereading the original play. Maybe my view of this will change afterwards, but I doubt it.
Kim Alexander
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Richard Armitage = perfection. I swear, the man could read the phone book and I'd listen to it. What a voice! I really hope he does more audiobooks in the future. I'd give the story itself 4 stars, but his narration adds on a star. I liked the different voices he used for each characters and as I'm sure others have said, he really acts this more than just reading it. He really made the story come alive for me.
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Both this novelization of Hamlet and Hartley & Hewson's novelization of Macbeth number among my favorite-ever adaptations of the plays. They are imaginative, exciting, and thrillingly paced, capturing the high emotional pitch of dramatic tragedy. They are also exquisitely attentive to the Shakespearean texts. Hartley and Hewson know the plays intimately, and they know the critical questions that continue to preoccupy readers and critics. (What parts of Hamlet's madness are feigned, and what ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Sublime! Refreshing! And surprisingly gratifying.... I'm ecstatic I read (nay, listened to) this, and I recommend it without hesitation.

How many times have you seen Hamlet performed? (If you've never seen the show performed, and you don't know the familiar story, I wonder how you'd receive this adaptation. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if this gripping, carefully crafted retelling of the story stood on its own, with no history or preconceived notions. But that's a guess, and I assu
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was so good. I listened to the audiobook, and I was totally engrossed. If my family tried to talk to me while I was listening to this, they got a quick "Shsh!" This is a novelization of Shakespeare's play. I'm so impressed with how the writers fleshed out the story and created a thriller. I truly felt like I was listening to one of the greatest stories told expertly. As for the narration, Richard Armitage has the best voice, and it was a pleasure to listen to him.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
I have nothing really to report about this book, an updated retelling of the play. The best thing about it is the narration. That was excellent.
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Richard Armitage did a fantastic job narrating this novel.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
4,5 *
Geplant war ja den Roman zu lesen (hören) um das Stück besser zu verstehen. Ohne Shakespears Hamlet jetzt komplett im Gedächtnis zu haben: Es kommt mir vor, als hätte der Roman die Handlung erweitert, teilweise etwas abgeändert oder anders interpretiert. Ich muss das noch überprüfen, aber alleine die Inhaltsrecherche im Internet bestätigt meine Vermutung. Jetzt könnte man anfangen sich darüber zu mockieren. Einen Teufel werd ich tun. Ich fand diese Version unterhaltsam, spannend und in sich
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and enjoyed it a lot. I wish I could think of something insightful to say about it, but it was just a great read/listen. Richard Armitage was a great narrator. I was able to get lost in the story in part because of his wonderful narration. I felt like every word, every sentence was important, so if I got even a little distracted, I'd back it up and listen to that part again. I sometimes started whole chapters over again. This did not detract from my enjoyment at all. It's the t ...more
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, drama
I think this version of Hamlet: Prince of Denmark is nicely done, and superbly narrated. I power-walked extra hour just so I could listen more of the audiobook. Highly recommended.
Beau North
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'll admit it, Richard Armitage is the reason I used one of my audible credits for this, and he does a fantastic job with it. As for the book itself, I'm torn. It opens from the point of view of old Hamlet, plotting to kill Claudius and Gertrude. It's compelling. It stays compelling throughout. But some of the characters are almost made cartoonishly villainous. Claudius becomes pitiable, Polonius cold and heartless, a wretched and thoroughly disgusting character. Laertes and Hamlet both are brat ...more
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: diehard fans of Hamlet
Very clever, and done quite well. The more you've been steeped in the play, the more you will enjoy this cup of tea. If you've read it once or a long time ago, consuming this book may be like drinking tinted water. (I need a better metaphor though because I don't think this tea can be too strong.)

I did not expect to like this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. The beauty of the novel is that the authors are able to flesh out portions of the play you've always wondered about.

I very much like w
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was really torn by this at first. It's not a paraphrase as much as a reimagining and a filling-in-the-blanks. Because of this, Hartley has no interest in following canon or "sticking to the story". Since Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare, it felt really wrong at first. But I was enthralled by the what people knew, and who, and when. All of the characters are well-colored and vivid, and I couldn't stop once it got going. Excellent work all around. I'm not sure I'd recommend you read ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, audible, fiction
Richard Armitage narrating. Damn, this is really good.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, audiobook
Ok so there's one reason, and one reason only, I picked this up: It says "narrated by Richard Armitage" on the cover.

Where was I?

Right. So the narration, as expected, was excellent. But then, the man could read the phone book and I would probably still pay good money for that. Kidding. I hope... But in all seriousness, the man is one amazing narrator. He can make even any story come to life, and just listening to his beautiful voice will be worth it. If you have never listened to him read anythi
Kerry *Soulcaster*
*5 stars*
I'll admit it... I cheated a bit by choosing this to fulfill the classic requirement for a reading challenge. But holy crap!!! This novelization of the play was exciting, fun and best of all, narrated by Richard Armitage.

This may not appeal to a Shakespeare scholar but I would wholeheartedly recommend this to someone who's interested in the story of Hamlet but is hesitant to tackle the play. I've read both, I loved both, but I have to admit that this version was way much more fun!

Blair Hodgkinson
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it
As an adaptation from the famous play into the form of a novel, this should be terrible. It's not. It's not great either.

Where the authors succeed is in making wise choices in fleshing out the characters of Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia and Yorick. Yes, YORICK. Without getting into major spoilers, the most famous skull cameo character in history is literally fleshed out in this story (and also, he's not, but we're not going there right now as that avenue leads to Spoiler-town). We can symp
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great re-telling of the story! Hamlet was a story told tirelessly before the Bard re-vamped it in what we essentially know today, and I’m glad to see someone re-vamping it yet again. It’s evident that Shakespeare’s masterful version is still used as the base, with some of that beautiful dialogue still present… but this story goes further. Moments in the play, that are only given a line or two, are deeply investigated and given a whole new life. Liberties were taken (as with any re-telling), th ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A. J. Harley has once again masterfully added flesh and sinew to a Shakespeare tragedy, this time bringing the story of Hamlet to life. Those who have succeeded in reading the original may not appreciate Hartley's work. But for those of us who, despite our desire, have been unable to overcome the difficulty inherent in reading Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hartley and Hewson have given us a wonderful gift.
T.K. Thorne
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was an outstanding book. As the author said in the end notes, it was not his intention to replace the play, but to grow a new thing from it and indeed he did, adding depth and richness to the classic tale about the unintended consequences of our actions and the sword of revenge that cuts both ways.
I recommend it.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent performance by one of my favorite voices, Richard Armitage (cue swoon!) I also really loved this book. I was amazed at the power of the writers to bring the tragedy to life from so many different viewpoints, digging deep into the story. It was very well written and I have to agree with the award for Audiobook of the Year. What a great team.
Melinda Griffith
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened-to
I do not read Shakespeare often enough to comprehend it well. Ever since seeing Jude Law as Hamlet, i have wanted to better grasp the story. This novel did it for me. I listened to it on Audible and Richard Armitage did justice to the setting and the gravity of the tale.
Ah, so good!!! A fantastic reimagining of the well-known tale, and as always, Richard Armitage's involvement just improves things. Absolutely recommended for fans of either Hamlet or RA.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read the novel version of the audio book and I thought it was great!
It made me realise what a great storyteller Shakespeare was, sometimes the convoluted words make me lose sight of the story.
There were a few embellishments to the story that purists may not like, but I thought they added meaning to the characters actions. Highly recommended
Michaela Simmonds
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Really enjoyed the reading of this book, however as a bit of a purist I found the changes hard to follow.
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