Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Review: Falling for Hamlet

I love Shakespeare. Love it enough that I read it and act it and teach it to my kids. Some Shakespeare remakes are fabulous like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. Sometimes they just can’t and shouldn’t update a classic (Gnomeo and Juliet anyone?) I had a bad taste in my mouth from the last perverted Hamlet remake I stopped reading. I was ready to see the romance lost in sex, the insults lost in profanity, the tragedy lost in needless violence. Needless to say, I was ready to judge this book starting with the cover. The cover image didn’t grab me. Ophelia’s schoolgirl skirt has sleaze written all over it. It took the whole first chapter for me to connect with the characters. Then my mood changed for the better. Hamlet still had his noble personality. It wasn’t lost in contemporary or worldly influences. And Ophelia was given life. She has a life. I understood her struggles and mistakes. Though maybe not the original intention, I was satisfied with the final act. I even enjoyed the subtle references to other plays and to William himself. Most of all I saw the author’s passion for Shakespeare. She loves him and it shines in her writing. If Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet is in the school curriculum, I don’t see why this book wouldn’t also be. After students read the original, of course. I give it FOUR stars.

Falling for Hamlet

1 comment:

Danica Page said...

I love Hamlet as well. Hamlet is truly an incredible book. This book has been on my to-read list, bu I was scared to read it.

Thanks for the positive review. I will have to check it out now.

~Danica Page