[act]opens thread rather belatedly[/act] |:(
I unfortunately ran out of time to read this book (even with the overdue fines from the library ~:| ) but I've been trying to get it on ebay - I really like what I did get to read, and would like to actually finish the book now :P
How'd everyone else go? :)
Good thing you remembered Eilidh! I only realised when I saw this thread X:-/
I read it, I really liked it. I haven't read Shakespeare's Hamlet and I didn't really know the storyline. Did it follow relatively closely?
Ophelia! No! What are you doing? Oh, the timing in Shakespeare plays, he was coming back!
This has been the first book I've found for this. My school library got it at the start of this year/late last year, and I didn't take much notice to it, other than to note its title. But when I saw that it was on the list here and after I really went crazy over Shakespeare and discovered very few of the plays at school I borrowed the book. I absolutely loved it, and John Marsden's take on the story was interesting. It's been about 2 months since I read it now, and my thoughts on it are that it wasn't as good as another version I read, Ophelia by Lisa Klein, which is the story of Ophelia. I thought that the characters weren't quite as well developed as they could have been. Then again, that's probably because I preferred Lisa Klein's style and the way she portrayed the characters.
What age range was Ophelia aimed at?
I didn't read this book for book club, but I did read it some time last year (when I was interviewing John Marsden for work about it). Although it's been a while since I read it, I wouldn't mind participating in the discussion. One thing about the book that intrigued me was that it seemed to me that Marsden was presenting madness as little more than adults misunderstanding normal adolescent behaviour and emotions. However, when I raised this in the interview, John Marsden said I was wrong, and that his Hamlet was truly, dangerously mad. :(
I felt that Marsden raised an important point about unrealistic (and downright intolerable) parental expectations, in particular with relation to Hamlet's father and Polonius. He really reinforced the fact (which is not always made obvious in productions of Hamlet, where older actors tend to play the role) that Hamlet is a teenager or twentysomething. He's got to deal with the usual adolescent search for meaning and identity in combination with the broader political problems of his society.
You got to interview John Marsden? *is jealous*
Like I said, I haven't ever read or seen Hamlet the Shakespeare version. Does he go more mad in that? I thought he went a bit crazy, but the kind of see-a-shrink-and-you'll-get-better crazy :P
I agree with you about the parental expectations issue. His dead dad especially!
It's been a few months since reading this book but I've been reading Shakespeare's Hamlet recently and I really do love both.
I quite enjoyed John Marsden's version- the way in which he reinforces the fact that Hamlet is a young adult makes him a lot more relatable to some readers I think. I agree Dolorosa- I found that Hamlet doesn't come off quite so mad- from memory anyway. I think I got the feeling like he was just a broody teenager with a smart mouth. Yet I think he's done a good job in making the story more readable (maybe?) to some people who don't like reading Shakespeare.
Cat- Shakespeare's Hamlet is completely mental :P He just has a million thoughts running through his head the whole time and it just makes you want to shake him and yell 'what the hell are you doing?!'
Well thats the reaction I get whenever I read it anyway hehe (Don't get me wrong though- Hamlet is possibly my favourite Shakespeare character)
Totally off topic but I love Hamlet in Jasper Fforde's 'Something Rotten' - "All of a sudden I had this overwhelming desire to talk for a very long time without actually doing anything." Love it :)
wow i just borrowed this book today, came online and saw this thread, will reply again once I've read it.
I read this book last night and I quite enjoyed it. Hamlet is my favourite Shakespeare play, and it was nice to read it in novel form with all the extra scenic descriptions inserted. Like everyone has been saying, I liked how Marsden reinforced the idea that Hamlet is just a teenager. In Jasper Fforde's Something Rotten, I always got the impression that Hamlet was adult, in his thirties or something, even though no age was expressly mentioned.
There were so many sexual undertones in the novel, I'm not entirely sure I picked up on them all. I'm also kind of inclined to dislike Hamlet's dad, well, actually, it's not just an inclination, I do dislike him. I think he was right in telling Hamlet that his death was murder, but not for the reason that he did. I think Hamlet needed to know that his uncle (now stepfather) was capable of murder, but it was wrong to place the responsibility of revenge into Hamlet's head. But then again, I don't think Claudius should have walked free. Prison would have been good, but then, I guess the times dictate his punishment, and that would have been death anyway. I've just done a whole lot of rambling and said very little. Hamlet's catching! :P