Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray

Falling for Hamlet is, as you can probably tell from the cover, a modernization of Hamlet. It takes place in a modern Denmark, with a modern castle full of cell phones and security cameras. Ophelia is in high school, Hamlet has just graduated and is off to college when the familiar events start to fall into place.

Michelle Ray tells the story entirely from Ophelia's viewpoint, and deviates from the play only in minor plot details, with the notable exception that Ophelia fakes her death because she fears for her life. (And so is still around to observe the fallout at the end of the story.)

As much as I liked the concept, the execution was lacking. I found myself skimming over numerous sections of Ophelia's drawn out contemplation of what was going on and what was Hamlet thinking and oh my Hamlet is just so sexy. Perhaps the teenage/high school mentality is not one that I can particular relate to at this stage in my life; it tended to bog down the book for me.

If you're a die hard Hamlet fan, I'd say give this one a try. Or if you're looking for a book that's a good, teen-level introduction to Shakespeare, this one is certainly worth a shot.

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