To read or not to read: THE HOGARTH SHAKESPEARE

I don’t know if any of you know, and it makes no sense to know since I have not mentioned it before, but I am a huge fan of Shakespeare. So when the news came that a series of retelling of his stories would come out I nearly had a heart attack.

Here is the link to the official announcement. 

But Liz, the first book came out this October. Why have you not picked it up yet? Well, the problem is that, not only am I extremely picky when it comes to retelling, but some of the people coming up with the books are unknown to me, and that scares me. 

Here are the books in order they might be released, since it might be subject to change: 

  1. The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson is  a new telling of The Winter’s Tale, a very good play. However, not one that excites me, since I have heard many times that there will be no surprises at all. Time is a thing that I like to leave for Doctor Who, and I know that I will probably enjoy reading the original more than this one. 
  2. The second to come is one called Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson. I think Shylock from The Merchant of Venice is a brilliant character that makes the lines between hero and villain all the more blurry, however, this new telling might change why, historically, he was such a vital character. 
  3. The Third will be a book by Anne Tyler called Vinegar Girl, based off of The Taming of The Shrew. Now this play is already not a thing I am excited for, since it is not one of those I like to read from time to time. The author was someone I read for the first time this year, with her Booker novel A Spool of Blue Thread, and I have no desire to read any of her other works even if I enjoyed it. 
  4. Margaret Atwood  will then go onto write her version of The Tempest, one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. All of us that have read this magnificent woman before know that she will most likely not disappoint a bit, I trust her, she knows her stuff.
  5. Tracy Chevalier will retell Othello.  Oh Othello, such a brilliant play! The one thing: I have never read her before, in fact never even knew she existed. I have read somewhere now that she wrote Girl With a Pearl Earring, which I have no desire to read, and with this play being so important and appreciated by me, I do not think I want to ruin my image of it by reading someone I might not like. 
  6. Gillian Flynn will do Hamlet, and to be honest, no one can do better than her/ I have read her main three novels, all of which I have adored, so I trust her enough to make my second favourite Shakespeare play into a new and modern twisted tale, as dark or darker than the original.  
  7. Edward St. Aubyn will do King Lear, one of my favourites. But again, I do not know this author, and based on what he writes, I am not sure he is my type of writer at all.
  8. Jo Nesbø and Macbeth.I have heard quite a lot about this author, he has written quite a few of crime novels, which I am not a big reader of, plus I am not sure if I want those characters morphed at all, since I find them so perfectly wicked already. 

So in conclusion, for sure to read : Margaret Atwood, Howard Jacobson. and Gillian Flynn; not sure: Anne Tyler, Jeanette Winterson, and Jo Nesbø; not going to read: Edward St. Aubyn and Tracy Chevalier. 


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