Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chasing The Bard

http://www.chasingthebard.com

I may have mentioned this podcast/podiobook in passing when I first tripped over it. Let me now get back to it.

I love it. I love it love it love it, I think it might well be my favorite podiobook yet (and that's saying something, as I've gone through several dozen of them). Imagine a fantasy story that opens with the birth of one William Shakespeare. The event is attended by none other than Robin Goodfellow (aka Puck) himself, who witnesses it as a magical event of great significance. Thus begins this crossover story between the world of the "Fey" (the fairies), and the human world in which Shakespeare, gifted with "bardic" fairy powers, lives.

If that's not enough to hook you, I'll say more. It's not just good because it's got Shakespeare in it (sounds like a Monty Python skit, "It's all got Shakespeare in it!") It's good because it's well written and well produced, too. There's the appropriate amount of sound effects and music. The voice acting is appropriate. The narrator/author, with her New Zealand accent, is just exotic enough. She writes very well. The characters are excellent. She writes Elizabethan London well. She writes the fairies well. She even writes the battle scenes well.

Perhaps the best thing of all, as far as I can tell, is that she hasn't rewritten any of Shakespeare's bio yet. She's actually working inside the missing pieces. She still has him raised in Stratford, married to Anne Hathaway, and then heading off to London leaving behind her and the kids. She's showing respect for the source material, she's not just borrowing it where it suits her.

Why are you still reading? Go get it, right now, so we can discuss it.

Disclaimer! She's up to chapter 14. It is a serialized work, so you cannot get the whole story yet (although I believe you can buy the completed print book if you like). Also note that there's a sex scene in Chapter 13, which comes with a great deal of warning ahead of time, in case you like/loathe that sort of thing.

4 comments:

Philippa Ballantine said...

If I can please a Shakespeare geek I know I am doing OK =)
It was quite a mission sometimes to thread the story in between the documented facts of Will's life, but the gaps are where writers can have fun. So glad you're enjoying it!

Duane said...

Are you kidding? I love it! Honestly I think the only negative thing I might possibly have to say is "more Shakespeare", but you knew I was gonna say that :).

Historia said...

are you sure the link is right? I'm gettin the Reduced shakeapeare company and Jeopardy post

Duane said...

I think so, H. If you're getting the RSC post that probably means you're getting taken back to the top of the blog (since that is the most recent post), but the link works for me.