It occurred to me the other day that Chasing The Bard will have to end soon, despite my threat to travel to New Zealand, kidnap the author and force her to write nothing but Shakespeare stories ("Misery style"). And then I will be sad, because it really is just that good of a story. I think what I love best of all (and I raved about this in a past post) is that while it is fiction, she didn't muck with the known facts. She simply worked around them (and in the case of the Dark Lady even proposed some answers).
This is substantially different from, say, Shakespeare In Love, where the story was flipped all around to suit the movie's needs. You folks all saw how I went bouncing off the walls when I thought that Clare Danes had misspoken a line in R+J, you can imagine how....disconcerting it is for me when somebody just helps themselves to whatever bits of Shakespeare they want, without respecting the text. [Note - Shakey In Love actually turns out to be a great movie because of its respect for the R&J material. It's the fictionalization of his biography that I'm referring to.]
I'm wondering what other sorts of "Shakespeare fiction" are out there. We've discussed various children's literature, I'm not really talking about that. Nor am I talking about "slash" fiction. I mean legit, published novels for adults that happen to derive their central plots from Shakespeare, either the man directly, or perhaps alternate versions of the stories. Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead would be an excellent example of the latter case, successfully weaving their story in between bits of the actual play.
I know that the Clockwork Orange guy (Burgess?) wrote a Shakespeare novel, but I don't know anything about it. I suppose I could look it up but I'm at work. And besides I'm trying to drum up conversation, not answer my own questions.
While I'm here I should mention Jasper Fforde, a very bizarre "lit fantasy" writer who weaves bits of Shakespeare into his stories with some regularity. I fell in love with his ideas in the very first book when he had the Baconians coming door to door like Jehovah's Witnesses, trying to find converts to their cause. In a later book he actually has Hamlet play a role, but other than a few specific references to the text ("If I'm such a religious figure why would I say something so atheistic like There's nothing either right or wrong but thinking makes it so?" Good question!), it is a minor role.