Wednesday, December 30, 2009

9 Shakespeare-Inspired Novels, and One Piece of Crap

See, lists like this are the stuff I crave.  From the opening quote:

Vivien Leigh once said that acting in a Shakespeare play was like 'bathing in the sea - one swims where one wants'.

You get the idea that the author has at least some clue of what they’re talking about.  Drawing upon the themes and characters of Shakespeare still leaves infinite flexibility in *what* you write.  It is a tremendous playground for Shakespeare Geeks.

So we get the “Top 10” Shakespeare inspired novels, although it’s a bit more like a sampler than a top 10.  We get relatively new David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest” (1996) and the classic Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” (1931).  I’m familiar with “Gertrude and Claudius”  and “A Thousand Acres”, though I’ve not read them.  “Money” and “Wise Children” are really the only ones completely new to me.

But then the list goes and discredits itself with the inclusion of Lunar Park, by Bret Easton Ellis.  I read this one.  It’s been years since I admitted it.  It is terrible.  I mean, seriously, this is a book that I chose to throw away rather than to let someone else read.  It’s horrible.  I’m embarrassed for it to have Shakespeare content.

Still, a top 9 list’s not that bad.


Dana Huff said...

I really enjoyed A Thousand Acres. It's a good book; I highly recommend it.

Mystic said...

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski is based on Hamlet. I read it last year. I wouldn't say it was fabulous, but it is worth a read.