Monday, May 17, 2010

Author Roll Call!

I had a whole big take off on Full Metal Jacket planned, but it's not ready for primetime yet.  I got as far as "drop your quills and grab your socks" :)
New reader Jessica hit me up with a question over the weekend where she asked (and this is a paraphrase), "I was in the bookstore the other day and saw a novel that was based on Shakespeare. Do you know which one it was?"

I wrote back suggesting that there were many, and that this was the equivalent of saying "I saw a romance novel with a pirate on the cover, do you know which one I'm talking about?" but promised that I would post an opportunity for my lurking authors to pop up and shill their work a bit.

So here's your opportunity.  She did say "Shakespeare novel" and that was really it, so anything else is fair game.  If you're not an author but you know a book that should go on the list, speak up!  I don't think Christopher Moore's hanging out but "Fool", his rather bawdy spin on King Lear, would certainly fit the category.

Get going!  Sound off like you've got a couplet!

UPDATE: Since so many people are wondering, here is the exact wording.  I suppose "newish looking" might be a clue, but that's about it:
 
The other day, I was at the bookstore (ran in with a three year old to the free potty) and spotted a newish looking novel that used Shakespeare as a jumping-off point.  I couldn't tell you what it was about, only that I had never heard of it and that it looked interesting- I really was flying by with my son in a panic.  I tried to find it later and nobody at any bookstore, including that one, can help me figure out what it was.

Shakespeare as a jumping off point helps to classify it a bit I suppose.  Not really about Shakespeare the man, but rather an extension to one of his plays?



13 comments:

Coach J said...

Is she talking about a novel by a Shakespeare contemporary, or a contemporary novel about Shakespeare, like Harry Turtledove's Ruled Britannia? (Which, by the way, is awesome in only the nerdiest kind of way)

Janefan said...

I am *not* an author, but here are the first three that came to mind - they are relatively recent, and may have been featured in a bookstore's display?

*The Book of Air and Shadows: A Novel by Michael Gruber
*Will: A Novel by Christopher Rush
*Lady Macbeth: A Novel by Susan Fraser King

In the course of looking these up (They're all in my Amazon wishlist) I saw a link to this one, which is probably newer and hipper than the above three:

*My Name Is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare by Jess Winfield

(an aside - why are all novels nowadays subtitle "A Novel"? Is it really that hard to figure out???)

David Blixt said...

Hmmm. There was one. What was the name? Something of Verona...

Alexi said...

David, I just read Master of Verona and loved it. I'm so glad I found out about it from this site. The semi-hidden Shakespeare and Dante references bring a smile to my inner geek.

I'm very much hoping the book she saw was Master of Verona, rather than a Da Vinci Code knockoff like Interred with their Bones or the young adult novel Shakespeare's Secret that embraces the Oxford theory. But really, "Shakespeare novel" is a very broad term. As illustrated by my examples, it embraces both literate historical fiction and disposable thrillers. So all our guesses are pretty much shots in the dark.

Elizabeth R said...

Wait, does she mean based on Shakepeare's play or based on his life?

Martyr - Rory Clements (about Shakespeare's brother)

Exposure - Mal Peet ('loosely' based on Othello)

Something Wicked (based on MacBeth) and Something Rotten (based on Hamlet) - Alan Gratz

Saving Juliet - Suzanne Selfors

Elizabeth R said...

Interred with Their Bones - Jennifer Lee

Cassandra said...

I work in a bookstore and that sounds like the kind of question I get asked every day!

My guess is 'The Shakespeare Curse' by J.L. Carrell.

CSmith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CSmith said...

Sorry, I had a typo - can't abide 'em if I see 'em!
I'm grateful for this, so many books I haven't heard of yet!

The ones I know of that are novels *about* Shakespeare are:

Young Will - Bruce Cook
Will - Grace Tiffany
(also, My Father Had a Daughter)
The Late Mr. Shakespeare - Robert Nye
Mistress Shakespeare - Karen Harper
Shakespeare - Anthony Burgess
Quality of Mercy - Faye Kellerman
(And Jess Winfield's time altering novel)

The novels based on plays is much longer and google might get mad at me. :)

CSmith said...

Oh it is by play?

Hmmm. It would help to know which play - the most popular seem to be Macbeth, Hamlet, and (of course) Romeo and Juliet.

Ed said...

Also that novel Fool by Christopher Moore(?)about the Fool in Lear just came out in paperback, so it's been displayed lately.

Anonymous said...

hopefully the famous and hilarious "Two Gentlemen of Lebowski" will be able to join this list some day!

Emsworth said...

Both John Updike's Gertrude and Claudius and David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, both grounded in Hamlet, come to mind, mainly because I've recently read (and blogged) about them. I'll bet Edgar Sawtelle was the one the reader meant, because it's been so popular the last year or two.