Hamlet: a novel by John Marsden

Hamlet: A Novel by John MarsdenOpening Sentence:‘Do you believe in ghosts?’
Synopsis:Hamlet’s father has just died. By the time they’ve filled in the grave his mother has remarried. Hamlet suspects foul play, and it’s troubling his spirit. Or maybe he was always troubled. Ophelia is in love with him. His best friend Horatio can’t work him out. Then, on a cold, still night, Hamlet meets the ghost of his father…

This wonderful book, by one of Australia’s most-loved writers, takes Shakespeare’s famous play and makes it into a moving and full-blooded novel. John Marsden powerfully re-imagines the original character and story.
Genre:Young Adult
Rating:@@@@
Pages:228
ISBN:978-1-921351-47-1
Year:2008
Format:Hardcover
Comments:I began this novel with great trepidation, but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved how Marsden added a bit of background to some of characters (Horatio is a good example of this). I also liked how he left the time ambiguous. Hamlet could be any teenager in any time going through a very trying experience.

The beautiful language of Shakespeare is absent, of course, though Marsden has made an effort to use some of the original lines. At least part of Ophelia’s mad soliloquy is intact (I haven’t compared it to my copy of Hamlet yet, but I recognised some of the lines) and the more famous lines (‘To be or not to be’ & ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ for example) are included. Hamlet: a novel is definitely worth reading, and is a great way to introduce tweens to wonderful world of Shakespeare.

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