Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sep. 24 - Ophelia

Ophelia, by Lisa Klein (2006) "He is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; she is simply Ophelia. If you think you know their story, think again. In this reimagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage and finally gets her due. Ambitious for knowledge and witty as well as beautiful, Ophelia catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, and their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and Ophelia will be forced to choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever...with one very dangerous secret."

I saw this in the store and for some reason just had to have it. I don't know much about Shakespeare's stuff so maybe I thought it would be a fun way to learn the Hamlet story...? Flipping thru the book a bit in the store I saw that it was in fairly simple English as compared to true Shakespeare so that was probably the selling point. I enjoyed the book early on. Since I knew pretty much nothing of Hamlet everything was new to me. However, things started to get confusing. It seemed inconsistent, and I started wishing I knew the Hamlet story. Eventually it got to where I Netflixed the Mel Gibson version of the Hamlet movie and watched it just to try and make sense of things. From there I decided I didn't like this Ophelia book. What I'd read up to that point suddenly seemed incredibly weak and sloppy. And when I picked up reading again it was with a strong distaste for the book overall. I'm stubborn though, and since I'd paid the money to buy it I felt I had to at least finish it.

The last quarter or so of the book was just ridiculous. It really had nothing to do with Hamlet. It just veered off down some really churchy path with the occasional...and unnecessary, detached...mention of Hamlet or something from the original story. It was like really bad fanfic, using something familiar (Hamlet) to tell a really unrelated story. Bleah. Hugely disappointing.

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