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Fiction based on Shakespeare

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Mar 24, 2011, 12:42pm Top

I have a colleague who is running several lectures based on Shakespeare in early April. We're planning on creating a display and pushing some circulating books that are Shakespeare-esque but... I can't admit to knowing many fiction titles based on his work.

I know "The Juliet Club" and the more famous "Letters to Juliet" (which was made into a film) would apply loosely, but does anyone know some good works I might be missing? He mentioned there might be some mystery titles...

Mar 24, 2011, 12:59pm Top

A couple of suggestions:

Erica Jong's Serenissima
A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley
Gertrude and Claudius, by John Updike

Mar 24, 2011, 1:03pm Top

Caliban's Hour by Tad Williams

Edited: Mar 24, 2011, 1:18pm Top

A quick google search gives these 10 at http://justtenbooks.blogspot.com/2010/10/ten-books-based-on-shakespeares-plays.h....

10. The Madness of Love by Katharine Davies Twelfth Night

9. Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper Romeo and Juliet

8. Starcrossed by Mark Schreiber Romeo and Juliet

7. A Girl, A Ghost and the Hollywood Hills by Lizabeth Zindel Hamlet

6. Exposure by Mal Peet Othello

5. A Winter Night's Dream by Andrew Matthews A Midsummer Night's Dream

4. Love in Idleness by Amanda Craig A Midsummer Night's Dream

3. Something's Rotten in the State of Maryland by Laura Sonnemark Hamlet

2. Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Elizabeth Gehrman Much Ado About Nothing

1. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley King Lea

Mar 24, 2011, 2:01pm Top

Illyria by Elizabeth Hand, The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood. Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland. And I second Christopher Moore's Fool. It was brilliant.

Edited: Mar 24, 2011, 2:51pm Top

I don't know if it's actually been released yet, but I have to put in a plug for Arthurs Phillips's new novel, The Tragedy of Arthur (hmm, no touchstone yet). Shakespeare devotees, anti-Stradfordians, forgerers run amok, plus a complete faux Shakespeare play at the end.

Mar 24, 2011, 2:54pm Top

Odd that it doesn't touchstone. There are a couple of dozen copies catalogued here: http://www.librarything.com/work/10909362

Mar 24, 2011, 2:56pm Top

I believe one of the entries in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series has Hamlet as a central character, but I forget which one in the series it is!

Mar 24, 2011, 2:58pm Top

Tim said in some other thread that as part of the unfinished Talk changes that are due to be released any day now, that nothing new is getting added to the touchstone indexes. So he knows he's under the gun to release the rest of the changes.

Mar 24, 2011, 2:59pm Top

>9 beatlemoon:
It's Something's Rotten, the fourth book in the series.

Mar 24, 2011, 4:33pm Top

There's a series of mysteries by Simon Hawke - Shakespeare and Smythe.

Mar 24, 2011, 4:47pm Top

I have just finished reading The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Although not based on a Shakespeare play, there are many Shakespeare references throughout the novel.

Mar 24, 2011, 5:11pm Top

I loved Interred with their bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell, and Josephine Tey's the Daughter of Time was very good, as well.

Mar 24, 2011, 5:21pm Top

Mama Day by Gloria Naylor is a wonderful novel based on The Tempest and set on an African American inhabited island off the coast of the southern US.

There's also The Story of Edgar Sawtelle which I think is a less successful adaptation of Hamlet.

Mar 24, 2011, 6:32pm Top

At least one of Terry Pratchett's Witches books (from the Discworld series) follows the plot of a Shakespearean play, though I don't know exactly... I think "Macbeth" is in... "Weird Sisters" maybe? and "Midsummer's Night Dream" is "Lords and Ladies" (vaguely).

Mar 24, 2011, 8:06pm Top

Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray - Romeo and Juliet
Ophelia by Lisa Klein - Hamlet
Magic Street by Orson Scott Card - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ten Things I Hate About You by David Levithan - Taming of the Shrew (also made into a movie)

Mar 24, 2011, 9:55pm Top

Although an imperfect solution, a tagmash (books tagged both Shakespeare and fiction) might help you. Lots of Shakespeare plays show up, but there are also potentially relevant novels here.

Mar 24, 2011, 10:32pm Top

ah yes, I was just going to suggest My Name is Will. Interesting book, and not for the kiddies.

Mar 24, 2011, 10:43pm Top

How about Much Ado about Murder? I haven't read it, so I can't vouch for quality, but it would qualify.

Mar 24, 2011, 10:52pm Top

You could also look up some of the more popular plays on LT, then scroll down to the work-to-work relationships feature for books inspired by some plays.

Listed under Hamlet (some probably more suitable than others) were:
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard (this one a play)
Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike
Ophelia by Lisa Klein
The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig
Dating Hamlet: Ophelia's Story by Lisa Fiedler
A Girl, a Ghost, and the Hollywood Hills by Lizabeth Zindel
Something's Rotten in the State of Maryland by Laura A. Sonnemark

Mar 25, 2011, 3:38pm Top

There's always that stand-by originally for YA readers, Cue for treason by Geoffrey Trease;
Tempest-Tost by Robertson Davies;
the plays Elizabeth Rex by Timothy Findley in which WS is a character (also available on DVD) and The Hamlet of Stepney Green by Peter Shaffer;
and the Kurosawa film Ran is loosely based on Lear.

Mar 25, 2011, 3:49pm Top

I'll second #21's choice of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. The film version with a very young Gary Oldman and Tim Roth was hysterical.

Mar 26, 2011, 7:14am Top

I'm reliably informed by my current uni course that Shirley is a reinterpretation of Coriolanus though it's a hell of a lot more interesting to read.

Mar 31, 2011, 3:38pm Top

Thank you to everyone who responded!

I may actually develop a booklist of the ones I selected into a blog on the NYPL site. I'll be sure to mention LibraryThing and you guys for all your help and recommendations!

I also found an additional title not mentioned here The Late Mr. Shakespeare by Robert Nye, so I added that one into the pile as well.

A lot of the newer books were not in, so sadly... I wasn't able to include those. But I have a great selection of around 15-20 titles (many had two copies).

If you find anymore... the program is still two weeks away, so I can still add more! but you can have been SO HELPFUL! I had no idea where to even get started when he asked me.

Apr 3, 2011, 4:43pm Top

Juliet by Anne Fortier is based on the obvious one...very good, with quotes from the actual play and lots of references, if you know the play well.

Apr 6, 2011, 9:17am Top

>25 vampireeat:

Three other Robert Nye books worth including are 1) 'Falstaff', 2) The Late Mr Shakespeare, and 3) Mrs Shakespeare: The Complete Works.

Apr 6, 2011, 2:15pm Top

It's in Dutch, but most of the books are english: my own blog, mostly about books in which the theatre plays a role. The search for Shakespeare on my blog: http://alex39.blogspot.com/search/label/Shakespeare

Apr 11, 2011, 1:15pm Top

Check out the official New York Public Library blog entry based on this list: http://www.nypl.org/blog/2011/04/11/fiction-based-shakespeare-reading-list

I gave a shout out to you guys in the comments below and linked back to this talk forum. Thanks so much everyone!!

Apr 11, 2011, 3:17pm Top

Pretty cool. That'll get people reading Shakespeare.

Edited: Apr 27, 2011, 4:54pm Top

There's Sarah A. Hoyt's Ill Met by Moonlight as well.

(edited for typo)

Aug 28, 2012, 4:08pm Top

I'm late to the party, but I'm disappointed that nobody has yet mentioned Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (framework based on The Tempest).

Aug 29, 2012, 1:25pm Top

And not based on, but with many references and parallels also to The Tempest, The Collector by John Fowles.

Sep 19, 2012, 9:28am Top

Has anyone mentioned Enter Three Witches (Macbeth)?

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