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Vinegar Girl: A Novel (Hogarth Shakespeare)…

Vinegar Girl: A Novel (Hogarth Shakespeare) (edition 2016)

by Anne Tyler (Author)

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Title:Vinegar Girl: A Novel (Hogarth Shakespeare)
Authors:Anne Tyler (Author)
Info:Hogarth (2016), Edition: 1St Edition, 240 pages
Collections:Your library

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Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Recently added byjevins, Catelam, FlowerTaisen, DoddSue, RLattari, Bookwormshawn, bcbcmarianna, private library
  1. 10
    The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare (cbl_tn)
  2. 00
    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Socially awkward characters find love.
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    Love in Idleness by Amanda Craig (VenusofUrbino)
    VenusofUrbino: Another Shakespeare retelling (this time "A Midsummer Night's Dream") that was really fun.

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Light and easy and fun reading. Cute love story. Definitely no similarity with Taming of the Shrew. This girl is wooed pretty quickly. ( )
  sidiki | Mar 6, 2017 |

If you grow up in an English speaking country, chances are rather high that you have had to read some Shakespeare. Conquering Shakespearean language, rhythm, and rhyme are a rite of passage every young English speaking teenager must go through. Some people hate Shakespeare, others love him so much that they pursue academic research projects and PhDs. Whether you love him or hate him, there is something special about his plays. The fact that after all these years people still find something new to say about them, says a lot about the cultural investments in Shakespeare and his almost mystical powers that still let him speak to us long into the era of smartphones and Instagram.

Modern adaptations, on stage and in print, are extremely polarised in my opinion. They usually either work amazingly well, or flop. Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl is an adaptation for me that started out amazingly well and then went to a flop. The problem with the a modern adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew is that the value system and the way women were treated then and now are vastly different (thankfully!). Yes a green card marriage is not an unheard of thing, but the relationship between Kate and Piotr was fake, cardboard at best. Kate is one of those beautiful-in-an-unconventional-way-but-doesn’t-know-it types and Piotr—tall, blonde, strong, forceful—shows Kate how beautiful she is… Throws up* Piotr is also, like, really complicated with a lot of feelings and Kate has to explain that to people at the end of the novel, because men have it tough too. Now, the ending which was the most spectacular belly flop of all, was not without good intentions. I can see Tyler’s idea behind talking about male feelings and how difficult it is for modern men to talk about their worries and dreams, however, it was done in such a mechanical, such a forced and unbelievable way that it almost felt like it was inserted there to meet some sort of quota rather than really address the issue properly.

The Taming of the Shrew has been adapted before, with the most famous adaptation probably being Ten Things I Hate About You. Vinegar Girl compared with Ten Things I Hate About You shows the need for the utmost care when translating a 400 year old text into the 21st century. The former, sadly showing you what happens when you rush the plot and treat the characters like cutouts from a craft book.Have you read Vinegar Girl? What is your favourite Shakespearean adaptation? Remember, always share the reading love. ( )
1 vote bound2books | Feb 12, 2017 |
Very funny! I have never been an Anne Tyler fan, but this I wish I had never read so I could read it again for the first time. ( )
  evacarey | Jan 2, 2017 |
Anne Tyler’s novel Vinegar Girl is a modern interpretation of Taming of the Shrew. Or at least it’s trying to be. In Shakespeare’s original version, Petruchio woos Katherine “the shrew” by “taming” her. In other words, Katherine goes from being a strong willed, outspoken woman to more of a mouse who obeys her husband.

Obviously, such a subject is in need of a modern facelift. Tyler attempts to put a modern spin on things by reimagining the play’s problem. In Vinegar Girl, Pyotr (Petruchio’s modern counterpart) needs to marry someone before his academic visa runs out. Dr. Battista doesn’t want his brilliant research assistant to leave, so he forces his daughter Kate (Katherine’s modern counterpart) to pretend to date and then marry Pyotr in order to keep him in the country. Cue modern criticism of ingrained patriarchal institutions, right?

Don’t hold your breath. While Kate starts out as strong-willed, the veritable Vinegar Girl, she easily acquiesces to her father’s wishes with little to no character development. Missing too is Kate’s agency. Though Tyler tries to make it seem like Kate is going against the grain by developing feelings for Pyotr and deciding to marry him on her own, the characters and the plot both inevitably fall flat.

With a plot that is as stilted as the dialogue and characters who often behave like cardboard cutouts, it’s difficult to find something to praise about this novel. However, Tyler’s prose is easy to digest. There is no fluff or filler. Vinegar Girl was a quick read, at least.

Over all, I give Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl 2.5/5 stars.

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( )
1 vote beckyrenner | Dec 29, 2016 |
In this contemporary retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Kate Battista realizes that she has always been difficult, "a thorny child, a sullen teenager, a failure as a college student." Now, as a 29-year-old in a dead-end job and ineptly running the household since her mother has died taking care of her father, an eccentric scientist, and her adolescent sister. When her father's brilliant lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported, he devises a plan for Kate to marry Pyotr to keep him in the country. However, Kate balks at the plan hoping for romance and someone who will treasure her. Will Pyotr be able to remain in the country? Will Kate find the romance that she so longs for?

Although Kate Battista is similarly unappealing as Shakespeare's Katherine, she was not the shrew as the latter. I enjoyed this third project in the Hogwarth Shakespeare project preceded by a contemporary rendition of The Winter's Tale and The Merchant of Venice. Margaret Atwood has since published a retelling of The Tempest. ( )
  John_Warner | Dec 26, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Tylerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dong, LorenDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, KirstenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shakespeare, WilliamAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilkins, SarahCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Kate Battista was gardening out back when she heard the telephone ring in the kitchen.
"Not all scientists prefer blondes."
(The unsatisfying thing about practicing restraint was that nobody knew you were practicing it.)
The thought didn't disturb her. She had used this room up, she felt. She had used this life up.
But she was pleased, in spite of herself. She knew what he was trying to say. ¶ It crossed her mind that if her mother had known too—if she had been able to read the signals—the lives of all four of them might have been much happier. ¶ For the first time, it occurred to her that she herself was getting better at reading signals.
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Book description
Anne Tyler's modern retelling of the Shakespeare play "The taming of the shrew."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804141266, Hardcover)

William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew retold as Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestseller
Anne Tyler’s retelling of The Taming of the Shrew asks whether a thoroughly modern, independent woman like Kate would ever sacrifice herself for a man. Its answer is as individual, offbeat, and funny as Kate herself.

Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and her uppity, pretty younger sister, Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work—her preschool charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner. 

Dr. Battista has his own problems. After years in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, Dr. Battista’s work may not ever be realized.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying—as usual—on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. Will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 14 Nov 2015 21:18:48 -0500)

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