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Thirteenth Night (1999)

by Alan Gordon

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24710108,251 (3.83)31
A medieval mystery tale based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Twelve years after the events of the play, the Duke of Orsino has been murdered and the duchy is in a state of political turmoil. Feste, the fool, is sent by the Guild to stabilize the political situation and uncover the culprit.
  1. 00
    The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: Another Twelfth Night sequel.
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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Smart, learned, with nods to stagecraft and swimming in history. I like it a lot. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
A pleasant and fast-moving mystery, following up on Twelfth Night a little over a decade later.

As a piece of meta-Shakespeariana, the book is slight: Graham isn't interested, for example, in playing games with Shakespearian structure, and his projections of what the characters would have become years later has some clever bits but is not meant to be an exercise in Bradleian criticism.

The author's principal trick is to redate the period - Shakespeare depicted a roughly contemporary society, though there are few markers as to time - to the late 12th / early 13th Century (the Fourth Crusade is in preparation) and create a transnational secret society of fools of which the fool that was Feste was a secret agent, and to Malvolio a Saracen agent.

Gordon does a decent job with the historical side, although a few details are jarring - the term Gothic was not used for the architecture of the period until the Renaissance, for example. As a mystery novel it is successful (and was successful enough to lead to a string of non-Shakespearian sequels). ( )
  jsburbidge | Apr 3, 2018 |
Started off slow, but improved and was enjoyable. ( )
  BillC. | Dec 7, 2014 |
It has been a long time since I read Twelfth Night but this brought back a lot of the fun I remember in Shakespeare's play. This book is set many years later, Viola's husband is dead and Feste is heading out to find out what happened. Did he commit suicide? Was it an accident? Or, was it foul play.

Loved the whole story, it was fun and well plotted and had a couple of twists that I never saw coming. Even if you haven't read or seen the play you will enjoy this book, it gives enough of the original background to keep the flavor of the original but doesn't spend so much time in the past to make the story bog down.

I believe I will be trying the next in the series. ( )
  bookswoman | Nov 18, 2014 |
Gordon imagines Feste, the fool from Shakespeare's [b:Twelfth Night|1615108|Twelfth Night or, What You Will - Literary Touchstone Classic|William Shakespeare|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1185912226s/1615108.jpg|3267921], as a member of an elite guild of fools who, like the Illuminati (but much more amusing) influence European politics and, in this case, investigate a murder. Gordon's wordplay is quick and references Shakespeare's without interfering unduly with flow of the story. The plot is slightly convoluted, reminding me that if I were ever to murder someone, I would do better to strike quickly (as, Voldemort: "Kill the spare") than to prioritize exacting an imagined sweet revenge by means of twists, artifices, and a lengthy soliloquy to the victim re: why I delight in doing what I am about to do. This is the undoing of many nemeses of Bond, as well as Sideshow Bob, and the murderer here does not transcend its narcissistic lure. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
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FOOL: And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.MALVOLIO: I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you!Twelfth Night, V, i
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To my best friend, fellow traveler, fellow parent, lover, wife, and in-house Muse, Judy Downer
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We were gathered in the tavern to taste the new beer.
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A medieval mystery tale based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Twelve years after the events of the play, the Duke of Orsino has been murdered and the duchy is in a state of political turmoil. Feste, the fool, is sent by the Guild to stabilize the political situation and uncover the culprit.

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