Lazy Saturday Review: Manga Shakespeare – Hamlet

mangahamlet
Title: Hamlet
Author: Richard Appignanesi (Adaptor), William Shakespeare (Original), Emma Vieceli (Illustrator)
Series: The Managa Shakespeare Collection
Edition: Paperback, 208 pages
Publication Details: April 1st 2007 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): Classics; Graphic Novels
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads // Purchase

Part of ‘Manga Shakespeare’, a series of graphic novel adaptations of William Shakespeare’s plays. Prince Hamlet is depressed. Having been summoned home to Denmark from school in Germany to attend his father’s funeral, he is shocked to find his mother Gertrude already remarried. The Queen has wed Hamlet’s Uncle Claudius, the dead king’s brother. To Hamlet, the marriage is “foul incest.” Worse still, Claudius has had himself crowned King despite the fact that Hamlet was his father’s heir to the throne. Hamlet suspects foul play.

Review


I love that this series exists! I always enjoyed studying Shakespeare but reading his plays outright can be a bit of a chore, so what better way to combat that than read a short, sharp Manga version instead?

I enjoyed this a lot, but it wasn’t without its flaws. I found the illustrations both beautiful and sinister, and loved the way they included a Sci-Fi, futuristic element, yet stayed true to the text. I felt like I could follow the story relatively easily, but then, Hamlet has always been a favourite of mine so I know the story pretty well anyway.

I did think it was sometimes hard to tell who was who, and who was talking, but maybe that’s just because I’m a Manga-amateur, I don’t know. I think some of the characters looked a little too similar, but Emma Vieceli did a great job (yesIprettymuchfanciedthemallOK), especially with Ophelia who was just as beautiful and haunting as she should be.

I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to edit such a huge play- Shakespeare’s longest no less- down to so little text, and so I was really impressed. I’d love to collect the whole series, and see if I can follow one of the ones I’m not so familiar with.

unicorn rating 4

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Was *Forced* to Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the theme is Top Ten books you were ‘forced’ to read, whether it’s required reading or books that friends or family have encouraged you to read.

I was never big on required reading, and would usually just pretend that I’d read the books I was supposed to at school. Such a rebel, yeah. But I did read some of the ones I was supposed to, and here are my favourites. Followed by the books I read, or was read to as a child…no forcing necessary there; they are all awesome!

Top 5 Books I had to read to for school

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  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry: I would love to read this again. It was very affecting.
  • Hamlet: Probably my favourite Shakespeare play.  I can still remember the first time I was introduced to Ophelia!
  • Of Mice and Men: I haven’t read this for years. So heartbreaking!
  • The Bloody Chamber: I’m not sure if I had to read this for college or Uni, but either way I’m glad I did.
  • Enduring Love: This was one of the stand-out books I read for my Eng Lit class in college.

Top 5 Books from Childhood

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  • The Twits: This is the most memorable Dahl book for me. I still love it.
  • Naughty Amelia Jane: I read A LOT of Enid Blyton when I was little. This series was my fave though, closely followed by The Faraway Tree books.
  • Silly Verse for Kids: I did a Favourites Friday post on this here. Love love love. RIP Spike Milligan
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: I actually saw the BBC adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe before I read these books. Words cannot express how much I love this series. In all its forms.
  • Green Eggs and Ham: I can remember loving this book so much, and thinking how gross green eggs sounded! I would love to read this again.