Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by A.J. Hartley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Read it to me, Thorin Oakenshield! This was an excellent rendition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, novelized by A. J. Hartly and David Hewson and narrated by the resonant Richard Armitage. I’m still hearing it in my head a day after finishing, maybe I need to start it over!
I count myself among the fans of the Bard, but I’ll be honest, I have a hard time understanding what is happening just by reading the plays, and often have to watch them acted out before I get on board with the action, so I was very interested to listen to this version. This was much easier for me to follow, and while I know there were differences to the original (and some discussion at the end about whose the original even was) they were intended and added to the flow of the story. I was especially intrigued by the treatment of Yorick, who is one of the most famous bit parts ever! Poor guy doesn’t even get to appear in the flesh or have a line, but everyone knows who he is. It just isn’t Hamlet without him.
It is dark and full of madness, some of it feigned, some of it perhaps not, and with Armitage’s wonderful voice to bring it to life it was a production I highly recommend!
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