Ophelia by Lisa Klein

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Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Thanks to my twelfth grade English teacher, not only have I read and enjoyed Hamlet, I can point out every single sexual reference in the entire book. (Also, when we watched a movie version, she paused the tape at this point when some jesters were doing flips so we could see up their costumes!) We also read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (which I highly recommend), so I was very interested to see what Lisa Klein would do with the story of Ophelia.

Klein's interpretation is definitely not the traditional one -- her Ophelia is a much more dynamic character than one would expect from reading Shakespeare, and some of her other characters were not quite what I expected as well (She writes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as traitors rather than as simply bumbling fools). However, her interpretation is still completely plausible, and, I would assume, could be backed up by Shakespeare's text.

I'm not going to tell you much about the plot because, if you've read Hamlet, you know the basic plot anyway, and the interesting part is seeing it unfold through Ophelia's eyes, and if I were to tell you how it differs from the traditional Hamlet, I would take all the fun out of it.

I would definitely recommend this for any Shakespeare fans, or simply to fans of historical fiction (the novel can still be enjoyed without having read Hamlet). Klein's intricate story-telling kept me enthralled, and I can't wait to see what she will write next (Might I suggest something based on Romeo and Juliet?)


Anonymous said...

I loved this one too - and I interviewed Lisa Klein for my classics feature at Bookslut this month. Her next Shakespeare title sounds like a riff on MacBeth - but do find a copy of Lisa Fielder's lovely Romeo's Ex which was very good also.


Sara said...

Oh, that's awesome, I'll have to check out your interview with her. And, ironically, I actually have a copy of Romeo's Ex at home waiting patiently for me to finish all these cybils books.

ennacooper said...

I got the book for christmas and i loved it so much that i finished it the same day!! I'm trying to find some of her otherbooks now to see if they are as good! Any opinions??

Sara said...

I'm pretty sure that Ophelia is actually Klein's first (and right now, only) novel. (Though from the comment above, it looks like her next one might be based on Macbeth).

In the meantime, though, I do highly recommend Romeo's Ex by Lisa Fielder. (you should be able to find my review in the January archives)

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