Manga Shakespeare: Hamlet

 
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Age Range
14+
ISBN
0810993244
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A new look at an old classic
Overall rating 
 
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Reader reviewed by Alyssa Feller, POD Princess & Graphic Novel Guru

Have you ever been faced with the daunting task of reading Shakespeare in English class? Did you struggle through confusing plots and speeches only to reach the end and wonder what just happened? Have you wondered why your teachers would continue to subject students to something so boring and difficult as a bunch of plays that were written 400 years ago? If youve found yourself in one of these situations, then I may have found a solution for you.

Welcome to Manga Shakespeare: Hamlet. Its the Hamlet youre familiar with, and yet its also not. The characters are the same, the story is the same, even the words are the same, but the setting and format are completely different.

Welcome to the year 2107. Global warming has devastated the world, and created a permeating mood of uncertainty and war that clings to this new cyber-society. Enter Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, making his way home to face his future after the death of his father.

Im not going to go into a lot of plot summary here, because most of us know the story. In addition to the change of scenery, this classic tale has been presented in a manga-style graphic novel format, a move that is sure to make it much more accessible to younger readers. With action-packed illustrations and the modernized setting, this is Hamlet as youve never seen it before.

The book also maintains the integrity of the original play, keeping Shakespeares actual words as the only text (although edited for length and space). A plot synopsis at the back of the book and a full-color character list at the beginning are there to help readers whove struggled with Shakespeare in the past. Best of all, this fresh new way of looking at a classic will draw new readers to Shakespeare, hopefully to discover that his plays are really quite entertaining.

Whether you are someone who finds Shakespeare intimidating, an old fan of the bard, or simply a lover of the popular Japanese-style format, this book offers something for everyone.
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