Thursday 19 July 2012

The Scottish Novel?

Macbeth: A Novel




A.J.Hartley and David Hewson


Narrated  by Alan Cumming


I loved this take on the Scottish play! But let’s be clear, it is NOT the play and its two joint authors go further than just reproducing the play in the form of a novel. AJ Hartley is a Shakespeare professor at the University of North Carolina and a thriller writer. He clearly brings his understanding of not only Shakespeare's work but also of the historical context to the endeavour. David Hewson is also a thriller writer who has most recently written a novel based on TV series The Killing which is now close to the top of my to be read list. They begin their story of the rise and decline of Macbeth into paranoia with an enlarge battle scene, setting their Macbeth as warrior and patriot. Narrator’s Alan Cummings, Scottish accent,  lends another layer of realism to the tale. They give Lady Macbeth a name, Skena , and we see much more of the inner workings of the couple and of their relationship prior to and during Macbeth’s ascension to the Scottish throne. Having read the part of one of the witches when I first read the play at school I was keen to see how they were to be shaped. They are incredible, still mystical, still weird, but now modern, and I think you will never again see salmon jumping without thinking of these Macbeth witches :)

ashramblings verdict:  (5 stars) I was intrigued by the prospect of taking a play and generating a novel, but their adaptation and rework went way beyond my expectations. I really hope they do more. I suppose we shall all have to start calling this the Scottish Novel!

No comments:

Post a Comment