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All the World's a Grave: A New Play by William Shakespeare Paperback – August 26, 2008
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aJohn Reed excels in the realm of the strange.a
a"San Francisco Examiner"
aReedas book is a swift and satisfying read, viciously funny, out of left field.a
a"The New York Post"
In an inspired bit of bricolage, Reed selects characters and passages from Othello, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Henry V and recombines them into a new work. Well, new is an overstatement, since all major plot twists are lifted from the aforementioned plays?the murder of an old king by someone poisoned by ambition, a young prince determined to expose his father's killer, an innocent young woman falsely accused and then murdered by her husband. Only the names have been shuffled to freshen the story. Here Macbeth kills Hamlet's father, Juliet marries Hamlet (and then, poor girl, plays Desdemona to his Othello), and King Lear leads an army, like Fortinbras, into Hamlet's bloodsoaked country (Bohemia, not Denmark). This ?remix version? of Shakespeare proves fascinating and entertaining. Reed clearly loves the Bard. His pastiche contains many of Shakespeare's best passages, which are always a delight to reread. More impressive, though, Reed fashions from this familiar m
Top Customer Reviews
I also saw an actors' reading from this and would recommend it to theater groups looking for a new way to do Shakespeare.
Reed's highwire act is astonishing, and not one with easy precedent in the world of books. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be to the dreamlike, brilliantly inventive narrative songs of Bob Dylan's mid-sixties work like `Desolation Row,' where Bette Davis, TS Eliot, Einstein and Ophelia all meet to great artistic effect. This is Reed's best work to date - thought provoking, entertaining and resonant with respect to imagining art as a continuum. Highly recommended.
I'm more of a person who knows people who love Shakespeare. What I liked about ATWAG was that it was accessible for me too. I'm not Shakespeare scholar and didn't feel I needed to be to enjoy it. I loved the witty plot and got the humor. And it was fun knowing that this book was crafted in the tradition and structure of Shakespeare's other works and yet not exactly written by him.
All together it was a great experience and a highly recommended read (Reed).
And of course, it's a perfect gift for all my wonderful Shakespeare nerd friends.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not sure how he pulled this off, but he did. Clever idea and completely readable execution. Loved the essay at the end.Published on May 5, 2011 by gretabemler
Reed has an uncanny, mysterious editorial gift. I cannot fathom how he did this. Maybe it's not exactly Shakespeare, but it certainly has the feel of a collaboration. Read morePublished on April 21, 2011 by La Bomba
I never thought I'd be able to say this about a de- and re-construction of Shakespeare, but Reed's achievement with such shocked me. Dead cold. Read morePublished on April 20, 2011 by Donna Bagdasarian
John Reed deftly dives where few would dare, stirring hallowed waters into something fresh.
Playful, bold, fascinating, ATWAG delivers sharp little payloads of... Read more
A modern play in Shakespeare's style. It started well enough, setting the stage for a fairly complex drama, but by the end of the second act had become a dreary pastiche of... Read morePublished on April 13, 2009 by E. M. Van Court