- Series: Hogarth Shakespeare
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Hogarth; First U S Edition edition (October 6, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804141355
- ISBN-13: 978-0804141352
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 70 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gap of Time: A Novel (Hogarth Shakespeare) Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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"The Gap of Time takes the play’s themes of love, jealousy and estrangement and spins them into a taut contemporary tale."--New York Times
“Hogarth leads off the series with one of the most gifted writers working today, Jeanette Winterson, taking on the formidable ‘Winter’s Tale,’ and the result is a shining delight of a novel…Winterson’s gift for capturing unspoken emotion with powerful but never overwritten lyricism creates a cast of characters whose points of view are fascinating and sometimes harrowing to inhabit, fully employing the novel form’s unique ability to illuminate the interiors of the actors on the page…The opening acts of the novel are propelled by an intricately suspenseful series of scenes that capture the raw violence stemming from greed, envy and paranoia. A subtle critique of hyper masculinity, and the attendant violence fueled by money (specifically the loss thereof), ripples meaningfully beneath the novel’s surface. Winterson’s great gift is capturing the emotional heft of her stories with sentences that hum along, beautiful, unexpected and swift…Winterson wrestles wonderfully with a perplexing text and emerges with a complicated, satisfying and contemporary tale that stands wholly on its own, despite the Bard’s significant shadow. But then again, show me a novelist who isn’t under that shadow. For that reason, and because Winterson makes the cover business book easy, I imagine many novelists are salivating for chance to write the next book in this promising new series.”--New York Times Book Review
"Winterson doesn’t just update the story: she fills in its psychological nuances... It’s fun to see Winterson solve the play’s problems, but the book’s real strength is the way her language shifts between earthy and poetic and her willingness to use whatever she needs to tell the story (angels, video games, carjackings). She makes us read on, our hearts in our mouths, to see how a twice-told story will turn out this time."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[The Gap of Time] will keep you enthralled from start to finish."--Paste Magazine
"The intricacy with which Winterson has plotted her novel against each Shakespearean detail will delight readers familiar with the original … it’s part of a vision of a world in which past, present, and future are lived simultaneously, original and adaptation existing in the same moment."--The Times (London)
"A book of considerable beauty… Winterson’s fiction is a fine invitation into this deeply Shakespearean vision of imagination as the best kind of truth-telling."--New Statesman
"Winterson’s stage, like that of Shakespeare, is filled with wonders."--Times Literary Supplement
"Winterson is faithful to both the narrative and the spirit of the play, while transposing it to an utterly different and modern setting… There is lightness here, in the frisky prose and the author’s delight in invention, but you are never free of the awareness of dark shadows where danger and corruption lie in wait."--Scotsman
"Artful...it soars."--Financial Times
"A deeply felt, emotionally intelligent and serious novel, which resists easy answers and yet expresses the hope that human beings can muddle through, and that bad pasts can have good outcomes... Pulsates with such authenticity and imaginative generosity that I defy you not to engage with it."--Evening Standard
"The Winter’s Tale, one of the late, 'problem' plays, is about loss, remorse and forgiveness, and the nature of time. Winterson has captured all this with respect and affection for Shakespeare’s text, and made it new with her own bold and poetic prose and her insights into love and grief. There are passages here so concisely beautiful they give you goosebumps."--Radar
"With a few deft strokes Winterson creates Shakespeare’s characters in contemporary clothing keeping me in suspense throughout. It is a triumph and a good omen for this ambitious new project."--Daily Express
"Emotionally wrought and profoundly intelligent it will pull you into its troubled, wise world of jealousy, paranoia, grief, revenge and forgiveness in some of the most stunning prose you’ll read this year … Winterson masterfully interweaves layers of narrative and themes so that reading the novel is like listening to a Bach prelude and fugue … A supremely clever, compelling and emotionally affecting novel that deserves multiple readings to appreciate its many layers."--Mail on Sunday
"The book is the first of a major new series, in which well-known novelists give Shakespeare a modern twist, and Winterson rises to the challenge with some ingenious touches."--Observer
"Engrossing, almost soapily addictive novel."--The Independent
"There's a lovely, lilting cadence to Winterson's tribute to Shakespeare's penultimate play... Smart and witty... Despite her faithfulness to Shakespeare's storyline, Winterson manages against the odds to keep us gripped...she wins our sympathy and so injects a real sense of jeopardy into a familiar tale. It's no mean feat. Compelling, entertaining and elegant."--The Guardian
"Moving, pacy... A clever book that explores themes of love, loss and forgiveness as parents screw up their children and do the unthinkable. A thrilling read."--Irish News
About the Author
Jeanette Winterson OBE has written ten novels, children’s books, non-fiction works, and screenplays, and writes regularly for the Guardian. She was adopted by Pentecostal parents and raised in Manchester to be a missionary, which she wrote about in her first novel, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, and twenty-seven years later in her bestselling memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? The Winter’s Tale tells the story of Perdita, the abandoned child. “All of us have talismanic texts that we have carried around and that carry us around. I have worked with The Winter’s Tale in many disguises for many years,” Jeanette says of the play. The result is The Gap of Time, her cover version.
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Top customer reviews
This book is a reimagining - or, in Winterson's own words, a cover - of Shakespeare's play, The Winter's Tale. It is one of his late plays, usually classified as a romance. It starts in tragedy and ends in comedy with everyone, but for two notable exceptions, living happily every after. The tragedy part of the play deals in some heavy psychological drama and the comedy part is replete with Shakespeare's famous misdirections and misunderstandings that are all cleared up in the end.
At least this is what I gather from the Wiki information about the play, for, in truth, I have not read it nor have I ever seen a production of it. Neither have I ever read any of Winterson's work, so I come to the book as a complete virgin.
The center of Shakespeare's tale is King Leontes of Sicilia. Winterson turns him into Leo, a fabulously wealthy, arrogant and utterly paranoid hedge fund manager in London in the era after the 2008 financial crash.
Sixteen years before, his best friend had been Xeno (Shakespeare's King Polixenes of Bohemia) who is now a gay, introverted video game designer. In Winterson's telling the two had had a sexual relationship as teenagers.
When we first meet him, Leo is married to MiMi, a popular singer-songwriter, who is mother of his son, Milo, and now heavily pregnant with another child. In his paranoia, Leo becomes convinced that the soon-to-be born child is not his, that his wife and Xeno have been having an affair and that he is the father.
He tries to kill Xeno by running him down in a parking garage and then goes home and rapes his wife. She goes into labor and gives birth to a daughter, whom Leo rejects and gives to one of his employees to deliver to Xeno.
Plans go awry, of course. The messenger with the baby is killed after he leaves the baby in a BabyHatch at a hospital because he senses he is about to be attacked. A man named Shep and his son Clo find the baby when they stop to change a tire next to the hatch. Shep, who has recently lost his wife, takes the baby and the bag left with her that contains money and jewels. As his son later said, "he fell in love with that baby and the baby healed him," and Shep raises the child as his own.
Through too many misdirections to recount here, sixteen years later, the foundling named Perdita meets Xeno and his son Zel - and, of course, falls in love with Zel - and eventually is reunited with her now penitent and lonely father. And, bottom line, all (or at least most) wounds are healed and everything is made right once again.
I really appreciated Winterson's writing. She made everything in this very convoluted tale zip along with her beautiful and seemingly effortless prose. She was able to capture the complex emotions of the characters and to build the story scene by scene so that those characters attained a certain heft and they all emerged intact from a complicated and satisfying contemporary tale that I think even Shakespeare might enjoy.
I don't mean to imply that the tale is perfect. There are a few clunky and awkward passages, but, on the whole, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It stands along all the other "covers" that I have read in this project, every one of which I have found to be entertaining. Now I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Most recent customer reviews
Although I must confess I haven’t read Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”, the useful summary of the play’s plot included at the beginning of the book was enough to...Read more