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Simon Paperback – April 18, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
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The key pieces of Shakespeare's play are all present - an increasingly aberrant Hamlet in cinema-obsessed Simon; Ophelia in the form of Simon's smart, yet quick to unravel ex, Juliana; and the off-putting relationship between Simon's mother and his uncle - and those fascinated by the machinations of the original play will be intrigued to learn how Mullin manipulates the plot. His positioning of the play's tragic conclusion as a headline-grabbing mass murder should hook readers from the start. Ages 12-up. - Publishers Weekly
Simon is one of the surprisingly good novels I've read in a long time. I was completely drawn in from the get-go with that wicked opening, and absolutely loved the author's use of description . . . and his attention to detailing in the characterizations and the world-building that gave a real authenticity to the familiar characters/themes . . . but still making it feel fresh and updated. I recommend Simon with no hesitation to older teens on up and fans of lit fiction. (5 stars) Anabella Johnson, Indie Book Reviewers
Warning...when starting this book make sure you don't have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won't want to stop reading until you've finished it all!! . . . The book starts off with an attention-grabbing, unforgettable beginning and just keeps going with one twist after another. The characters of Simon and Juliana and all the others were fantastic, genuine and believable . . . I was genuinely impressed with the strong narrative and prose . . . Great dialogue and flawless editing. Looking forward to reading more from this author. (4-5 stars) Essie Harmon - Indie Book Reviewers
This book was terrific! Once I started reading, Simon by Michael Mullin I didn't want to stop until I'd finished the whole thing . . . Mullin did a wonderful job of making the beloved characters wholly his own, while keeping true to the essence of the characters and their roles. . . . I appreciated the multiple-POV approach that gave this book an unexpected depth. (4 stars) Stacy Decker - Indie Book Reviewers
Vivid, atmospheric, and strangely believable (for such a far-out story) . . . and I thought the ending was perfect. (5 stars) Kaylee Stevens - Indie Book Reviewers
From the Back Cover
His father is dead.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now what is extremely interesting in the case of Michael Mullin’s Simon is that my favourite thing about it was the alienation I experienced when reading it. I kept pushing the story away to a safe distance where I could look at it with an analytical eye without having to be a part of it.
When I became conscious of my withdrawing from the happenings in Simon I started thinking of its reason – you see, I never felt the need to ’keep away’ from Shakespeare’s Hamlet this way, I was always eager to brood over matters of life and death together with the Prince never feeling the weight of it… and ay, there’s the rub… Simon, being set in today’s America, in our time, made Hamlet’s story REAL.
Simon begins with the end: from the news we get to know a massacre happened in the suburbia of an American town. Isn’t it something we hear in the telly every day? Murders, massacres, mayhem. It is too familiar and too tangible. In Simon the safety that the distance in time provides in the case of Hamlet disappeared and it made me feel uneasy. It may sound a bit contradictory, but the need to distance myself from the events of Simon brought me closer to Hamlet and made me see it from a different light. I think if a retelling opens new, interesting, windows on the original work it is well worth reading.
The story is well known, but of course you can’t rewrite it in the 21th century without making certain changes. I think Mr. Mullin did a good job with the little bits that eventually made this old tale adjust to the present. I especially enjoyed the usage of media and technology. I felt the book wanted to put an emphasis on the shift in communication that took place between then and now (Hamlet’s time and today).
I liked how the film as medium was represented in the book. Inserting the grave-digging ’scene’ was a phenomenal idea. Speaking of grave digging… the metaphors and symbols were very strong in Simon, sharp even, which I loved. The depiction of the wedding/funeral got me hooked in the very beginning.
The reason why I didn’t give 5 stars to this novel was Simon. He didn’t strike me as a Hamlet figure despite him being the title character. For me there was too much doing and too little reflecting when it came to him. Maybe I missed something, but he didn’t seem deep enough for me.
All in all, the stars and – I hope – this review tells everything. Happy reading, Shakespeare geeks!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's been a long time since I've read anything by Shakespeare and at this point I think I'd mistaken Hamelt and Macbeth at least a hundred times already.Read more