- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 1 minute
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: June 21, 2016
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01CRW85P0
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Vinegar Girl: A Novel Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The characters seemed flat to me. Not the fullness of character I've come to expect from Tyler. Kate the Shrew was just Kate the Complaining Grouch. There was no fire to her. No passion. Her father was the stereotypical absent-minded professor, and I didn't understand Kate's loyalty to him. Bunny (Bianca) was funny, however. In that character, Tyler captured the essence of Shakespeare. I was also disappointed in Pyotr. His character lacked Petruchio's slyness and humor.
She does follow the basic story well, that I'll give her. However, I wasn't invested in the characters. I also found the epilogue to be distracting and unnecessary.
I'd recommend Vinegar Girl as a YA novel, maybe to be read after seeing The Taming of the Shrew or Kiss Me, Kate. As a former teacher, I would use this book as a writing prompt for a contrast/comparison essay.
For me, this book was lacking the vinegar.
For the regular reader who is looking for something just a little different from the current level of fiction, this is fun, a bit predictable, but filled with great wide smiles.
As part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project in which the Bard's plays are retold for a modern audience by some of today's best-selling authors, the incredible Anne Tyler (Confession: She is one of my favorite writers) has created a laugh-out-loud funny and very readable post-9/11 take on Shakespeare's comedy "The Taming of the Shrew." (This isn't the first such rewrite. Exhibit A: The movie "10 Things I Hate About You.")
Set in Baltimore, the book contains all the players: Kate Battista (Katherine, the shrew), Pyotr Shcherbakov (Petruchio), Bunny Battista (Bianca), Dr. Louis Battista (Minola Baptista) and Edward Mintz (Lucentio).
Anne Tyler fans, beware! This is not your typical Anne Tyler book. Remember, she was given a specific task: Rewrite "The Taming of the Shrew." That means this book (almost) has more plot points than all her other books put together! The characters are not the quirky, eccentric, bemused beings we have come to expect from her. She is following the Bard's lead on this one. But it works--and works magnificently--as long as you know what to expect.
And while you certainly don't get Shakespeare's lyrical poetry in such a rewrite, "Vinegar Girl" might just be the impetus to send some people back to the original.