I love anything Hamlet. Hamlet is in fact, one of my favorite plays from Shakespeare. Some modernizations/spin offs that I’ve read in the past were a little sub-par. This one, is a modern day version of the play and it stays true for the most part, but with a few changes here and there to suit the story.
I loved the way it was told. It was through a variation of television interviews (Ophelia on an Oprah type show!) and through interrogation by police/secret agents. Also to add into this, the story is told through Ophelia’s eyes. Through these three different ways of telling her story you also get different sides of her character; on the show she’s reserved and professional, she’s witty and at times snarky towards the police, and of course through other own memories and point of view is where you’ll see the ‘real’ Ophelia.
It stays, for the most part, true to the play. Of course the difference being it’s been modernized to fit the setting. If you’re familiar with the play, you’ll see how certain moments are modernized yet featured in the book and it’s very well done (two scenes stood out, the limo scene with Hamlet and Ophelia - Where Hamlet goes berserk. The other scene, where King Claudius has a nasty surprise when he watches a play in action) What was also good, was Ophelia had her own circle of friends aside from Hamlet and Horatio, and with the addition of Sebastian, that added a nice little twist to things.
Although I liked most of the characters in this book, Ophelia sometimes annoyed me. She was at times really whiny and needy. It got to me. Also another thing that sort of got to me, was the final act with Hamlet, Laertes, and Claudius. I don’t know, if it’s modern like it’s supposed to be, you’d expect them to come out with guns blazing, not knives hidden in lacrosse sticks. Although it’s a most creative idea, I wasn’t too keen on this part. Although it was very elegantly done.
Fans of Hamlet will love this modern retelling. It was very well written, everything fit the way it was supposed to, and it stayed true (for the most part) to the original play. Although it does help if one is familiar with the original play itself to fully enjoy Falling for Hamlet.