Creativity, Self

Hag-seed by Margaret Atwood #ReadingChallenge book 3

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Hello everyone, here we are at book three of my reading challenge. This week I read “Hag-seed” by Margaret Atwood.

One of my favourite books in the world is “The Handmaids Tale” by Margaret Atwood, I studied it for my GCSE English Literature class and it was the “handmaids Tale” that made me begin to understand what it means to be a woman in patriarchal society. It was the beginnings into really understanding what oppression is and in a lot of ways has informed my political and moral views about the world we live in today. “Handmaids Tale” pretty much made me a feminist. So I’ve got to say I really love Margaret Atwood.

I initially went to the library with the intention of getting “The Hand maids tale” out to re- read, but like so many other people,  I have been watching the dramatisation of the novel on channel 4 and lots of other people had obviously had the same idea. “Hag-seed” was the only Margaret Atwood novel available at the library that day so I thought I’d give it a try.

“Hag-Seed” is a retelling of The Tempest ; one of several novels released as part of Vintage’s Hogarth Shakespeare initiative. I have to admit I have not read Shakespeare’s the Tempest but I am a fan of Shakespeare and am one of the weird kids that enjoyed reading and studying his plays at school (namely Anthony and Cleopatra, A midsummer nights dream, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet)

You may be thinking that a retelling of a Shakespeare play doesn’t sound like much fun, but in fact this book was funny, engaging and ironic. Fans of the original and people who have never read a Shakespeare in there life can enjoy this retelling.

This is a story of revenge and redemption. It is a play, within a play within a novel. Based around the main character, Felix, (Prospero in The Tempest) is an ex artistic director of a Canadian theatre festival, who’s wrongful dismissal by a power hungry and sneaky underling, and madness brought on by the death of his daughter is the premise for this tale.

12 years after the fact, a hermit-like Felix finds himself in a unique, fantastical position to exact his revenge- under the guise of a performing arts teacher at an all male correctional facility.

With a touch of “Orange is the new black” the play within a play within a novel unfolds and hilarity ensues. Rife with fantastical costumes, unlikely characters and even more unlikely friendships this is a great contemporary read and a brilliant homage to Shakespeare.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and give it 4/5.

Next week we are back with a thriller “The Dry” by Jane Harper. Happy reading!

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