Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
This Hamlet struts and frets his role through moody, watercolor paintings that effectively convey both action and emotion using the classic period setting and dress. Panel boundaries and narrative flow vary on each page, manga style, which allows a striking depiction of the entire "To be or not to be" soliloquy with Hamlet striding through a vaulted, shadowed gallery. Much has been cut in the adaptation, and the continuity sometimes suffers, but what's left is all muscular and artful Shakespeare. No character cameos precede, but a brief profile of Shakespeare ends the work. This fine adaptation is suitable for teens and up and first appeared in 1990 from First Publishing/Berkley Publishing. Consider also Neil Babra's more complete Hamlet in the "No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels" series (Spark Notes), with evocative, modern black-and-white art suggesting Craig Thompson's Blankets.-M.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal Review
Perhaps the best known of Shakespeare's tragedies, this story of destiny and revenge pits a young prince against the murderous uncle who has stolen the throne and queen. Students often struggle when reading Shakespeare, and listening can serve as a bridge, facilitating understanding. This excellent full-cast production includes musical interludes and an insert with scene-by-scene summaries, making it not only a strong listening experience, but also the perfect adjunct to literary appreciation. Fans of the long-running British science-fiction series Doctor Who, and David Tennant's portrayal of the Doctor, will be mesmerized by the 2010 BBC television production featuring Tennant as Hamlet, with Patrick Stewart as the nefarious uncle, Claudius. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
To the "New Cambridge Shakespeare" text of Hamlet printed in the second part of this volume, Hapgood (Univ. of New Hampshire) appends a performance history and analysis. This format defines this "Shakespeare in Production" series, which, like Manchester University Press's "Shakespeare in Performance" series, provides a record of the stable and changing relationship between text and performance. Hapgood contains the bulky stage history of Hamlet through a prudent use of reviews, promptbooks, memoirs, and other performance materials. His introduction speaks of the complications of a five-text play (two quartos, the Folio, the abridgements that prevailed from the Restoration through the 19th century, the modern conflated text), then moves chronologically through an intelligent selection of Hamlet productions: from Burbage (1601-18), to Sarah Bernhardt (1899), to several of the 20th century's better known productions (Barrymore, Gielgud, Olivier, Burton, Jacobi, Branagh), to a few of the lesser-known (from Continental Europe, East and West), to several that qualify as "director's theater" (Zadek, Bergman, Brook). Hapgood's careful scholarship and engaging writing throughout result in a volume that all libraries will want to own. J. Schlueter; Lafayette College
Applying the Classics Illustrated formula (interpreting canonical literature in a graphic format) to Shakespeare's moody tragedy unfortunately doesn't make the play's structure less complex or more readily accessible. But the imagery does translate some of the main tropes of the drama: the ravages of age, the innermost fears of outwardly self-confident youth. Speeches placed in snippets within balloons are difficult to follow unless the reader is already familiar with who should be saying what from experience with the original text. This is then best suited as supplementary, rather than introductory, material for the classroom.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2009 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Featuring abridged versions of the Shakespearian texts, with abundant illustrations and frequent, but unobtrusive, descriptions of action and setting, these volumes present six of Shakespeare's best-known tales in an accessible format, while maintaining much of their original impact and style. Each book includes a brief introduction to Shakespeare's life and theater. Based on the cable television series. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
This manga slightly alters the Shakespearean tragedy's content and presents the play in a left-to-right reading pattern rather than the authentic right-to-left manga style. The Americanized format will assist readers who find Shakespeare difficult to understand and the classic dialogue confusing. In a decimated future cyberpunk world laced with technology, the tragedy unfolds. The famous characters, each with a different hairstyle for instant identification, are introduced in the work's frontmatter. Illustrations that repeatedly shift in mood, from mysterious sensations to edgy action, become integral to the story. Enhanced by the stark black-and-white sketches, Hamlet's facial expressions allow students to feel his inner turmoil. Dialogue circles set the pace by guiding the reader from panel to panel in a logical eye-movement pattern. Famous quotes from the play such as, "Get thee to a nunnery," are directly linked to illustrations clarifying exactly when in the play's sequence they occur and which character is speaking. Refreshingly clear, this adaptation is recommended for all libraries serving teens. (Graphic novel. YA) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.