terriko: (Default)
[personal profile] terriko
This is a review of an audiobook I got free-in-exchange-for-review from Librarything. Flipping through reviews, it seems I'm of the minority opinion in that I thought this was brilliant despite being hard to read/listen through:

A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison
A Wounded Name
by Dot Hutchison

When I heard about this retelling of Hamlet set in a semi-modern private high school and told from the point of view of Ophelia, I was worried that it would be like the dubious graphic novel retellings I've seen of other classic literature.

This, however, is different. It's more like a fairy tale retelling, haunting and odd, where the fairies are as terrifying as they are magical. It's a picture of madness and depression told with a modern psychology eye but in almost classical prose.

I though the audiobook narrator did an excellent job of rendering Ophelia, mad and sane at once, filled with the passions of a teenager who you know is never going to see the end of the story.

It's a beautiful rendering of the classical tale from another perspective, shining light into different smaller tragedies within the whole. It's not an easy thing to read, watching the characters spiral into oblivion, but it's definitely a unique take on the tragedy.

Note: this book is likely very triggering for depression, self-harm, suicide -- some of it is as one might expect from the source, some goes beyond.

Edit: Those local to me, feel free to ask to borrow this!


Date: March 3rd, 2014 10:28 am (UTC)
unregisteredpseudonymspls: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unregisteredpseudonymspls
I've been enjoying some "blast from the past" SF audiobooks. First Fred Saberhagen's Berserker's Planet. It's kind of like the audiobook equivalent of rubbernecking.

SO NOT SPOILER: The Evil Robot is INSIDE THE MOUNTAIN. It's obvious from page one, but the characters are too manly to figure it out. (I put this first without the spoiler tags and then thought better of it. BUT IT IS SO NOT A SPOILER...)

I can totally see where people got the impression that girls wouldn't like SF. Our gender future (according to the Berserker books, or at least this one): 50s gender roles with 70s swinger sexual mores. Half-naked swarthy men on Manly Warrior Planet finding creative and lovingly-described ways to kill each other in mortal combat, and having a drink at the pub before the next round---all the while egged on by Rich Asshole Captain-Kirk-on-Steroids Space Poachers with "playgirls" on board, because that's what women are for in The Future. Bonus: coward youth coming-of-age story, with mass killing!

It was great exercise for my eye-rolling muscles. I did enjoy it, though, but I hereby forgive anyone who passes it up. :)

Somewhat better: the late Charles Sheffield's Builders series. The attitude is still sort of old-fashioned, but the central character is Brilliant Female Scientist. However, she is from the Effete Worlds of Feminine Effeteness, and must pick up Manly Explorer Protector Boyfriend if she is to proceed into Grave Danger. After the somewhat rough writing in the first book, it gets much better. It's chase-the-artifact SF, and the artifacts are cool.
Edited Date: March 3rd, 2014 10:33 am (UTC)


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