I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was very well written in a style that differed from traditional modern prose just enough that you knew you were experiencing something very special, but at the same time the story is very clear. When I finished the audiobook I felt like I knew exactly what the audiences of Shakespeare's day probably felt like when they finished viewing the initial performances of this play - they didn't have to deal with the barriers of time and language like we do know - they could just enjoy a powerful and well-told story. Like many others have mentioned, the narration was spectacular and I really loved the witches' characters. Yes, the story is overly dramatic in a few parts - but hey, they don't call it a tragedy for nothing, do they? I encourage you to listen to this book - you will feel like you have accomplished something more substantial that just completing a novel. Frankly, I wish they would do the same treatment on some of Shakespeare's other plays - there are some terrific stories just waiting to be told in this way.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
I enjoyed the beginning and the end. The Epilogue was interesting, too. I started listening hoping for "Shakespeare meets history", but I felt it was more the former and less of the latter. To be fair, this is made clear by the Epilogue, but by then my expectation had failed. I liked the grittiness. However, ignoring the apparent golden summer (about 10 years) of Macbeth's reign left me feeling like I'd missed the "good Macbeth" which the authors say they came to like. Apart from one short passage about the good things planned and mapped out on his table, we don't see the best of a character that, for all his obvious vices and faults, had, the authors might argue, noble intentions. In that we miss the chance to reflect of a not-so-modern phenomenon, replayed regularly across the world, particularly, it seems, in Africa. Worth the listen.
audio addict! Mostly interested in history and some historical fiction. Will Durant is my all time favorite. Loving the Great Courses too.
What an amazing book! The authors of this really transformed a Shakespearean play into a fascinating, accessible historical novel. The performance is extraordinary. The authors use lyrical prose that flows naturally, as opposed to a rigid adherence to awkward Shakespearean dialogue.
It's just a really great historical novel. I listened in one sitting!
I had read much of Shakespeare's work, but somehow I never read Macbeth. So it's a double treat for me!
I hope to see more from this writing team!
this is an amazing telling of Macbeths story. We may think we know the story from reading Shakespeares version but after listening to this retelling of the story you really can get into the characters, especially the three witches.
The three witches come to life in this telling.
The ending is so compelling-taking you years into Scotland's future.
If the play made little sense to you--the motives are only suggested--this wonderful imagining will delight.
Best thing I've ever heard Alan Cumming do. All of the roles in distinct voices, but with Scots accent.
I pretty much enjoyed the sympathetic portrayal of one of history's most maligned couples--an interesting perspective. I'm glad, however, that I started Hartley and Hewson's Shakespeare retellings with Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, as I don't think I would have been led so eagerly to their other works had I started with this novel. As opposed to the rich collection of troubled-but-relatable characters, the thoughtful dialogues they shared, and the quick pacing of many gripping scenes I read in Hamlet, Macbeth seemed to be full of characters I didn't care about (and who all pretty much seemed to deserve to be killed), and who were stuck in lengthy, kind of boring scenes. Hartley and Hewson make a creative team--I just don't have a lot of innate interest in this play, I guess.
Alan Cumming was a wonderful narrator--it was a treat to hear his true accent and he did a good job differentiating the characters.
Long time LibraryThing member. Love to read a variety of books, usually more than one at a time.
It gripped me from the start, never let go until the final words of the author in the afterword. Alan Cumming is a wonderful narrator for it, his voice set the mood and his accent was easy to listen to, not difficult to understand. For those of you who languish between the novels of G.R.R.Martin, this would be a terrific filler.
Inspired by the play by Shakespeare, and the history of the 1000s in England, Wales and Scotland, Hartley and Hewson have fleshed out the characters, they made me like the Macbeths, not approve of their deeds, but like them. They also described the times, people and places in vivid details. I'm surprised I enjoyed this so much, considering the blood, filth and darkness of it, but I was fascinated and engrossed in the tale. I have always enjoyed the drama of The Scottish Play, but now I have such a wonderful background to put to it.
Oh, the deep, brooding tempest of Macbeth and the twisted consequences of free will.....amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's take on the witches three. They were not the harbingers of doom, merely "innocent " bystanders observing the characters choose their paths and unfortunately their destruction. The narration was incredible. Definitely worth the listen. Enjoy.