The concept is great. Take a story that we already know in outline that has withstood the test of time and 'fill in the blanks' where the playwright didn't have the luxury of providing the backstory to his audience. The authors remain faithful to everything in Shakespeare's play while exploring possible reasons for the behavior of the characters. The narration is outstanding -- even masterful. However I felt a bit disappointed that the authors felt the need to make the story a bit too modern by using the f-word as if we need to be assured that we are getting the raw, unvarnished truth about the dispicable Duncan. I realize that critics may counter that Shakespeare was blunt and bawdy in some of his scenes and I accept that. Maybe it's just my sense that a dramatic story can be told without the need of resorting to such devices. Let's have more of these 'made for audio' stories like this, but don't mar the work by thinking that it has to mimic the contemporary style in such aspects.
To use more of the actual historical figure and less of Shakespeare
Unknown at this stage
I loved this interpretation of Macbeth. It added some characters the play does not have. I got a better understanding of the main characters after hearing this audio book. I loved Alan Cumming's narration, he was excellent. All in all this was an A-1 effort good for those who are familiar with the play and those who are not.
I love old stories and I love Shakespeare. I was excited about hearing Shakespeare in a narrative form and from the mouth of a Scot. I had read several reviews before I chose this book. I am very careful which books I select. I was very surprised and disappointed to find that the authors are obsessed with making every good and evil element of the plot lead back to sex. You can tell that this book was written by men as the love that Macbeth and his wife had for each other was given meaning by their sex life far above anything else. I have been happily married almost 10 years and while I think this is important, my goodness! Get on to something else! It was far too descriptive about these parts for my taste, though I know the world, particularly Hollywood, is going this direction. I did not buy this book expecting a "lust in the dust" novel. The authors are very good writers otherwise but obviously lack the desire for subtlety. There was so much of thrusting and groaning. I would never on my life let a teenager read this- they have ideas running through their head for this imagery. As a married woman, at least it wasn't traumatic, but although I know the book was supposed to portray the events as the most tender and wild, and the most evil and animalistic turning points in men's lives, I thought it could have been done without all the intense description of naked frolics.
I do not think I would listen to these authors again. Good writers with dark minds.
I loved the narrator. I am a descendent of MacDuff and loved to hear the language in the story of a people from my line long gone.
No. I've seen enough filth.
I would not recommend this to my friends for they would never think well of me again.
Probably not. Although this was an interesting idea it didn't really work for me. It turns out you can't really improve on Shakespeare. I never really got into this story. I more forced my way through it than enjoyed it.
Without the skill of the narrator I don't think I would have made it.
The book was downright graphic at times. I couldn't listen to it on a speaker if my daughter was around (because of the cussing and sexual content).
I'm not really sure who would have enjoyed it more. Maybe someone who had never really heard of Macbeth?
Possibly, but it definitely wouldn't be on the top of the list
The accent got to be a bit much. I found myself concentrating on his accent and not what was happening in the book.
I wouldn't cut any character
Very intriguing concept, but I was extremely disappointed. I had such high hopes, and maybe that's what got me in the end.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
This audio novelization of Shakespeare's famous play attempts to flesh out the characters and motives of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and others, by filling in scenes that happen offstage in the original. Indeed, it gave me new appreciation for the powerful themes in Shakespeare’s original work. Hartley and Hewson’s interpretation of the tragedy is of an honorable man who sees the future of Scotland threatened by an overreaching ruler, and commits an act of treachery for the greater good, spurred on by a prophecy that provides a convenient rationale for his actions (don’t trust those witches!). However, Macbeth’s murder of Duncan under his own roof is a monstrous act that can't be undone, and the threat of exposure combined with his own shame sets him on a path even more violence. It could, to varying degrees, be the story of a few more modern political figures.
That said, I didn’t find the level of writing here to be very impressive, which isn’t surprising given that one of the authors pens thrillers. If not for the Shakespeare connection, this would be forgettable historical fiction -- except, of course, for the lines obviously taken from the Bard himself. Still, it was worth the price I paid at an audible.com sale. Alan Cumming’s Scottish-accented reading is quite pleasant on the ears.
Such a let down. Creepy sex scenes that added nothing to the plot, completely out of place and unnecessary to the story. Highly discourage this poor adaptation of a classic story. Narration was alright but the accents were so strong it was sometimes difficult to understand / follow.