I've read the Shakespeare original (and liked it), but this version breathes a whole new life into the characters. Everyone has a history and secret desires and fears, so their tragedies become much more poignant. lady macbeth was particularly transformed in my mind, and the weird sisters were much more sinister. the narration was fantastic, and exactly right for the task.
I had a visceral reaction to this work. Alan Cummings brings the listener into the action. And that action is horrible and human and sad. The dismay of Lady Macbeth at the consequences of her actions and the evilness of Fergus stood out to me. Highly recommended.
This is without a doubt the best way to introduce Shakesper - I've read seen just about every interpretation of Macbetha dn this is by far the best. Makes it come alive, somehow even makes it relevant to today.
One of the better audible recordings available. Great story, subtly modernized but retains the character of Shakespeare. Huge thumbs up !
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
As intimidating as he can be, I love Shakespeare and have since I first read Romeo and Juliet. While I have felt I never really understood all of his writing, his words and use of the English language were worth reading or listening to just for their own sake. For this reason, I had my doubts about reading/listening to this book. I mean how can you improve on Shakespeare for god's sake. Well I was not disappointed. This is one incredible book and made even better in audio-form by Audible.
This psychological drama was first made clearer to me when I first listened to another Audible selection, SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Macbeth. This is one in a series of selections by Smartpass where a number of classics are read or really dramatized by actors and commented upon along the way. The second half of the audiobook is read without interruption. If you want to better understand the classics I cannot recommend these audiobooks more highly. They're terrific.
With regard to this new treatment, this novel, I have to say the same. It is riveting. This is one of those books where you sit in your driveway way too long after arriving home just to keep listening. The narration does justice to the work itself. Not only will you love the words, you will love how they are spoken. For me, this was one of the best books of the year and more.
Addicted to books, both print and audio-.
Thoroughly engaging, beautifully narrated, fresh take on the Macbeths. I recommend it highly! Now I'm going to listen to the play . . .
No vampires. No zombies. No self-help. Find me on BookLikes. Audible Member since 2002!
You always remember your first--and way back in 5th grade, Macbeth was my first venture into Shakespeare. Miss Weil loved Shakespeare and she introduced her class to the magic. Macbeth--in iambic pentameter-- was our 5th grade play. It is still my favorite Shakespeare. That said, I was just not sure how I would react to a novelization of the story.
Surprisingly, I stuck it out to the end-- and surprisingly, I didn't hate it. I didn't love it entirely either but that was because there were places where I just didn't agree with Hartley and Hewson's interpretation of events and motivations. However, I learned a lot about the historical background of the play and perhaps got a better idea of what life was like in those times. In short, it gave me a better understanding of the play.
Nonetheless, the novel stands on its own; its a good read. You don't need to know Shakespeare's play to get through the story. You don't have to be a Lit. major to enjoy it. In fact, you might even be better off not arriving with so much baggage.
Finally, kudos to the narrator Alan Cummings--and to the person who chose him. The book may have been written in prose but it read like poetry. Not since I heard Lisette Lescat read the 'No.1 Ladies' Detective' series have I heard such a perfect pairing of material and reader.
A great novelized version of Macbeth. As the author notes in the afterward, this version is just that -- a novelized version. Well worth listening to, the reader's voices and cadence are right on.
This is great! The narrator has a beautiful accent that perfectly fits the characters yet is easily understandable. It's Macbeth in modern English so there's not all that Elizabethan English to plod through that normally detracts from being able to understand the plot. Not historically accurate, one must remember that Shakespeare was writing to please Queen Elizabeth I so his plays were designed to degrade Elizabeth's enemies which would include the Plantagenets and the Scots. With this in mind, this is a beautiful listen. The lilting prose practically becoming poetry in the process.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
Great concept delivered by Hartley and Hewson. And it really works so well. Macbeth simply comes alive. The reading is just perfect. The land, the personalities, the ' history' unfolding are all full of life, that it is almost like a hologram where the whole story is being enacted in my living room.