Avid reader with an inability to sit still... thank God for Audible :)
Although this plot is one of the oldest on record, and the play a classic, these authors have presented a story that is at once fresh, gritty, dark, and thought provoking.
And, the performance was magnificent!!
Fell far short of "Hamlet". Very disappointed. Seemed to be too much of everything except truth or anything worth remembering. Certainly hard to ever listen again!
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.
The personalities, motivations and passions behind school-learned names come alive in the best possible way in this book. I was enthralled by the authors' expansion of the tale into this narrative creation.
And Alan Cummins' performance was the best twist of all. His Scottish authenticity kept the characters ringing in my ears long past the end of the book.
Recommended for anyone who likes Game of Thrones, Shakespeare, or a story in which good people make bad choices.
I LOVE audiobooks. Audible is the only way I read my favorite books.
Not the audiobook. The novel itself is very interesting. I've always wanted to see Macbeth as a novel vs. a play. However, as wonderful a character actor as Jim Cummings is, he is not that great of a narrator. His Scottish accent is so thick it is hard to understand and he doesn't distinguish the characters by doing the different voices very well (the big reason I almost exclusively read audiobooks these days).
Braveheart. Pillars of the Earth. I don't usually read novels like this, but it compares to any of the other good, medieval historical fiction I have read.
The voices and less of an accent.
No, it's very long and hard to listen to. The narrator's strong accent makes it difficult to do anything else while listening because you have to concentrate on his words so much in order to understand what he's saying.
This is my best audible experience so far. I have found that I get bored about half way through most of the books I have tried. This one, however, kept me coming back for more. It also helps that it was not terribly long.
MacBeth was a great character. Listening to his emotional struggles and his attempts to hold on to what made him such a good man in the first place, drives the story. I have never read the play, so I did not know the story.
The narrator had an accent that helped with atmosphere. If I had read the book, I would not have heard Scotland in my mind's ear.
I felt like I was taking a big risk with this book. I’ve never liked Shakespeare plays on TV and didn’t like reading them in high school. After reading the reviews and listening to the preview, I decided to risk a credit. Glad I did! This book features an excellent narration and a great, well written story. No boring moments, lots of detailed action and a bit of interesting history. This book is a rare gem!
This is a hard book to review. In one sense it is very compelling and certainly the narration by Alan Cummings make the story more vivid than another narrator would.
The background premise of turning Shakespeare's play into a novel is somewhat less successful. I think the role in the story played by the 3 witches is overdone and they are far too prominent in the story. I guess somehow I prefer Shakespeare's play or Verdi's Opera to this novel.
The first part of the books is much better than the end -- after the murder of King Duncan I think the books goes downhill very rapidly and degernates into just mindless descriptions of slaughter interspersed with the witches. The books really takes too many liberties of Shakespeare and with history to be a satisfying book.
Audible Addict. Hopelessly addicted to Audible and find myself listening to books at every chance. The Audible sales feed my addiction!!
Alan Cumming narrating in his native speaking voice makes this worth the listen. The story is not that different from the Shakespeare version but its a fun listen.
Not a very long novel so did not take me long to listen to.