I never believed that any author would have the nerve to rewrite Shakespeare but Hartley and Hewson have dispelled that belief and produced an amazing, dramatic novel based on "Macbeth."
Yes, "Macbeth" is a novel and subject to the authors' inventions and imagination but it takes the play and develops it, giving us a fully rounded story incorporating so much of the actual social and political situation in Scotland during the 11th century.
The ruggedness of the Scottish landscape and the cruel winter climate are vividly portrayed as are the battle scenes which enable us to catch a glimpse of the harshness of life and horrific warfare in Macbeth's Scotland.
Belief in witchcraft was commonplace and the authors fully develop this aspect portraying the witches in a fascinating new way. All the characters are so fleshed out that we come to a greater understanding of them as real human beings and even find ourselves empathising with them, especially Macbeth himself and his wife Skena.
In all Hartley and Hewson bring "Macbeth" to life by painting a vivid picture of the play in a most eloquent fashion.
The choice of Alan Cumming is a master stroke as through his inspired narration we are led to a greater understanding of the characters. He said that to him it felt that the original play had evolved from this novel. Praise indeed and so well merited!
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