2016 marks the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's death. His plays, sonnets, and words have had an unparalleled cultural impact, and continue to shape contemporary literature. The Bard's 400-year legacy has yet to slow, and we're honoring his life with those books which would not exist without his influence.
Christopher Moore derived the plot for Fool directly from Shakespeare's King Lear. However, Moore's novel is seen through the eyes of the Fool, Pocket. This novel is an utterly bizarre and funny take on the Bard’s tale of a mad king and his deceitful daughters. In a sense, Fool is almost an ode to Shakespeare - throughout the novel Moore makes references to a handful of Shakespeare's other works through quotes and actual characters.
A.J. Hartley and David Hewson's novelization of Shakespeare's Hamlet was chosen as the Best Audiobook on Audible of 2014. Narrated by Richard Armitage (swoon) of The Hobbit, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark takes Shakespeare's original play into unexpected realms and reinvents the story we all thought we knew.
The title of Ray Bradbury's dark and expertly crafted blend of fantasy and horror derives its name directly from Shakespeare's Macbeth, where in Act IV, the Second Witch senses the arrival of Macbeth to the witches' cave with the prophetic line,
"By the pricking of my thumbs Something wicked this way comes."
Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes follows two 13-year-old best friends and their terrifying experience with a traveling carnival. While the plot of Bradbury's work doesn't stem from Macbeth, the title elicits such an unsettling feeling, you know you're in for a nightmarish-ride well before Chapter 1.
Romeo and Juliet is probably Shakespeare's most universally accessible and recognizable play - from its tragic love story, to its ever-quotable line, "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" you'd be hard-pressed to fine someone who isn't familiar with this work. Cue Mary Ross whose gritty, emotional, and unapologetically modern take of Romeo and Juliet; thrusts issues of gender and sexuality to the forefront.