God only knows what you think Hamlet's about when you think stripping the doubt out isn't disemboweling the story. Orson Scott Card claims that legalizing same-sex civil marriage will somehow destroy his own no mechanism given. . When Hamlet is a boy, his father snubs him while doting on all his friends in a manner that the reader will immediately identify as perverse. I knew of Card's descent into controversy -- his outspoken hatred of homosexuals -- but this book, specifically had escaped my attention. Card's prose is spartan and the pacing very fast, as is fitting for a novella a literary form I dearly wish more writers worked with. Not to mention that way too many authors fall into the trap of using rape and pedophilia as "easy" ways of adding drama to a story or making a character evil, and that just feels cheap and trite to me.
And now, having read the book and started this review, I turned to the Internet to find that, unbeknownst to me, this book is infamous. You are forced to go see Hamlet in order to ensure that all is still right in the world and scrub this book from your psyche. I wish I'd never found it. Also pretty sickeningly rotten in the mind of the author, to have created this tale. Can't believe the publisher will print and sell this piece. To cap it all off the death of Hamlet's father is blamed on Claudius, ensuring that the single surviving victim, Horatio, will be forced say nothing about what REALLY happened, or face execution for the treasonous act of murdering Hamlet's Father.
And then changes in clauses, tense, completely alter the underlying meaning well, if one could be interpreted and you end up with something completely different. He says that his position on being against gay marriage has caused the accusations that he is a homophobe, and points out that many of his characters in other books were gay, including in stories published in the 70s and 80s "when it was definitely not fashionable to write sympathetic gay characters in fiction aimed at the mainstream audience. Equating homosexuality with pedophilia is, of course, sheer ignorance. I will never be able to read Hamlet again without O. And reworkings are not always bad -- Jesus Christ Superstar comes to mind.
But it's not for the reason Shakespeare told us. With that dramatic change to the storyline, Card discards a great deal of Shakespeare's plot -- along with pivotal character interactions, narrative development and Hamlet's trademark introspection -- and marches quickly to his big reveal, where Hamlet causes several deaths before finding out the truth about his father -- and who the real killer was. Hamlet didn't need to be rewritten. But in Card's version of the story, the old king was a pedophile, and Hamlet's companions -- Laertes, Horatio, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, among others -- his victims. He is even a board member for the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes any and all legal benefits for law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples.
If you have any interest in Shakespeare's Hamlet whatsoever, then you know the greatness of the play, the revolutionary quality it possesses that makes it a watershed in literature, is its ambiguity. It is instead because Hamlet keeps discovering evidence that things are not quite what they seem in the kingdom of Denmark--and never have been throughout his life. It does not even bother to mask the shameless intent to forward an agenda dedicated to harming, demeaning, and removing the rights of innocent people. After a blissful interlude at school, Hamlet returns to Elsinore for the events of the play. I once respected Card as a person.
This is a reinterpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Hamlet dithers and delays, coming up with reason after reason to postpone his vengeance. And I am certain OSC does not. It's because Hamlet keeps discovering evidence that things are not quite what they seem in the Kingdom of Denmark--and never have been, throughout Hamlet's entire life. It is a piece of hateful and destructive propaganda, merely wearing the rotted skin of a great work as its mask. It takes a rich story and characters and turns them into a twisted platform for the author's prejudices. Hamlets and Henry V have always been fully enjoyable in their own original.
Is this book rather stupidly homophobic?. In short, this book really is as bad as they say. It is instead because Hamlet keeps discovering evidence that things are not quite what they seem in the kingdom of Denmark--and never have been throughout his life. If anything, he comes across as strident and pathetic. The writing and pacing have the feel of a draft for a longer and more introspective work that might have fleshed out Hamlet's indecision and brooding; instead, the focus is primarily on linking homosexuality with the life-destroying horrors of pedophilia, a focus most fans of possibly bisexual Shakespeare are unlikely to appreciate.
Hamlet is driven by doubt rather than certainty, and that doubt is what leads to the story's most profound dilemmas and richest language. Or do we just want to pretend that type of abuse never happens? I've only read part of an Orson Scott Card book before this "Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus" , and have only seen the film version of "Ender's Game," but after reading "Hamlet's Father," I'm left with such a terrible taste in my mouth that it makes me VERY reluctant to ever read another book by him. If Card had invested a little more time in shaping up the climax it would have been even more powerful. Card even reduces Hamlet's pretense at madness -- portrayed by Shakespeare as an artful deceit to con everyone around him -- into a ham-fisted juggernaut of bad behavior simply to distract them from his plan. OSC has always been one of my favorite authors and so I had pleasant expectations that this would be an intriguing take on a classic story. No wonder it is a piece of fiction; Card couldn't find evidence from real life that homosexuals were the root of all ills, and thus must have had to resort to the realm of the imaginary to justify and further his bigotry with this ham-fisted attempt to not only regard homosexuality as indistinguishable from pedophilia, but also treat homosexuality as a sexually transmitted disease unto itself, spread through sexual abuse. We all know Shakespeare's classic ghost story--the young prince Hamlet's dead father appears to him, demanding vengeance upon Hamlet's uncle Claudius, who has usurped the throne and, to add insult to injury, married Hamlet's mother.
Much of this short book is simply a retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet in modern prose. Even aside from this book's controversial "twist" ending, it's just bad. It was damn good the way it was. To go into details will be a spoiler, but it's rather sick and stupid. This varies from the play in that it focus more on Hamlet's feeling towards his father and his lack of knowledge about his father. It is instead because Hamlet keeps discovering evidence that things are not quite what they seem in the kingdom of Denmark--and never have been throughout his life. Shipping transit days depend on distance from our California location pse keep track of bad weather, can cause delays.