A different perspective...

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ashraye Avatar


When I first started reading this book, I struggled to connect to the characters or the story. I actually ended up DNF. It wasn't grabbing my attention, I didn't like the style or anything about it. Then, I started thinking about it. The lyrical writing would work much better when spoken. I decided to give the book another chance in the form of audiobook. That's what made such a deference in the story.
The audiobook was performed by multiple narrators who truly brought it to life. There was something personal about each character. Adding the voice to the characters made it feel like they were there telling their stories.
We did have to go through a summary of each play, but it was told in a different way, so I didn't find it too boring or difficult to get through.
We then enter into alternative story endings. While I do think there is something powerful about imagining the different ways things could have happened, I felt bored almost. The alternate endings were interesting, but nothing particularly special. It wasn't until I got to the end of the story when it all started to click into place in my mind. This is mostly just musings on how things could have been different. It was exploring the stories as what they could have been. It was an exploration of how any story can be taken and reworked to make something new and different. Nothing is necessarily better than the original. In fact, most of these stories are retellings that Shakespeare made famous.
The story really reflects on why this might have been. Why did these versions become so famous when there are different ways they could have ended? Why were these characters treated the way they were? What makes this the chosen way of telling the story?
This book is merely exploring Shakespeare's work. While it might seem like the author is trying to call out how poorly women were treated, I don't think that was the point. This was written to honor those tales and possibly point out how the times have changed from when they were written to this day and age. It shows how different things matter at different points of time.
This book itself could easily be studied. It seems like things are hidden within the pages. It makes me think about Shakespeare's work a bit more, and wants me to understand these stories a bit better.
Why is my rating only 3 stars? It took the whole book for it to start making sense to me. The purpose wasn't immediately clear. It was just a simple story throughout most of the book and didn't really do much for me until after I finished it. It made me start to think after finishing it, which is surprising. There really isn't much about the story that was exciting, it was just okay, but the concept and the thoughts behind it all truly turned this into something more.
All of that would have been missed if I hadn't given this a chance on audio. It was the performance that turned it into a story worth spending time on. Is that true now that I've finished it? I don't know. I'm quite curious if reading it now has changed my perception of the story.