Hag-Seed
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Hag-Seed : The Tempest Retold (Hogarth Shakespeare)

3.91 (7,047 ratings by Goodreads)
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Longlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction. Selected as a Book of the Year - Observer, Sunday Times, Times, Guardian, and, i magazine. 'It's got a thunderstorm in it. And revenge. Definitely revenge.' Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he's staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds. Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. And also brewing revenge. After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him. It's magic! But will it remake Felix as his enemies fall[unk] Margaret Atwood's novel take on Shakespeare's play of enchantment, revenge and second chances leads us on an interactive, illusion-ridden journey filled with new surprises and wonders of its own.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 30mm | 461g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • Hogarth
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 178109022X
  • 9781781090220
  • 11,402

Review quote

"Riotous, insanely readable and just the best fun... The novel builds to a fantastic climax of dark calamity... There is so much exuberance and heart and wonder in this novel that the only thing I want to happen next is for Atwood to rewrite the whole of Shakespeare. (No offence, Will.)" -- Viv Groskop Observer "A triumph... The book illuminates the breadth and depth of the whole play. The troupe's workshops on it fizz with perception as Atwood transmits the pleasurable buzz of exploring a literary masterpiece. There won't be a more glowing tribute to Shakespeare in his 400th anniversary year" -- Peter Kemp Sunday Times "Atwood reinterprets the play as a heartbreaking novel, told in gorgeous yet economical prose" -- Editor's Choice New York Times Book Review "Surpassingly brilliant... without question the cleverest "neo-Shakespearean novel" I have ever read... the learning and the critical analysis are worn exceptionally lightly, always subordinated to wit, invention, characterisation and slick twists of plot... wonderfully ingenious" -- Jonathan Bate The Times "An absolute triumph... ravishing... I am not ashamed to say that I didn't just have a lump in my throat by the end of Hag-Seed, I had tears on the fringed curtains of mine eyes" -- Stuart Kelly Scotland on Sunday "At its heart Hag-Seed is a love letter to Shakespeare and a passionate treatise on the power of language, poetry and the arts. But it is also a study of loss and love and the power of forgiveness to heal when all seemed lost" -- Marnie Gilmore Daily Express "Atwood never loses sight of the original... Hag-Seed is not only a fine example of the shape-shifting versatility of Shakespeare's texts, but a successful novel in its own right... Hag-Seed displays Atwood's inventiveness at its shining best, a novel that enchants on its own terms and returns you to the enchantments of the original" -- Rebecca Abrams Financial Times "The novel shines a thrilling new light on The Tempest's themes of revenge and forgiveness... as well as making a strong case for art's ability to "set you free" by helping you understand yourself." -- Helen Brown Sunday Telegraph "An unqualified success... an enlightening and exciting exploration of Shakespeare's themes... A wonderfully intelligent book" -- John Harding Daily Mail "Margaret Atwood throws a handful of theatrical glittery confetti over Shakespeare's The Tempest ... A compelling tale of a bereaved father -- haunted by the memory of his lost daughter -- who learns to face up to "the plain, unvarnished grime of real life", transforming it into something buoyant, resonant and hopeful" -- Eithne Farry Sunday Express "Atwood at her bewitching best" LA Review of Books "A wonder... a work of genius... a sheer delight... In this shimmering tale that celebrates Shakespeare's tricky genius, his immortal reach, Atwood has given us something for everyone" Globe & Mail, Canada "A slyly inventive, intricately constructed homage with plenty of its own points to make" -- Hepzibah Anderson Mail on Sunday "An inventive riff on Shakespeare's last solo play... done with gusto and extravaganza... gives the old play, yet again, new life" -- Alexandra Harris The Guardian "Hag-Seed is the fourth novel in Hogarth's Shakespeare series marking the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death, and by far the best. Everything in the play has a place in the novel -- and it's a ripping yarn too" -- Fiona Wilson The Times "Atwood's superlative retelling of The Tempest owes as much to Machiavelli as to Shakespeare. It is another outstanding contribution to the Hogarth Shakespeare series ... With a motley crew of inmates, a creative lexicon of Shakespearean-style oaths and the mischievous antics of a modern-day Ariel, this reimagining of The Tempest imbues the spirit of the original with an energetic and poetic transformation. A thoroughly engrossing take on a timeless classic" -- Martyn Colebrook The Lady "Funny and dark, Hag-Seed is as clever and full of layers as Shakespeare's original. The Bard would be proud" Stylist "Hag-Seed, Margaret Atwood's exhilarating reworking of the play for the Hogarth Shakespeare series, mixes high drama, deep feeling and wild fun... in a story that is both realistic and otherworldly" -- Lindsay Duguid The Times Litaray Supplement "[A] wry, clever romp... Atwood knows the play, is sharp as nails and sees the potential in theatre harnessing our Brave New World of computer technology." -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times "An absolute triumph... Among the most intelligent and inspiring readings of The Tempest... I am sorry that the publishers didn't ask Atwood to reimagine all 37 plays." -- Stuart Kelly Ishow more

About Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays including The Handmaid's Tale, the Booker-winning The Blind Assassin, the MaddAddam trilogy and her latest novel, The Heart Goes Last. Her work has received many awards around the world. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. Her first encounters with Shakespeare took place in the 1950s at her Toronto high school, and she has consistently named him as one of the most important influences on her own work. 'The Tempest is, in some ways, an early multi-media musical. If Shakespeare were working today he'd be using every special effect technology now makes available. But The Tempest is especially intriguing because of the many questions it leaves unanswered. What a strenuous pleasure it has been to wrestle with it!'show more

Review Text

"An absolute triumph⦠Among the most intelligent and inspiring readings of The Tempest⦠I am sorry that the publishers didnât ask Atwood to reimagine all 37 plays."show more

Rating details

7,047 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 28% (1,951)
4 44% (3,090)
3 22% (1,571)
2 5% (357)
1 1% (78)
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