I’ve anticipated more from this YA version of Shakespeare Made Easy. I’ve read a bunch of others similar Shakespeare-to-Modern English books but this is the worst modern rendition of Othello and I haven’t read the original play yet.
The most powerful thing about Shakespearean plays was its clever use of language and his poetry. All of which made Shakespeare still a household name after 400 years. Even if you translate Shakespeare to make it understandable, you can still retain the essence of the story even if you sacrifice the language usage.
But this book dumb down Shakespeare for the teenage audience that its almost unbearable. There are potential in the first few chapters but then the style regressed badly. If you’ve read a badly translated book, this is an example. The narration actually switched unevenly between Shakespearean and a teenage pulp fiction. One time they acted like teenagers and then the next they sounded like someone from four centuries ago. The dialogues changed from a teenage drama to badly translated soliloquies. Sometimes the short teen speak feels like a substitute to a long complicated dialogue that the meaning flew out of the window. Later on the teen dialogues read like the monologues translated by each singular words. By the end, I’m not sure whether it was a retelling or a teen-speak translated Othello.
I know that there are a limitation and the difficulties in translating a hard tragedy but I wish the book had maintain its purpose as a retelling instead of a direct translation. There were no understandable complexities between the characters that all of them came out one-dimensional and the dialogues and plot was very uneven and random that the flow came out unnatural which is sad since those was the definite areas you could expand more in a retelling. Now I’m worried about Macbeth and Hamlet.
The ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.