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review 2019-01-14 15:54
Manga Classics: Macbeth!!!
Manga Classics: Macbeth - Crystal Chan

First things first: I received this book through NetGalley

 

I don't know how to rate this. I don't completely hate it, but I didn't love it either.

I liked the story but at the same time, didn't care for it at all. I'm just really meh about the whole thing. I just really don't care for anything Shakespeare, really. Who would've thought. Actually, I knew. Please don't hate me.

 

Let's talk about something very positive, tho. The artwork. Hot damn, the artwork was just fantastic and beautiful and just everything that made me actually like the book enough to keep going. Damn, they are good.

 
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review 2018-11-17 15:13
Macbeth in a modern setting
Macbeth - Jo Nesbø

Jo Nesbo took on Maceth and set him in a law enforcement setting when men struggle to gain power through manipulation and even murder. 

 

It is so good. it almost read like a good theater play. 

 

Macbeth was SWAT leader. And there are drug lord who want him to be put into the position of police commissioner. Lady Macbeth wants so much for him to get ahead that she plans for him. Killing the obstacles so that Macbeth would be in power. 

 

The complexity of the dynamic of different key players, make it interesting enough when we are already familiar with the story itself. 

 

Highly recommended. 

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text 2018-10-28 19:59
The Sunday Post - The Run-Up to Halloween

Happy Sunday!

 

Winter arrived this weekend with the first sprinkling of the white stuff just outside the city boundaries and with a significant drop in temperatures.

 

The weather had changed so much, in fact, that my friends and I had to think of alternative options to our planned trip Glamis yesterday to partake in this year's Halloween event. In the end, we just settled on taking extra layers of clothing and getting on the road a little earlier than last year in case the roads were affected. It turned out that the roads were clear, but it was absolutely freezing, which made our walk around the Bewitched Woods at the castle a rather swift wander. 

 

 

The Bewitched Woods were the same as last year, just with different lighting and new spooky sounds and special effects that set off by motion sensor as you found your way through the wood in the pitch dark soon after we started the trail. And I do mean, pitch dark! It was a lot of fun.

 

 

I still love the wood carvings illustrating the story of Macbeth (Shakespeare's version, that is) that are placed along the trail. All of the sculptures were created using a chainsaw and I am simply amazed by the level of detail that the artists (Neith Art) commissioned to create them put into each sculpture. They really seemed to have read and analysed each scene and character that they chose to create.

 

 

The main event was, as it was last year, a ghost tour of the castle. Again, the inside of the castle had been decorated appropriately with skeletons, cob webs, and very real ghouls and ghosties who would pop out from behind doorways or nooks as we followed our guide through the castle. The usual tour packed with history was adapted again to tell of the more ghostly and ghastly history of the former inhabitants, and it was a lot of fun to see some of the characters "come alive" to converse with the visitors. 

One of the funniest things about this all was that there were some kids on the tour - some of which were really quite scared, and some of which put on a lot of bravado and ended up heckling the ghosts. One rather felt sorry for the ghosts. 

 

Even tho this was the same event as last year, I am glad to say that the people at Glamis castle again lived up to the challenge of creating an event that can be enjoyed on repeat visits. The ghosts and stories were rather different from last year - there was a lot more shrieking (mostly by the "ghosts") and there were a lot more and different "ghosts", too.  All in all, we had another excellent experience that put everyone in the right mood for Halloween. 

 

 

Of course, we ended our visit with a stop in the old castle kitchens again to sample the pumpkin soup before we made our trip back home. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the soup. I did make up for it today, tho, when I made some butter bean, lentil and spinach curry ... which I am counting as a soup as its consistency was rather stew-like.

 

 

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text 2018-10-07 22:10
This happened today.
Trial and Error (Arcturus Crime Classics) - Anthony Berkeley
Murder Among Friends - Elizabeth Ferrars
Anatomy of a Scandal - Sarah Vaughan
Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold - Stephen Fry
Macbeth - Jo Nesbø
A Legacy of Spies - John le Carré

// TA decides to pack light because, after all, she's only leaving for a 2-day business trip.  Then agonizes a half hour over which one of several 100 books on physical TBR to take on the trip. //

 

// Leaving home, finds book in mailbox that was delivered yesterday but which for reasons unknown she didn't immediately retrieve.  Pulls book out of envelope, discards envelope, and stuffs book into travel case. //

 

TA gets to airport:  "Oh, look, there's the book store I knew all the time would be there!"

 

// Buys four more books just because. //

 

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review 2018-08-20 10:29
After reading this, I won't mention 'His' name either...
Macbeth - Jo Nesbø

Where to start…

For those familiar with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Nesbo has stayed (largely) true.

 

For those familiar with Nesbo, while this might be a re-telling of a classic, there is no missing his style.

 

For those new to either – buckle in!

 

This book fucked with my mind – more than a little.

 

I am generally a quick reader. This book, at 503 pages, took me 2 weeks.

With an easy reading book, you pump through chapter after chapter each night. The story flows, the emotions are those you are familiar with, even if only in literary terms. You can forget that with Nesbo’s Macbeth.

 

Set in a dystopian town with little industry, and rampant crime underpinned by drug boss Hecate. A former drug addict, now SWAT commander, Macbeth is deemed the best option to lead the town out of its nefarious and corrupted past. The ballooning death-toll points to the folly of this choice...

 

I don’t like that the town doesn’t have a name. The clues intimate a town like Aberdeen in Scotland, and I can understand Nesbo not wanting to tag a town with this story. But give it a name! What do those in the Capitol (for eg.) call the town?

 

As a good private-school boy in Australia, we were required to read Macbeth early in secondary school. I suspect that’s because private schools liked to encourage many of the themes – strength, leadership and loyalty. Conveniently forgetting the other themes of treachery, addiction and megalomania.

 

As a 44 year old, I can now recognise all these themes have, and always will, drive humans.

 

I’ll admit it’s been a good 29 years since I read the original. In saying that, I think Nesbo has done a good job honouring the essence of Macbeth. Like the best of Shakespeare’s works, it often asks for the reader to delve into areas we prefer to avoid.

 

Why did it fuck with my mind (and sleep) for 2 weeks (while reading, and another week on)?

 

I can read about some brutal violence, I can deal with treason. I understand murder of families for the ‘greater good’ in espionage novels, and don’t give a second thought to those who fall in the classic spy stories.

 

In Macbeth, Nesbo/Shakespeare makes every death count. Each twist takes you to a place you don't want to go. As the tale unfolds, you find yourself cheering for those who will betray you, and you want a merciless death for those who are upholding your values.

 

I’m not sure who this book is pitched to; if it’s the traditional Nesbo fan, I’d suggest that while you are used to casual violence, there are questions raised in this story that could (and should) keep you awake at night.

 

If Nesbo was hoping to tap-in to Shakespeare disciples, I suspect they would have been alarmed at what he found necessary to do a ‘modern’ version.

 

 

*Partial Spoiler and trigger warning:

 

This does not affect the plot at all, but gives you an idea of what your mind must confront.

 

One of the main players is a middle aged woman trying to breast feed a baby, who has been dead over a week. If the idea of this messes with your head, do NOT read this book. Sorry Jo…

(spoiler show)

 

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