Friday, January 13, 2017

Audiobook Review: William Shakespeare's STAR WARS Verily, A New Hope

William Shakespeare's STAR WARS: Verily, A New Hope By Ian Doescher
Publisher: Quirk Books via Random House Audio
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Format: Full cast audiobook
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★
Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas’s epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. ’Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearsome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything.

Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the audiobook you’re looking for.
This is a book I have been meaning to read for a long time, but I wasn't sure which medium to do so in. I hadn't read a Shakespeare play in a very long time, and I know that I really need to concentrate on those. So would reading the actual text be too hard for me? Or if I did the audio, would I just get lost listening to it and not pay attention? Rather than actually answer these questions for myself, I just kept putting off reading this.

However, I listen to a lot of Star Wars podcasts, and Ian Doescher just kept coming up, doing interviews with podcasts I love and talking about why he decided to write this and why he chose to have R2D2 written with an aside to the audience. This was also when I found out that the first one he wrote was done as a full cast audio version, so I finally had my decision made for me.

If you have never had the experience of listening to a full cast audiobook, I highly recommend it. It is definitely a different experience from an audiobook with one or maybe even two narrators. If you've ever listened to a Star Wars audiobook one of the narrators might sound familiar, and the author himself even does a little voice work in this audio. So I definitely recommend listening to the audiobook version of this one. It was really engaging and kept my attention.

If you know the story of the first Star Wars movie (A New Hope, not A Phantom Menace) then this book will be easier for you to follow. Essentially that is all that this book is, just the plot of A New Hope but written as if it is a Shakespearean play. This was an audio I listened to with a smile on my face the entire time, because this mash up just worked so well! As mentioned earlier, Doescher does something a little different with the droid R2D2. In the movies all we hear from the little droid is beeps and boops, but other than C-3PO we have no idea what he is saying. In this play, R2 does asides to the audience in English to tell us what he is thinking. I think that was my favorite part about this because it gave a little more depth to a mysterious character all Star Wars fans know and love.

Another thing I found interesting about this play was that Doescher had to work hard to keep it in iambic pentameter. So sometimes the words weren't the actually words but sounded similar enough just so the syllables would work in the meter. It's definitely a test that this author really knew his stuff when it came to rhyme and meter and wanted this mash up to be told authentically as if it was written by Shakespeare.

I'm not sure if I'm ready yet to try the next installment of this mash up, but I definitely enjoyed this fun play. If you are a fan of either Shakespeare or Star Wars, or both, I highly suggest you give this one a try.

Happy Reads Everyone!
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