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Shakespeare Undead Paperback – Jun 8 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (June 8 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312641524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312641528
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #164,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crowskin on Feb. 4 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. Yes it wasn't a complicated read, and it wasn't what I would consider 'in depth' but I did love the story and the way it flowed. It was entertaining (as Shakespeare should be!) and it had zombies! So what couldn't be good about this? In all seriousness if you enjoy books like "Brains: Memoire of a Zombie" and playful strange romances - you'll enjoy this. I don't even wish it were longer. I think it ended as perfectly as it should. Definitely 5 stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Double double, toil and trouble. July 20 2010
By Rosalie Stanton - Published on
Verified Purchase
I really wish Amazon allowed for half-stars, because while I did enjoy this book, there were certain aspects that prevented me from giving it four stars.

A brief summary: "Shakespeare Undead" is about a necromancer vampire who goes by the name Will Shakespeare and has, among other things, penned a good percentage of the world's great literature over his considerably long life. He abstains from drinking from humans and raising zombies, though he has done both in the past. Teamed up with Kate, a zombie-slaying machine, Will works at chopping the undead down to size all the while attempting to identify the necromancer responsible for the zombie invasion. He and Kate are also infatuated with each other, though she is married and he is, well, a vampire.

There were many things to enjoy in "Shakespeare Undead." The writing is above par, and while I didn't care for the shifting POVs, it didn't distract me from the story as much as I thought it might. I also really enjoyed Ms. Handeland's characterization of Shakespeare. He is drawn as a brilliant, though aloof character, often fantasizing about various plot ideas that come to him at the most inconvenient moment. The audience is supposed to infer that Shakespeare ultimately pens "The Wizard of Oz," "The Sixth Sense," "Star Wars," and perhaps one or two other works of consideration. This was cute the first time the reference was made, but by the time Shakespeare started envisioning Princess Leia telling a wise old sage that he was her "only hope," the joke had run its course.

Ms. Handeland also did a good job of creating sizzling chemistry between Will and Kate. I truly enjoyed the back-and-forth of their relationship.

I mentioned the shifting POVs, and while they didn't distract me, they didn't seem necessary by the end. Kate's first person narration didn't reveal anything that Will's third person did not. Likewise, if there was any mention as to what Will used as a blood substitution, as he didn't feed from humans, it wasn't made obvious. Yes, vamplore is ever-changing and subject to the author's personal mythology, but when the cornerstones of vamplore are dismissed, we need some explanation as to where the vampires who abstain from blood of any kind get what they need in order to survive. Like I said, this might have been touched upon in the book, but if it was, it was done so in such a way it was easy for the casual reader to overlook it.

I also caught myself thinking of Shakespeare in Love more than I should have. Obviously with any fictionalization of Shakespeare's life, we're going to see some references to his literary works, but from the stolen balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet," to the R&J lark/nightingale back and forth as dawn approached, to Kate masquerading as a boy both to hunt zombies and to act on stage, to the Silvia speech from "Two Gentleman of Verona," it seemed Ms. Handeland's best knowledge of Shakespeare came from the movie and not history books. I would have liked some hint at other Shakespearan insight than just from the film. Constantly reciting from Shakespeare's plays was also a little jarring when Ms. Handeland returned to normal dialogue. It was likely meant to be an intentional anachronism, but the shift was very obvious.

I will say I thought the last few lines of dialogue were brilliant, and I love where she left this story off.

Overall, this was a very entertaining read, one I gobbled up in less than 36 hours. It kept me interested, made me laugh, and while I did find fault with it upon reflecting, the plot spoke to the Shakespeare enthusiast in me, as well as the lover of a good paranormal romance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Could Have Been Better Dec 3 2010
By BCB - Published on
Format: Paperback
I would've actually given this book 3.5 stars if that was possible. I enjoyed the premise of 'Shakespeare Undead' especially since I have a thing for zombies and historical fiction. It seemed like the perfect combination. While it was an enjoyable read at times it felt forced and hurried. The love story definitely took main stage and left the zombies lumbering along behind. I enjoyed the elements of allusion throughout the book (even the cornier ones with modern ties) and imagine if you don't know much about Shakespeare's works then those would be lost in the reading. Overall I liked the book but was a little disappointed by the lack of development (and what seems to be a deliberate nod to Shakespeare in Love).
Five Stars July 14 2014
By Matthew Fouquet - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its a good read.
New and exciting concept Jan. 4 2014
By Titanic fan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great story with a new, exciting twist. Shakespeare is a vampire who fights zombies! Sounds ridiculous but it's beautifully written with a wicked sense of humor. Lots of lovely little zingers that refer to his plays; makes you wish it were real
All is Well with Shakespeare March 10 2013
By M. R. Randazzo - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shakespeare UndeadThis book caught my eye because of the title. Everyone talks about Shakespeare the writer but what if he had other tendencies. This book gives reasons why he wrote about his characters in his plays in a very new way. If he had been a vampire, he would have had knowledge of many eras of time and would have been around to see and interact with all them. I enjoyed viewing him this way because it made him more enjoyable. I have seen live performances of Shakespearean plays so all those anecdotes of how he would direct the performances in this book make sense. I highly recommend this to anyone who has read or seen a play by Shakespeare. Good reference to the Taming of the Shrew.

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