Anne Bonny #BookReview Macbeth by #JoNesbo #CrimeFiction #HogarthShakespere @vintagebooks ‘A great edition to the Hogarth Shakespeare series’

my copy
Macbeth by Jo Nesbo
Review Copy
Synopsis:

He’s the best cop they’ve got.

When a drug bust turns into a bloodbath it’s up to Inspector Macbeth and his team to clean up the mess.
He’s also an ex-drug addict with a troubled past.

He’s rewarded for his success. Power. Money. Respect. They’re all within reach.

But a man like him won’t get to the top.

Plagued by hallucinations and paranoia, Macbeth starts to unravel. He’s convinced he won’t get what is rightfully his.
Unless he kills for it.

My Review:

Macbeth is the Third Hogarth Shakespeare novel I have read. Having previously enjoyed New Boy by Tracy Chevalier and Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. This is however, my FIRST novel by Jo Nesbo despite owning the 11 Harry Hole novels. It is a series I am reluctant to start because I know I will want to devour each title one after the other.
I will also be investing in the four other standalone novels by the author.

Macbeth is a gritty and harsh look into police corruption and organised crime. I felt the author had done an incredible job of adapting the original into a modern-day setting. With Macbeth the reluctant dirty cop and the city with its prostitute ‘witches’.

‘Everyone has a price’

The novel shows how the narcotics unit, SWAT team and gang unit work independently of one another but are eventually brought together after police corruption and malpractice is exposed. The new unit (OCU) organised crime unit with unite all three departments under the supervision of one senior office.
But who will be the officer in charge and wield the power over the city?
‘For Eternal loyalty is inhuman and betrayal is human’

Macbeth’s love a casino boss named ‘Lady’ plays the role of Lady Macbeth to the letter. She is cunning and desperate for the two to hold power over the entire city.
‘You have to kill Duncan’ – Lady

Betrayal and power go hand in hand in this character driven novel. I was intrigued by so many minor characters/themes. Such as, the one-eyed drug addict and the ‘Brew’ the new drug doing the rounds on Scotland’s streets.

A great edition to the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
One I am sure my GCSE teen would love to study much more than the original. 4*

JN
Jo Nesbo
Website

#Review 4* Hag-Seed by @MargaretAtwood @PenguinRHUK #LiteraryFiction #HogarthShakespeare

cover
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Synopsis:
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017

Selected as a Book of the Year – Observer, Sunday Times, Times, Guardian, i magazine

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. It will 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. 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?

My review:

Before I write this review, I have a little confession to make. Well actually two confessions. Firstly, this is my first book read, by Margaret Atwood. I know, I am ashamed of myself! But to be fair, I didn’t discover Steven King until my 20s! Secondly, I have not read The Tempest by William Shakespeare, of which the novel is largely based. The only Shakespeare, I have read is Romeo And Juliet & Macbeth. These being from my school days! There we go, Abby leaves confessional!

The novel opens with Felix, the artistic director of the Makeshiweg festival, being betrayed and uprooted from his position. I would like to say this is the only emotional pain in Felix’s life, but sadly it is not. Having lost his wife in childbirth and daughter 3 years later to meningitis. Felix is in deep emotional pain.
He vows revenge upon Tony, whom has betrayed him!

“Tony and Sal must suffer”

Felix packs up his belongings and retreats to a shanty cottage in the woods. Where he remains in exile for quite sometime…. Whilst in exile he begins to have delusions of his daughter. They empower him to seek vengeance and Felix becomes an internet stalker, of the men who have wronged him. On year nine of exile, he applies for a job at the Fletcher Correctional facility. Under the secret identity of Mr Duke, he applies for the role of running the literacy program delivered to the inmates.

Felix is accepted for the position and his role involved assignments and producing a play. Of which he chooses The Tempest, guiding and aiding the inmates to fully understand the play. I found Felix to be charismatic yet troubled and charming and likable. I began to root for Felix on his journey towards revenge. By running the program Felix meets new people, who improve his life and help him heal.
But not before he has, had his revenge……

I really enjoyed this novel and can see the huge appeal of the book to book groups. There is room for the debate of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and also the character is Felix and what guides his vendetta. I really enjoyed how cleverly written the novel is and I look forward to The Handmaids tale, which is also on my book shelves! 4*

MA
Margaret Atwood
Authors Links:
Twitter: @MargaretAtwood
Website: http://margaretatwood.ca/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3472.Margaret_Atwood
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MargaretAtwoodAuthor/

 

New release, review: New Boy by Tracy Chevalier 4*

new boy cover

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

The synopsis:

Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s’ suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practise a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Watching over the shoulders of four 11-year-olds – Osei, Dee, Ian and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi – Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

My review:

This novel is listed on Netgalley as general adult fiction; I think it could be easily incorporated into the YA genre also. It could actually prove very educational to young adults to the dangers of racism, bullying and prejudice. It would also highlight to the younger generation, how far we have come in terms of, the socially acceptable racism of the past etc.

This an interpretation of Othello, set in 1970’s suburban Washington DC. It centres around several students, as they ‘welcome’ new boy Osei Kokote. Osei aka O (Osie meaning Noble) is a young student whose father is an international diplomat. He is starting his 4th school in 6 years, due to moving around various locations. Despite being born in the 1980’s myself, I felt the novel had a very childhood feel to it. Young people, coming of age that was until the plot becomes more and more established.

Osei, Dee, Ian and Mimi are young students, trying to make sense of teir lives and the hierarchy of the education system. It is only Osei as the only black student at the school who is exposed to prejudice, casual racist comments and assumptions due to the colour of his skin. The assumptions really hit home to me. The assumption that he is poor as he is from Ghana; not only is Ghana the second wealthiest country in Africa, it is rich, in terms of culture. Also the age old typical stereotype that a young black man is essentially a criminal or violent in some way! With all this stacked against him, Osei has quite the first day to navigate!

Dee however is quite sweet on Osei and asks about Ghana out of genuine interest. She enjoys and embraces Osei regardless of his colour or heritage. However, a casual moment of affection is misinterpreted by a teacher whom assumes that Dee needs ‘saving’ from Osei. This scene really upset me; the assumption that a young black man is a terrible danger to a young white woman was reminiscent of the Emmett Till case. The racism that a young black male ‘must know his place’ is possibly one of thee, single most damaging attitudes and has impacted young black men to the present day!

One young man not happy with the alliance and blossoming romance between Dee and Osei is Ian. Ian is a scheming bully who sets in turn a motion of events with the intention to break up Dee and Osei. Fuelled by jealousy and set on a path, Ian manipulates all the students; building to a catastrophic ending!

Hugely recommend this novel to young adults and adults. I hope this novel is able to gain some support from education settings. It would be very beneficial to young minds and a great source of debate and discussion. 4*

New Boy is released today, 11th May 2017 🙂

*I received an Ebook arce via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.