William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope - Ian Doescher When I first heard about the book, "Pride, Prejudice and Zombies", I was quietly excited. Despite my usual reading habits, Pride & Prejudice was a book I very much enjoyed, with wonderfully detailed characters set in an interesting time-period. The idea of placing this story amidst a zombie apocalypse appealed to the devil in me, and I bought a copy the moment it was out.

As most fans of Pride & Prejudice who read the zombies rewrite know, it was a horrible book that ought to have been thrown in the fire rather than published and foisted on innocent readers, which somehow managed to keep only the insignificant pieces of the original test, completely mangling not only the charm of the original, but distorting the characters, the bedrock upon which all the charm of the novel was based, from deeply drawn figures into boring, stupid caricatures.

It was with this in mind that I approached William Shakespeare's Star Wars with very little in the way of expectation. It sounded interesting enough in concept that I wished to give it a look, but would most likely be a waste of a few hours reading time.

Star Wars itself holds an interesting place in my heart as I quite like the movies (not fanatically, but I have watched them plenty of times), however I absolutely detested the novelisation of the original movie - so much so that I've never yet read any of the other novels set in the Star Wars world, despite assurances from those whose judgement I trust that there are plenty of good ones published. So which side would this one fall?

As you can tell from the rating I give this book, I was not just surprised, but amazed. The author not only managed to retell the story quite convincingly, with the characters remaining intact and true to the original story, but also to craft it in Shakespearean language styling and iambic pentameter quite lyrical to read.

It is very easy to picture this story as what science fiction might have looked like, had Shakespeare himself written it, and the language and tone of the story is not only consistent but the book contains lashings of the style of wit and humour, and timing that the bard himself employed to great effect in many of his works.

In fact, I couldn't help but imagine as I read how this book (which is written in the form of a play) would look and sound were it actually performed on stage. I can only imagine, and hope, that it won't be too long before a troupe somewhere makes this idle thought a reality, for it is truly a play that deserves to be performed!