Monday, September 05, 2016

681 (2016 #36). The Gap of Time

by Jeanette Winterson

The Gap of Time is The Winter's Tale retold - the first in the Hogarth Shakespeare series of books where bestselling authors are commissioned to retell stories from Shakespeare. Jeanette Winterson did this one - unfortunately, I'm not familiar with her other work.

I have seen and read The Winter's Tale (both twice), but it was last over a dozen years ago, so I appreciated Winterson's brief synopsis at the beginning, as well as her use of similar character names ( (Shep is the Shepherd, Clo is the Clown, MiMi is Hermione, Zel  is Florizel, Leo is Leontes, Xeno is Polixenes, etc.).  The title comes from nearly the last line of the play, and also refers to the sixteen-year gap between events in the play.

I've now read the first four books in the series, and am interested in reading all the future titles. I'd rank this one below Hag-Seed and Vinegar Girl, but above Shylock is My Name.  It was easier to "see" the original Shakespeare play in this book than it was in Shylock.  I also think my "rankings" have something to do with how I'd rank their original Shakespeare sources as well.

I do think this is a series where it is helpful to have read the Shakespeare play the book is based on, as I doubt all the retellers will provide the convenient summary.

© Amanda Pape - 2016

[I received this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.  It was donated to my local public library to add to their Hogarth Shakespeare collection.]

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