Shakespeare inspired novels

My bookclub is reading Fool by Christopher Moore, which is Moore’s retelling of King Lear (and about as true to the original as Moore’s retelling of the New Testament in Lamb).

We usually read in threes…anyone have any ideas for more novels that are inspired from Shakespeare plots? Nothing too dark, its Winter in Minnesota.

Terry Pratchett wrote several Discworld novels that were based on Shakespeare’s plays. They’re the ones featuring the witches and they’ve done Hamlet, McBeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, among others.

My friend L. Jagi Lamplighter has just released Prospero Lost, the first part of a three-volume fantasy novel based on characters from The Tempest. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until next summer for part two, Prospero in Hell, and some later date for the final part, whose name I don’t know.

Harry Turtledove’s Ruled Britannia. It’s a stand-alone single volume alternate history, with the point of departure being that the Spanish Armada succeeded in conquering England. I thought it was a fun read. I especially liked that you got two “new” Shakespeare plays in the book.

Poul Anderson’s A Midsummer Tempest?

Jane Smiley’s “A Thousand Acres” is a novel based on “King Lear,” Or, rather, it puts King Lear in a modern, midwestern setting and turns Regan and Goneril into the heroines, while making Lear a pedophile and Cordelia a manipulative bitch.

Sort of a hijack, but don’t miss the DVD of Canadian Broadcasting series SLINGS AND ARROWS. The first series is basically MACBETH with a side plot of ROMEO AND JULIET (with happy ending), about a repetoire company doing HAMLET.

“Shakespeare-inspired” in the sense of being about a Shakespeare production rather than having a plot adapted from Shakespeare: Robertson Davies’ fun early novel Tempest-Tost.

Wasn’t What Dreams May Come a novel before it was that movie?
(which by the way, is visually stunning)

King Lear was inspired by the tales of Lear and his Daughters, which had been around for a while before Billy wrote his play. Shakespeare was also inspired by a recent law where Parliament gave adult children the ability to take over and manage the estate of aged/infirm parents.

Yes, and it’s hardly the only one to have a title taken from Shakespeare.

I don’t think there’s much Shakesperean about it besides the title, though.

One of my favorite series of books was inspired by The Tempest. No one seems to have heard of these books, and I think they might be out of print.

A Sorcerer and a Gentleman
The Price of Blood and Honor
The Well-Favored Man (written before the other two, but takes place after them)

by Elizabeth Willey

Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess is a “Shakespeare inspired novel”, albeit not a Shakespeare plot - fictionalised speculation about his life and relationships instead. It’s a very good book indeed.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle was inspired by *Hamlet. *

Gertrude and Claudius by Jon Updike is a sort of prequel to Hamlet.

Do titles/themes count?

Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
Huxley, Brave New World

Nope, titles don’t count - has to be a “retelling” of a Shakespeare tale.

And, the group avoids SF and Fantasy. Not to say we don’t read it once in a while - but we really try to limit it (its an SF and Fantasy set of people - as in ‘run cons, specialize in the genre as professional librarians, partnered with and/or friends with published SF/Fantasy authors’ - so we try and ‘stretch’ a little for bookclub - though sometimes we stretch in odd ways - like reading Twilight).

But a lot of these suggestions are good, and the Discworld idea - though Fantasy - will go over well. And the Smiley would be an interesting partnering with Fool…though probably dark…

Thanks all.

Robert Nye’s novel, Falstaff, is the fictional memoirs of that character.