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293 pages
A Twist
on the Tempest


293 pages

Hag-Seed, first published in 2016, is a fabulous book by Margaret Atwood -  funny, moving and extremely inventive.  The only reservation being that you need to have read or seen The Tempest to gain the most from this book - which is why it is a wild card choice. 

The plot:  When Felix is fired as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival on the eve of his production of The Tempest by Tony, whom he believed to be a friend and close ally, he plans his revenge from his own exile, significantly 12 years later, by inadvertently involving them in his postponed production of The Tempest inside a correction institute. 


The characters are obviously based on their counterparts from the play, Felix being Prospero, Tony being Antonio, and a daughter who is a spirit. Shakespeare’s theatrical devices for revenge, playing tricks on people and plays within plays are so beautifully interwoven into this new adaptation.  


It’s a clever re-interpretation, not revolutionary perhaps, but so enjoyable and inventive from start to finish, providing fresh thoughts on this play and afterlife.   We finished the book wanting to see the original play again. 

The Den has also reviewed Atwood's dystopia novel The Handmaid's Tale and its Booker prize sequel The Testaments.

- for people who love books -




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