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William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher

Source: Quirk Books
Hardcover, 176 pages
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William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher is the second installment in this series and combines the longevity of Shakespeare’s plays with that of George Lucas’ iconic science fiction movie franchise, Star Wars.  Like in the first of this series, Doescher uses the chorus to describe action, but he also uses characters to describe some of the action.  Moreover, he provides the inner thoughts to characters who do not have them in the movies, such as Lando, and in that way, he provides greater depth to their characters.  Even the animals and creatures, such as the Wampa on Hoth, have voices that are heard, though that can be a bit silly — though likely meant in fun.  Yoda of the movies may sound Shakespearean, but here there is an added twist in that he speaks in modified Haiku.

“Hath not a Sith eyes?
Hath not a Sith such feelings, heart, and soul,
As any Jedi Knight did e’er possess?
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you
Blast us, shall we not injur’d be?” (page 34)

Readers will find homage to the classic plays, including The Merchant of Venice, and many of the asides, monologues, and soliloquys provide much greater depth to the story and characters.  While these books follow the movies, Doescher also uses his imagination to make the story reminiscent of Shakespeare’s tragedies and histories — with this book in the series reflecting the betrayal, love, and duals prevalent in the classic plays.  William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher is refreshingly fun, and while it does offer some deeper characters than those in the movies, it is not meant to be taken too seriously.

Also Reviewed:

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope

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About the Author:

Ian Doescher has loved Shakespeare since eighth grade and was born 45 days after Star Wars Episode IV was released. He has a B.A. in Music from Yale University, a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Ethics from Union Theological Seminary. Ian lives in Portland, Oregon, with his spouse Jennifer and two sons. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is his first book. Visit Ian online at www.iandoescher.com. [Photo by Shan Applegate]

Mailbox Monday #259

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has gone through a few incarnations from a permanent home with Marcia to a tour of other blogs.

Now, it has its own permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1.  A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff for review in March.

With more than 150 new recipes, complete with individual pictures, shopping lists, and easy-to-follow instructions. Six Sisters’ Stuff transforms an overwhelming list of recipes and ingredients into a no-hassle, tasty meal schedule the whole family will enjoy. You will learn how the Sis Sisters bring their families to the table with fun family traditions and kid-friendly meals. SixSistersStuff.com continues to be an online phenomenon: More than 5 million page views per month More than 170,000 Facebook followers Nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter More than 280,000 followers on Pinterest.

2.  She Likes it Rough by GVR Corcillo for review in April/May.

Can daring adventures with an outdoor extremist give a daydreaming pushover the courage to make her life count for something? Lisa Flyte needs a backbone. For thirty-four years, she’s let life plow right over her – and that humiliating freak fast-food accident was the last straw! Time to get tough and start living out loud. But…how? When Lisa learns that adrenaline junkie Jack Hawkins needs a clueless urbanite to test his top-secret line of beginner adventure gear, they strike a deal: she’ll be his undercover test dummy if he helps her get brave during their adventures in the wild. But can the moxie Lisa discovers in the great outdoors help her pursue a career she really wants or stand up to her bullying family? And can it make her gutsy enough to go after Jack? He’s a man who’s not afraid of anything…except maybe of falling for Lisa.

3.  Never Too Little to Love by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Jen Fearnley from the little one’s Nana.

Tiny Too-Little loves someone who’s very, very tall, and Tiny wants a kiss. What if he stands on his tiptoes on top of a thimble? What if he stands on his tiptoes on top of a matchbox on top of a thimble? Clever cut-away pages show Tiny’s precarious pile growing higher and higher, while the object of his affection stays just out of reach. When the teetering stack finally falls with a crash, will his hopes be dashed? How can a tiny mouse get the kiss he needs?

 

4.  The Story of Valentine’s Day by Nancy J. Skarmeas, illustrated by Stacy Venturi-Pickett from the little one’s Nana.

Here is a little board book that explains in simple terms the story of the origin of Valentine’s Day. From today’s celebrations to their link to the day’s beginnings, the holiday of valentines and candy hearts is explained so that even the youngest reader will understand. A new, convenient size and vibrant art make this board book a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for little hands to grasp. Ages 2-5.

5.  William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher for review.

Hot on the heels of the New York Times best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars comes the next two installments of the original trilogy: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return. Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter. Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, these two plays offer essential reading for all ages. Something Wookiee this way comes!

What did you receive?