HI friends, welcome back to my blog! I wasn’t planning on doing a full review for this anthology but I was in a Shakespeare mood and I love talking about new releases so I figured I would do a quick breakdown of my thoughts on Dahlia Adler’s new Shakespeare Reimagined anthology that came out in March!
This isn’t a really in depth review because I didn’t take enough notes when I read it, but it does give you a good idea of what I thought of each story and the anthology as a whole (as someone who doesn’t typically enjoy short stories).
That Way Madness Lies: 15 of Shakespeare’s Most Notable Works Reimagined – Edited by Dahlia Adler / Stories by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka, Mark Oshiro, Kayla Ancrum, Anna-Marie McLemore, Lily Anderson, Amy Rose Capetta & Cory McCarthy, Dahlia Adler, Brittany Cavallaro, Kiersten White, Lindsay Smith, Tochi Onyebuchi, Joy McCullough, Patrice Caldwell, Samantha Mabry, Melissa Bashardoust
YA, Short Stories, Reimaging, Fantasy/Contemporary/Sci-Fi/Romance, Queer
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Trigger Warnings: racism, antisemitism, homophobia, child neglect, physical abuse/violence, child abuse, emotional abuse, grooming, loss of a loved one, self-harm, miscarriage
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
I am traditionally not a short story reader – I usually DNF collections like these or just ignore them altogether since it’s so rare for me to read a short story and enjoy it. But, then I heard about a collection inspired by Shakespeare’s works and on top of that, that some of my favourite authors would be a part of it and I knew this would be the be all end all for myself and short stories.
I still think that I am 99% not a lover of short stories but, I did genuinely enjoy some of these which I think was entirely down to the writers. I genuinely think that I would read a shopping list if it was written by K Ancrum or Anna-Marie Mclemore.
C O M E D I E S
“Severe Weather Warning” – Emily W and Austin SB (The Tempest) ↣ 3 ⭐
Fun. I loved the storm and the forced discussion trope.
“Shipwrecked” – Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night) ↣ 2 ⭐
I couldn’t keep track of who any of the characters were but I did really enjoy how diverse the characters were along with the talk about how love doesn’t need to be romantic or compulsory.
“Taming of The Soulmate” – K Ancrum (Taming of The Shrew) ↣ 3.5 ⭐
When your favourite author champions the ultimate fanfic soulmate trope! I don’t even like this trope but this is one of my favourite stories in the collection so far, I LOVE how K Ancrum writes characters!
“King of The Fairies” – Anna-Marie Mclemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) ↣ 2.75 ⭐
Definitely interesting, I really love AMM’s writing and it’s what kept me reading the story.
“We Have Seen Better Days” – Lily Anderson (As You Like It) ↣ 2 ⭐
+0.5 stars just for Lily Anderson supporting Solo: A Star Wars Story. Otherwise, I didn’t like this one.
“Some Other Metal” – Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing) ↣ 1.5 ⭐
Too meta for me. I thought I would love this because I usually love Much Ado but this was a no from the very beginning.
“I Bleed” – Dahlia Adler (Ther Merchant of Venice) ↣ 3 ⭐
Very disturbing and hard to read, but this was definitely one of the better stories in the collection.
A – S O N E T
“His Invention” – Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147) ↣ 4 ⭐
This was so good! Disturbing and a bit confusing in the beginning but definitely my favourite story in the collection so far and one I’d actually read again!
T R A G E D I E S
“Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow” – Kiersten White (Romeo + Juliet) ↣ 3 ⭐
Texts are one of my least favourite ways to tell a story but, this was actually really good, which is even more surprising because I am not an R+J fan. I loved the characters and how ridiculous Romeo was and I really think this story put in perspective how quickly the R+J story moves.
“Dreaming of The Dark” – Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar) ↣ 3 ⭐
Spooky vibes. I think I liked this one but I’m not really sure.
“The Tragedy of Cory Lanez” – Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus) ↣ 3.25 ⭐
I felt a bit detached from this one but I think that was just because it’s music-centric which I’m not usually a fan of, otherwise this was really good.
“Out of the Storm” – Joy McCullough (King Lear) ↣ 3 ⭐
That moved very quickly and was very hard to read.
“Elsinore” – Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet) ↣ 1 ⭐
So so SO boring.
“We Fail” – Samantha Mabry (Macbeth) ↣ 3.5 ⭐
One of the best Macbeth retellings I’ve ever read!
L A T E – R O M A N C E
“Lost Girl” – Melissa Bashardoust (The Winter’s Tale) ↣ _ ⭐
This was cute. I loved the addition of all the other little stories and mythologies.
Are you a Shakespeare fan?
Have you read this anthology?
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6 thoughts on “That Way Madness Lies: 15 of Shakespeare’s Most Notable Works Reimagined ↞ 2021 Full Anthology Review/Break Down”
I’ve read a lot of Shakespeare but haven’t heard of this collection. There was a collection of full novels a few years ago written by different authors, each of which took a play an reimagined it – Margaret Atwood’s ‘Hagseed’ (The Tempest) was pretty good.
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Ahh yes, I’ve heard of those novels but haven’t gotten around to them yet. They are on my tbr though!!
I definitely recommend this but only if you like YA. It’s a quick read and has some really imaginative takes on the originals stories!
I rated this one pretty average as well – I am not sure if it was the stories in particular or if my little knowledge of Shakespeare’s originals lessened my own enjoyment. Either way, I did adore Adler’s and Ancrum’s inclusions in this anthology.
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I think it didn’t help me personally that I hadn’t read all of the originals, but yeah, some of these stories just weren’t my cup of tea!
Yes, those two were so good!