Behind every work of fiction lies some form of truth. So, what might be the truth behind Shakespeare's tragic play, Hamlet? That's the question that drives The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet.
Imagine that Horatio is a regular old sixteenth century bisexual guy who meets a Danish prince and falls in love. Eventually he writes a play inspired by bits and pieces of Hamlet's life, but first, there must be love triangles, misunderstandings, and people disguised as other people--because Shakespeare is all about the love triangles and disguises, after all, and Horatio is Shakespeare. That is, he is the playwright who, at the end of the novel, writes the famous tragic play.
It gets complicated. Myrlin Hermes' novel has been described as a prequel to Hamlet, but it's not quite that simple, because the plot of Hamlet (the play) is not the truth of what happens to Hamlet (the character in the novel). Behind the scenes of Hamlet's story, though, the themes remain the same. The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet offers a new twist on those themes, without all that messy blood and poison at the end, and offers readers a chance to reread the play with a new perspective on both the characters, and the author behind them.
By Alison Jakel
This book was provided for review by TLC Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this post are solely my own and have not been approved or influenced by TLC book tours, the publisher, or the author.