File Name: That Way Madness Lies
Author : Dahlia Adler (Goodreads Author) (Editor) , Lily Anderson (Goodreads Author) , Brittany Cavallaro (Goodreads Author) , Patrice Caldwell (Goodreads Author) , Emily Wibberley (Goodreads Author) , Austin Siegemund-Broka (Goodreads Author) , Amy Rose Capetta , Cory McCarthy , more… Joy McCullough (Goodreads Author) , Anna-Marie McLemore (Goodreads Author) , Tochi Onyebuchi , Lindsay Smith , Kiersten White, , Ibi Zoboi (Goodreads Author) , Samantha Mabry (Goodreads Author) , Mark Oshiro (Goodreads Author) , Melissa Bashardoust (Goodreads Author) , K. Ancrum (Goodreads Author) …less
Format : Hardcover 221 pages
Genre : Young Adult, Short Stories, Retellings, Anthologies, LGBT, Contemporary, GLBT, Queer, Classics, Fiction, Short Story Collection,
Rating: really liked it
arc gods, hear my prayers
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Rating: really liked it
me: today is not a really great day
that way madness lies cover reveal:
me: TODAY IS A REALLY GREAT DAY
Rating: really liked it
This anthology contains 15 retellings of Shakespeare's works. What's neat about the collection is it was created by YA authors. So most of the retellings have a modern contemporary feel to them and that's what made it a fun read for me. I'll admit I struggled a bit in school when reading Shakespeare, and I'm glad this book serves a purpose of presenting his works but with a modern spin. Some of the stories in this collection I enjoyed so much, I now want to check out the original version by Shakespeare.
The list of contributors: Dahlia Adler (reimagining The Merchant of Venice), Kayla Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew), Lily Anderson (As You Like It), Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet), Melissa Bashardoust (A Winter’s Tale), Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing), Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147), Joy McCullough (King Lear), Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Samantha Mabry (Macbeth), Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus), Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night), Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar), Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet), and Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Tempest).
Keep in mind I possess the average American's knowledge when it comes to Shakespeare's works. I know the plot of Romeo & Juliet and a few random facts about other plays, but that's about it. So you will have to seek out other reviews if you are looking to find out how each retelling measures up to the original.
My favorites out of the bunch were Severe Weather Warning, Shipwrecked, I Bleed, Elsinore, and We Fail. The entire collection showed off the authors' creativity. I liked how some authors included a note at the end to give more insight into their writing process. (To be honest, I would have loved if all of them had done that as well.) Not every retelling had a traditional story format. There was an oral history format, a play/script, and in the case of the Romeo & Juliet retelling it was comprised of text messages. The stories on average were 20 pages.
Recommend for Shakespeare fans as well as people who enjoy YA fiction.
Thank you to Flatiron Books for sending me an advance copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.
Rating: liked it
I only requested this anthology so I could read the Lear story and move on with my life (in my quest to read every Lear retelling I can get my hands on), but what can I say, once I had it on my Kindle I couldn't resist. Even though I don't particularly like YA and didn't have the highest of hopes that these stories would engage with the plays in particularly interesting ways. Still, there were some pleasant surprises here.
That Way Madness Lies is a YA anthology by a handful of noted writers, each retelling a different Shakespeare play. The selection of plays itself is very good--there are the crowd pleasers as well as a couple of unexpected ones. The organization of this anthology bothered me on a couple of levels--first off, why is The Winter's Tale placed in the Late Romances category but not The Tempest? We're also frequently treated to 1-page author's notes after stories, all of the same tenor; "this is why the original play was problematic and here's how I decided to fix it". Which, aside from being jarring and downright annoying, showed such a blatant disregard for Shakespearean scholarship that I had to laugh--yes, of course this is a commercial anthology intended for a young audience but my god, patting yourself on the back for being brave enough to consider The Merchant of Venice through Shylock's perspective as if scholars, directors, actors, and audiences haven't been doing exactly that for centuries is solipsistic to the extreme.
Anyway, as always with anthologies, it's a mixed bag. Some of these stories are unexpected and brilliant and others fall spectacularly flat. So, let's do this.
"Severe Weather Warning" by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley (The Tempest) - 4 stars
A nice and melancholy snapshot into sibling rivalry as a storm rages outside, delaying Prosper's sister's flight to a prestigious internship that she effectively stole from her sister. Really enjoyed this one and felt that it was one of the most successful stories in accessing the original play's themes even as a nonliteral reimagining.
"Shipwrecked" by Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night) - 3 stars
Twelfth Night meets high school prom--we've got some love and heartbreak coupled with mistaken identity shenanigans as one twin has recently come out as nonbinary and has started to resemble their brother. It's a bit corny but mostly harmless.
"King of the Fairies" by Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night's Dream) - 1 star
Midsummer from the perspective of the "Indian" child abducted by Oberon and Titania. Hands down one of my least favorites from this collection; it couldn't be more heavy-handed and patronizing if it tried. If you like McLemore's writing you'll probably like this story; I simply do not.
"Taming of the Soulmate" by K. Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew) - 3 stars
A soulmate AU where Katherine doesn't see color until she meets Petrucio at her sister Bianca's party; rather an inconvenience for her 5-year plan. I take umbrage at a modern retelling framing Petruchio as the Reasonable One, but I grudgingly ended up appreciating where this story arrived.
"We Have Seen Better Days" by Lily Anderson (As You Like It) - 2 stars
I found this story perplexing. As You Like It, as far as I'm concerned, is fertile ground for a reimagining that focuses on gender identity (a topic otherwise omnipresent in this anthology)--and instead we get... a story about summer camp nostalgia and daddy issues? Anyway, I'd be happy to put my expectations aside about what this had the potential to be if it were any good at all, but it was objectively one of the weakest in the collection.
"Some Other Metal" by Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing) - 1 star
I kind of hate Much Ado so I was probably never going to like this very much but... yeah, it was bad. It follows two actors, Tegan and Taron, who play Beatrice and Benedick on stage, and off-stage have an antagonistic relationship, but they’re trying to be set up by their director. The meta narrative was painfully obvious and would be more fun if you enjoyed Beatrice and Benedick's dynamic in the slightest which I can't say I do. This story is also set in outer space for reasons that are of absolutely no consequence?
"I Bleed" by Dahlia Adler (The Merchant of Venice) - 5 stars
Annoying author's note aside I honestly adored this. The Merchant of Venice + high school doesn't seem like a match made in heaven--right down to Antonio's occupation being declared in the title, this is an inarguably adult work. Part of the fun, then, becomes seeing how deftly Adler adapts this story's mature moving parts to a context which shouldn't work at all... but somehow does, brilliantly. It's a very literal adaptation which otherwise isn't my favorite approach in this collection, but I found this one very successful.
"His Invitation" by Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147) - 4 stars
A couple take a road trip to California in the only story in this collection that tackles a sonnet. I have to say, this one didn't make a huge impression on me as I was reading (part of it due to being the shortest story in this collection), but interestingly it's really the only one I'm still thinking about after having finished.
"Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow" by Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet) - 4 stars
Yes, the title is stupid, but let’s move on. White actually does a remarkable job at capturing the simultaneous foolishness and lovability of the titular protagonists. This story is told entirely in text speak which admittedly is not my favorite, but it makes for fast, feverish reading, which is probably the effect that White intended. This story I felt was one of the most successful at transporting the emotional landscape of Shakespeare to a much smaller and more modern setting, and hands down the most effective story in the tragedy section.
"Dreaming of the Dark" by Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar) - 2 stars
Julius Caesar meets a private girl’s school and dark magic. The context of this one was so utterly contrived (Briony and Cassie have just killed Julia as a sacrifice to a dark god; Annamaria wants revenge) I couldn’t really take it seriously.
"The Tragedy of Cory Lanez" by Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus) - 2 stars
This one is probably better than I'm giving it credit for. Cameron Marcus, known by stage name Cory Lanez, is a rapper who was recently stabbed to death; this story tackles family, sexuality, and LA gang violence. Unfortunately it's also told as an oral history, and it's that format that I couldn't really get past--I don't think it works at all in short story form; the author hasn't earned the reader's investment in the character that we're mourning and the result is tedium. Which is kind of fitting for Coriolanus to be fair.
"Elsinore" by Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet) - 3 stars
Hamlet retold as a penny dreadful--we're in Victorian England, and Claudius is a vampire. Anne (Hamlet) and Camilla (Ophelia) team up to take him down. This will work for a lot of readers better than it worked for me, it simply wasn't to my taste.
"Out of the Storm" by Joy McCullough (King Lear) - 1 star
Oh boy, HERE WE GO. I was already approaching this with trepidation after despising McCullough's bestselling Blood Water Paint, but I think my mind was as open as it could have been under the circumstances. Anyway, I remain unconvinced that McCullough has read anything more than the wikipedia summary for Lear as this really failed to engage with it on... any level deeper than 'three sisters whose names start with G, R, C.' Written like a play script, it's a snapshot piece where we see Gabi and Cora at their dying father's bedside at the hospital; Rowan, the middle daughter, bursts in and we discover that she's absented herself from the family to get out from under their strict minister father's thumb. Arguments ensue; Rowan is accused of being selfish, she retaliates that she had the fortitude to escape, etc., that kind of thing. Look, I'm sympathetic to the fact that Lear is one of the hardest plays to retell and I'm happy for a reimagining to be nonliteral, as long as it accesses some of the original play's themes, which this just didn't, at all. Ample meditation on truth, power, aging, justice, human nature, and cosmic inevitability to draw from and you opt for... three sisters with an over-controlling father? (The play script format was insufferable as well; if this were a real play it would be peak 'family arguing at the dinner table' theatre.)
"We Fail" by Samantha Mabry (Macbeth) - 1 star
Just dreadful. Drea, a high school senior, has recently suffered a miscarriage, and her fiancé, Mateo, has been passed over for a football scholarship. When the two get in a car crash and their friend Duncan is pinned beneath the car, Drea convinces Mateo to wait before calling for help, so Duncan will die and Mateo can take his scholarship; and also because she's still mourning the loss of her child and needs to take control of their future. I really despise Macbeth retellings that have a hyperfixation on Lady Macbeth's fertility, and for that narrative to be given to a high schooler made it all the more perplexing and oddly melodramatic in a way that didn't show a similar self-awareness as the Romeo and Juliet story. This was too rushed as well; maybe it could have done something interesting as a longer story, but hurtling through the events of Macbeth at breakneck speed just didn't work.
"Lost Girl" by Melissa Bashardoust (The Winter's Tale) - 4 stars
This was a lovely story about Perdita who recently discovered the identity of her absent father, trying to cope with that as her new relationship with classics student Zal blossoms. It's short and sweet and a nice note to end on.
Thank you to Netgalley and Flatiron for the advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: really liked it
["Elsinore" by Patrice Caldwell (hide spoiler)]
Rating: really liked it
I did a quick review of each story in my updates, but to summarize: I loved most of the comedies, but the tragedies tended to not be as good. I'd absolutely recommend this to any Shakespeare fan, but the stories range from bland to amazing. My favorite stories of the collection are King of the Fairies, I Bleed, Some Other Metal, Elsinore, and Shipwrecked.
Rating: liked it
This is everything I've ever wanted out of an anthology.
Rating: really liked it
I've been screaming ever since this got announced and will be screaming until I have it in my hands!!!
Rating: really liked it
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING - 4/5 okay this was cute as hell...
SHIPWRECKED - 3/5 Twelfth Night is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, but this was not one of my favourite retellings.
TAMING OF THE SOUL-MATE - 5/5 enemies to lovers soulmate verse is not the Taming of the Shrew retelling that i was expecting, but it's the one i deserve. Kayla Ancrum saw the chance and she fucking murdered it. i would literally read her grocery lists...
KING OF THE FAIRIES - 4/5 a retelling of A Midsummer's Night's Dream with TRANS faeries and queer Titania and Oberon (and Hermia, Helena, Lysander, & Dimitrius) ?? HELLOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
WE HAVE SEEN BETTER DAYS - 2.5/5 this was nice and sweet, but pretty underwhelming for me.
SOME OTHER METAL - 4.5/5 i am so happy with the genderfluid/trans/non-binary representation on this anthology. THIS is how you pay tribute to Shakespeare!!!
I BLEED - 4/5 a super powerful (and quite emotional for me) retelling that uses and focuses on a modernized version of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice. cw: antisemitism
A SONNET; HIS INVENTION - 4.5/5 this was hella dark and hella cool...
PARTYING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW - 2/5 this wasn't necessarily bad or anything, i just feel like R&J has been milked completely into any and every possible retelling, and this one had nothing particularly special or memorable about it. it really was not my thing.
DREAMING OF THE DARK - 3.5/5 very cool, very cult-like, filled with codependent bad girls. it's a yes from me.
THE TRAGEDY OF CORY LANEZ: AN ORAL HISTORY - 3.5/5 i'm a sucker for stories written as oral histories/interviews
OUT OF THE STORM - 2.5/5 ehhhhh
ELSINORE -2.5/5 i'm like,,,,a Huge sucker for Hamlet, and while i love vampires and think they're cool and sexy, i wasn't too keen reading a (literal) vamped up version of the OG emo boi.
WE FAIL - 3/5 i just didn't really feel anything with this one :/
LOST GIRL - 4/5 i've actually never read A Winter's Tale, so i can't really speak on how well this retelling was adapted, but i found it beautifully written and touching. definitely a strong closing story!! also the main character is Persian, and like, i am too,,,,so that was cool!
Rating: really liked it
"To be or not to be, that is the question." Joking...Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare or not, this is a lovely read. I love the idea of having a lot of different authors reimagine their favorite Shakespeare plays. I can only do this review justice if I talk about every story so prepare for a long review. Overall, this has it's high and lows. I am a sucker for a nice cover so bonus points there. I also like Shakespeare...hints why I'm taking a university course about it. :)
"Severe Weather Warning"
by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
reimagining The Tempest:
4/5- It's the first story which means it has to draw the reader in and it does a good job of doing so. I liked the story and found it easy to get into even though I have never read The Tempest. The characters were great, maybe a bit cliche. I loved the cute romance between Prosper and Sam. Even though Benjamin wasn't suppose to be funny, I was laughing.
by Mark Oshiro
3.5/5 - I've never read Twelfth Night but I have seen She's The Man (2006) which is based on the play. I think the story is a great reimagine based on Vi and Seb where they are both hiding there feelings for the person they like. However, this story was lacking some excitement. I expected someone to confuse Vi and Seb for one another or maybe they swap places but that didn't happen. Olivia did mistake Vi for Seb but not for long since she knew it was Vi shortly after. It was cute though so bonus for that.
"Taming of the Soul Mate"
by K. Ancrum
The Taming of the Shrew:
5/5 - I don't like the Shakespeare play of The Taming of the Shrew but I love this reimagining so much. I wish it a full novel because I love the concept of soul mates. This version of Kate and Petruchio was similar to Kate and Patrick from 10 Things I Hate About You and I was living for it. Ancrum did a great job of adapting the play into a modern setting. I need more!!!
"King of the Fairies"
by Anna-Marie McLemore
A Midsummer Night's Dream:
4.5/5 - Definitely have to read A Midsummer Night's Dream after reading this because I am intrigued. All of the characters were interesting and like most of the past stories, they included LGBTQ+ representation and I feel this story did a good job of mixing fantasy of fairies with serious issues modern society struggles with.
"We Have Seen Better Days"
by Lily Anderson
As You Like It:
2.5/5 - When writing this review I had to go back to even remember what this one was about. It follows Rosalinda as she tries to find her dad at the camp she use to visit when she was a kid. It started off strong but ended with a disappointing conclusion. For a book like this, the stories are all short meaning every sentence counts. I wish there was more to this story because it laid out the ground work to do explore more but didn't.
"Some Other Metal"
by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy
Much Ado About Nothing:
4/5 - I LOVE Much Ado About Nothing, it's my favorite Shakespeare play! This was everything I needed for a Benedick and Beatrice enemy to lovers story with a modern re-telling. Taron and Tegan play the two on a theatre production and have a similar relationship like the characters off the stage. So adorable.
by Dahlia Adler
The Merchant of Venice:
5/5 - SHOOK. The story follows racist white kid, Tony who bullies a jewish kid, Shai. I wasn't sure what to expect but Shai getting revenge was so satisfying to read about. One of the better serious stories in the book that handles serious subjects well.
by Brittany Cavallaro
3.5/5 - I'm still not sure how to feel about this one. It's suppose to be disturbing since Michael thinks of Sophie as his invention and she appears to have limited freedom. When Sophie starts to bleed from her mouth, Michael doesn't see it or maybe he doesn't care? I don't know maybe I'm confused? I enjoyed the writing style a lot though.
"Partying Is Such A Sweet Sorrow"
by Kiersten White
Romeo and Juliet:
5/5 - I go back and forth with loving and hating Romeo and Juliet but I liked this reimagining a lot. It stayed true to the play and the different format of writing, White (the author) used texting, was unique and fun to read.
"Dreaming of the Dark"
by Lindsay Smith
3.5/5 - The story is if Heathers and The Craft met Julius Caesar. Crazy combination. I didn't like the going back and forth between times of when Julia was alive and then she wasn't. It would have been better to stick to one time since it's a short story. I did like the witchy vibes it gave. Maybe if it was a longer reimagine it could have made more of an impact for me.
"The Tragedy of Cory Lanez: An Oral History"
by Tochi Onyebunchi
4/5 - A raw story about a rapper who was stabbed to death. The format is told as a news report which I liked because it's easy to understand and was still impactful in the message of gang violence and homophobia.
"Out of the Storm"
by Joy McCullough
2.5/5 - Written like a script, it follows three sisters at the bedside of their dying father. I've never read King Learbut given the information I do know, this is nothing like the play. It hints at a lot of trama and turmoil without revealing much. I was left wishing for more since it was just disappointing.
by Patrice Caldwell
4.5/5 - The writing format of diary entries is okay but I wish it was just normal writing. I love Hamlet, it is one of my favorite plays. This reimagine captures the original play well. I liked the idea of the Duke (Hamlet's uncle) being a vampire as well as "Hamlet" being switched to a girl named Anne. It was a unique idea and fun to read.
by Samantha Mabry
4/5 - A wonderful modern reimagining of Macbeth. It focuses on Drea's recent miscarriage followed by the death of Mateo's friend, Duncan. It did a good job of retelling aspects of the play into this modern setting. It was a bit rushed but it's short story so...
by Melissa Bashardoust
The Winter's Tale
4/5 - A cute story about romance! Loved the characters and story a lot. It was the perfect story to end the book.
Rating: really liked it
so how do i get an ARC of this
excuse me brb screaming
Rating: really liked it
hello i love shakespeare & i want this immediately
Rating: really liked it
Overall Rating: 4/5
Individual Ratings + Thoughts
Severe Weather Warning by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka - The Tempest retelling - 3/5
This wasn’t a terrible story, but it felt too short to tell the story it was supposed to. The romance also felt weird because the characters didn’t have much chemistry.
Shipwrecked by Mark Oshiro - Twelfth Night retelling - 5/5
This story was kinda insta-lovey, which I’m not a huge fan of, but I still enjoyed it. The characters had so much detail in the short page count, and I wish this was a full book. This was a little predictable, but I didn’t mind because I was still excited to find out how the characters would interact with each other. Even though this is a Twelfth Night retelling, and I haven’t read Twelfth Night, I didn’t need to rely on the knowledge of that play in order to follow the plot.
Taming of the Soul Mate by K. Ancrum - The Taming of the Shrew retelling - 3/5
This was kind of a repeat of the first one: I liked the characters, but the plot wasn’t very well developed. The idea was great, but it wasn’t executed very well.
TW: brief mention of rape
King of the Fairies by Anna-Marie McLemore - A Midsummer Night’s Dream retelling - 5/5
No surprise here, this is my favorite short story in the book. The writing was beautiful, as usual, and the characters were so unique.
We Have Seen Better Days by Lily Anderson - As You Like It retelling - 3.5/5
This story was a little confusing, but I enjoyed reading about the characters.
Some Other Metal by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy - Much Ado About Nothing retelling - 4.5/5
This story was so cute! My only complaint is that the retelling element wasn’t that great.
I Bleed by Dahlia Adler - The Merchant of Venice retelling - 5/5
This is such an important story about anti-Semitism in a school setting. After I finished this, I just sat there staring at the page, shocked at how amazing this was.
TW: anti-Semitism, bullying
His Invention by Brittany Cavallaro - Sonnet 147 retelling - 4.5/5
This was amazingly haunting, and I liked the mysteriousness (is that a word??) of it.
Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow by Kiersten White - Romeo and Juliet retelling - 5/5
Oh. My. Gosh. Kiersten White you can’t do this to me. This was absolutely heartbreaking and I need to take a break from reading this because MY HEART
TW: abuse, brief homophobia, violence
Dreaming of the Dark by Lindsay Smith - Julius Caesar retelling - 4/5
This was sad, and I wish I knew more about the Dark, but the characters had a surprising amount of depth for such a short story.
The Tragedy of Cory Lanez: An Oral History by Tochi Onyebuchi - Coriolanus retelling - 4.5/5
The writing style of this was very simple, but enjoyed the way it was written more than I thought I would.
TW: n slur, brief mention of homophobia
Out of the Storm by Joy McCullough - King Lear retelling - 5/5
I like how this was written like a scene from the play, and King Lear is one of my favorite classics, so I definitely enjoyed this.
TW: absent parent, dying parent, abuse
Elsinore by Patrice Caldwell - Hamlet retelling- 4/5
I loved the vampire addition to Hamlet, but like most of these, I didn’t know as much about the characters as I wanted to. I did like that the characters’ roles were pretty accurate to their roles in the play.
We Fall by Samantha Mabry - Macbeth retelling - 3.5/5
This one made me really sad, especially since Macbeth is one of my favorite works of Shakespeare.
TW: miscarriage, death of a friend
Lost Girl by Melissa Bashardoust - The Winter’s Tale retelling - 4.5/5
I recently finished Girl, Serpent, Thorn and I liked the writing style, so I was excited to read this, and am glad it didn’t disappoint.
TW: absent parents
Overall, I definitely liked the retellings of plays I’ve already read more, so I’m curious if I might enjoy the other retellings once I’ve read the play they’re based on. My favorite stories were:
• King of the Fairies
• I Bleed
• Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow
• Out of the Storm
Rating: it was amazing
When you get a vibe and know it's good and then you read it and it's everything you thought it would be. Check!
I've had this on my TBR forever, waiting first for cover art, then for more details, then for it to be available to read, and the Gods answered. Adler puts together a stellar anthology of re-interpretations of Shakespeare's beloved plays and sonnets with a lovely cast of authors giving it everything they've gone in terms of character, plot, setting.
Each short story pulls its weight and when anthologies become duds because enough of them are duds to pull them down, it's unfortunate. THIS BOOK is not that instance because each one is unique and full of voice and creativity. Some include an author's note, some don't. All include a part, act, scene, or quote from which they took inspiration and they're so contemporary that they're just so damn accessible.
I stayed up way to late trying to get most of it read. Applause, applause to the master Bard and the fabulous authors who reimagine them.
Super favorites included: "Severe Weather Warning", "King of the Fairies", there was *something* about "Some Other Metal", "His Invention", and "Out of the Storm."
Rating: really liked it
you can read my full review here: https://teatimelit.com/2021/03/17/rev...
As we have established, I love retellings and I will obsessively read anything that involves Shakespeare in any way. That Way Madness Lies had been on my most anticipated reads list for quite some time and it did not disappoint! I don’t read many short story collections, and I think this was the perfect introduction to short story collections for me. I’ve read many Shakespeare retellings over the years, and the works in this anthology are some of the best. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I thought that all of the authors did a really great job of capturing the feeling of the original stories while keeping them new and relevant.
There really aren’t any weak links in this collection, and while I enjoyed them all it’s not really surprising that my favorite stories in this collection are the stories based on some of my favorite Shakespeare works. My favorites were: Shipwrecked (Inspired by Twelfth Night) by Mark Oshiro, Taming of the Soul Mate (Inspired by The Taming of the Shrew) by K. Ancurm, Some Other Metal (Inspired by Much Ado About Nothing) by Amy Rose Capette and Cory McCarthy, and Dreaming of the Dark (Inspired by Julius Caesar) by Lindsay Smith. I thought that all of those stories were masterfully done and perfectly took inspiration from the original works. Those stories really left me wanting more and I would love to see them turned into full-length stories.
This collection of short stories is full of complex characters and imaginative storytelling. I would highly recommend That Way Madness Lies to any avid Shakespeare reader, as well as anyone who is interested in Shakespeare’s works but is maybe turned off by the classical language. I know that this is a collection that I will be returning to many many times.