Exclusively written for Audible, only available in audio
“I think Romeo and Juliet is the greatest, most tragic love story ever told. What David Hewson did with this script is so exciting to me. I really love the fact that he followed avenues that Shakespeare suggested but didn’t necessarily detail in depth. If you want to immerse yourself in a warm bath of Garganega and the heat of Verona and hear a brilliant story about a young woman who is challenging the restraints of her time, listen to this audiobook, which has romance, poetry, politics, and humor to spare.”(Narrator Richard Armitage)
It’s a story you think you know: the age-old tale of “star-cross’d lovers”; two families at war; a romance, so pure and absolute, fated for a tragic end. It’s a story so thoroughly embedded in our culture, and so frequently retold. Yet, nothing captures the spark, the possibility, and the surprise of Shakespeare’s work quite like this….
In Romeo and Juliet: A Novel, author David Hewson reworks and expands on the classic story so that it becomes something richer, something new and entirely its own. Much more than a simple love story, it is a brilliant examination of young versus old, hope against despair, and, for Juliet, the search for individual identity at a time when women were regarded as little more than chattel.
An original production commissioned by Audible, Romeo and Juliet: A Novel marks the second pairing of David Hewson and actor Richard Armitage, whose previous partnership resulted in Audible’s 2014 Audiobook of the Year, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel. Hewson’s talent for writing for audio is undeniable, and he finds his perfect vocal foil in Armitage, an actor of immense range and absorbing intensity. Together, they bring you a familiar story told in a surprising way – with an ending you might not expect.
Bonus: Audiobook includes an afterword written and narrated by David Hewson.
I am not a big fan of Romeo and Juliet. I got this audiobook because Richard Armitage is the narrator. Since Valentine’s Day is in February I made this my V-month listen.
It took a while for me to get into the story because I am not a fan of this classic tale, but once I did get into it I really enjoyed it.
Something I learned in the Author’s Note at the end is that Shakespeare didn’t come up with the story originally . The tale of Romeo and Juliet already existed in the form of a few Italian romances that were an inspiration for Shakespeare. I liked this new take on the story. I really loved the time setting and the little hints thrown in about the Renaissance, like Da Vinci. I also really liked the modern, intelligent and independent version of Juliet in this new version.
I had forgotten how many famous lines came from R&J. It was much easier to understand in novel form. The prose is very pretty.
Richard’s narration is excellent. He has a great range of different voices for the characters, and his voice is just downright sexy. Oh my goodness gracious, the wedding night scene. With the honey and that verse…that was steamy. *Unfolds a fan.*
In the end I’m glad I pushed through and gave this a chance. It turned out to be a version of Romeo and Juliet that I enjoyed.
Overall: 3 out of 5 Poisons
Performance: 5 out of 5 Poisons
Story: 4 out of 5 Poisons
Some of my favorite quotes:
Chapter 9: A husband betrayed was a cuckold. A woman treated the same way was a wife.
Chapter 31: Rash acts may spur rash consequences.
Chapter 49: The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.