It has been a great year so far for discovering awesome books! This week I read An Antic Disposition by Alan Gordon. The cover describes it as "A Medieval Mystery," but it's so much more than that! It's actually a wonderful retelling of Hamlet. I like it way better than Updike's Gertrude and Claudius, although it's similar in the name-changing department. This one messes with the story more, particularly the ending (which is unexpected and makes me think of things like The Sting and Mission: Impossible).
The story is set up as a tale being told by the leader of the Fool's Guild to a bunch of other fools (aka jesters), including a guy named Theophilos. It seems Alan Gordon has written several books about Theophilos, who we find out is actually involved in the story of Hamlet, but I won't spoil it for you and tell you who he is. The tale starts out following one fool, Terence of York, as he gets involved with the Danish court and befriends the young prince, Amleth, who nicknames him "Yorick".
This is a book full of intrigue, humor, and more than a little violence. Even if you're not obsessed with Hamlet the way I am, if you like suspense and mystery stories, try to find this book. You will be entranced.
(Originally posted on Inscriptions on Feb. 23, 2006.)