Hag-SeedHag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Published by Hogarth on October 11th 2016
Pages: 301
ISBN: 0804141290
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Received form the publishers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’m teetering between 3 and 3.5 stars.

A play within a play.

I have read a few of Atwood’s books and have enjoyed them much more than this one. Atwood is an incredibly gifted Author and I enjoy her dry wit and humor but this book dragged a little for me – especially in the beginning. The last part of the book (the prison) was my favorite.

The book begins with Felix losing his wife and soon thereafter his daughter, Miranda. He is working on his production of The Tempest when he loses his job as artistic director of the theater. He views his assistant (and enemy) as being responsible for the loss of his job.

Felix goes on to take a job teaching literacy through theater at a penitentiary. A job that he seems to excel at. What will the production be? The Tempest of course! This is where the book really caught my attention. All of the scenes within the prison are fantastic. This is where the book shined for me. I don’t want to tell too much of the story. This is the re-telling of the Tempest and Felix’s (Prospero)life mirrors the play. I will say she was very clever in her re-telling. I loved the prisoners. I loved the way rap and dance where incorporated into the play.

Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book more if it drew me in from the beginning. I also think former knowledge of Shakespeare’s Tempest would be helpful. I believe it has been 18 years since I read the Tempest. I wish I would have taken the time to update and refresh my memory of the book. As I read Atwood’s re-telling there were parts where I thought “Yes” and “that’s right, I forgot about that”.

For me this book was good not great.


My tip: Read the section at the back of the book where the Author discusses The Tempest. I think this will be beneficial to read prior to reading Hag-Seed. I wish I would have known to read that section first!


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