Thursday, March 29, 2018

Book Note: Mac/Beth

Ray, Michelle. Mac/Beth. N.p.: N.p., 2015.

Michelle Ray has ventured back into the realm of the modern Shakespearean novel. We last heard of her with Falling for Hamlet (for which, q.v.), which was not good. Indeed, follow that link to see one of the funniest scathing video reviews I've ever encountered.

Falling for Hamlet was published by the Hachette Book Group—a big, reputable name in publishing. Ray has since written two books that are self-published. And I'm afraid neither one is particularly compelling.

Mac/Beth is the story of two teenage actors in the latest hit TV drama. It's called Witches of Dusinane Castle. Beth DeAngelo and Garret MacKenzie are an item; because of this, the press has given them the cutesie name "Mac/Beth." But one of the other actors—Duncan King, in fact—wants to date Beth himself. He's also getting giant movie deals that Mac, for one, wants. For example, he may get the lead role in the new comic book film Cawdor the Avenger. Of course, it's possible that the role may go to Birnham Woods instead.

Well, you get the idea. The tag line for the book is "The price of fame shouldn't be murder."

It may be that I'm not the target audience for this book, but it seems forced and rote—as if Ray is just going through the motions with this one.

Here are a couple sample pages. Each chapter begins with something of a tabloid headline and opening blurb and closes with a Hollywood rumor of one sort or another. In the first one, Duncan has made a pass at Beth during the premiere of his most recent big-budget film: Octopus Invasion. She contemplates what drew her to Garret MacKenzie in the first place:

And here's a brief "Deal Report" from a bit later in the book:

The voices do seem more authentic in Mac/Beth than they did in Falling for Hamlet, but the overall feel of the book is ordinary.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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