Thursday, January 26, 2017

Book Note: A Midsummer Night's Scream

Bergantino, David. Hamlet II: Ophelia's Revenge. Bard's Blood. New York: Pocket Star Books, 2003.

Note: Blogger has now eaten the original post I made on this book and my half-recreated one. I wouldn't be so frustrated about that if the book I'm trying to write about were any good, but it's not. This time through, you will not get my finely-crafted literary analysis—you'll just get the basics.

I'm afraid this book is not very good, and its lack of goodness is not due to the genre. We have here a horror novel with an extra-terrestrial (or a demon? or a fairy?—can't tell easily and can't be bothered to try to figure it out) who shape-shifts into human form.

Indeed, he takes the form of Professor Ajit Waman, Human Sexuality (Summer Session) teacher at Globe University in Stratford, Ohio.

The new Professor Waman assigns a typical "Pair up—now you're married couples; here's a bag of flour; pretend it's a baby; take care of it or fail the course" assignment.

Hijinks ensue, and a bunch of people are killed in grisly but relatively uninteresting ways at a fly-by-night carnival that rolls into town. Here, for example, is how two of them meet their downfall. Note: Sensitive readers may wish to skip this, whether their sensitivity is to violence or to bad writing.

The carnival has Oberon (the lobster-clawed man in the sideshow) and Titania (the half-woman, half-serpent sideshow attraction).

There you have it. Some Shakespearean plot elements—but not many—and not-very-interesting horror elements.

This is actually the second in the Bard's Blood series—I'll try to summon up the gumption to read the first one to see if it's any better.

Note: In looking for the book, I found that there are at least five other books with the title "Midsummer Night's Scream," including one by R. L. Stein. I'm not sure whether I'm happy to learn that information or not.

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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.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest