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May 6, 2014 / Leslie

Book Review: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back

The Empire Striketh Back by Ian DoescherWilliam Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back
by Ian Doescher

Genre: Science Fiction / Humor
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publish Date: March 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover 176 pages | Audio 3½ hours
Rating: 4½ of 5

From the Publisher:

The saga that began with the interstellar best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars continues with this merry reimagining of George Lucas’s enduring classic The Empire Strikes Back.

Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter. These two plays offer essential listening for all ages.

My Thoughts:

I am amazed at how well Star Wars can be transformed into a Shakespearean play. The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite Star Wars movie and this mash-up of classic literature and science fiction does not disappoint. It is clever, well-written and entertaining. The humor of the original movie shines through and I found myself smiling and laughing often at our heroes escapades.

The book itself is a slim, hardcover volume divided into five acts. Accompanying each act are several charming black and white sketches of various scenes. What makes them special is that the characters we are so familiar with are depicted in Elizabethan dress, with frilly collars on their robes, enhancing the image of Shakespearean times.

Audio Production:
Narrators: Daniel Davis, Jonathan Davis, Jeff Gurner, January LaVoy, Marc Thompson.
Although I didn’t set out to review the audio, I ended up listening to the first few acts and definitely want to mention how good the audio production is. It is performed as a play, including background music and sound effects – think of light sabers buzzing, R2D2 whistling, Chewbacca’s roar and Darth Vader’s booming voice and heavy breathing. Add in a narrator giving stage direction and it was easy to visualize the play in action.

A full cast of narrators with sound effects doesn’t always work and can make the audio production annoying, but in The Empire Striketh Back it is a superb addition and added to my enjoyment. The multiple narrators all performed with passion and emotion making this an audiobook I highly recommend.

May the verse be with you.

Source: Review copies provided by Quirk Books and Random House Audio.
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Leave a Comment
  1. ryandejonghe / May 6 2014 10:44 am

    I really enjoyed the first book and have been looking forward to the first and second. Hearing it in audio sounds awesome. The part I laughed the most at in the first was R2’s “beep beep beep”. I don’t know…that simple things, I suppose.


  2. sagustocox / May 6 2014 12:22 pm

    I adored these first two books. I cannot wait to read the next


  3. cleopatralovesbooks / May 6 2014 12:30 pm

    I have to admit Sci-fi isn’t my thing but this sounds like a great idea, even better that they’ve made it work!


  4. Suko / May 6 2014 1:15 pm

    May the verse be with you. This sounds terrific!


  5. BermudaOnion / May 6 2014 4:25 pm

    These books are so clever. I’m really impressed with the author.


  6. WordsAndPeace / May 15 2014 7:08 pm

    I lobed that book and the previous one. I was offered it by the publisher, so never thought of trying the aduio. I will now, thanks to you! and volume 3 coming out in August!



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