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Todd Jensen writes...

I thought that I'd submit this as a change-of-pace question.

There's a new fiction book out by John Updike called "Gertrude and Claudius", a prequel to "Hamlet" covering the period from Gertrude's marriage to Hamlet's father all the way up to the start of the play. I've just read it and thought it quite good. I was curious as to whether you'd read it, and if so, what you thought of it.

(To me, one of the most intriguing parts of the book was its progression from the original version of the Hamlet legend in Saxo Grammaticus all the way down to the Shakespeare play - so that the book opens with the characters in a "Viking Age" atmosphere and using the names from Saxo, but then proceeds gradually into an increasingly Renaissance atmosphere, with the names evolving along the way until the familiar Shakespeare ones show up in the last part).

Greg responds...

Sorry, Todd, I've heard of the book, but I haven't purchased or read it yet.

Response recorded on June 17, 2000