Macbeth by Jo Nesbø
Publish Date : 4/10/2018
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received an advanced copy of Macbeth from Netgalley and Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Summary from Amazon:
Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom—a master of manipulation named Hecate—has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way.
Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind.
I’m an English teacher. I love Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It’s got all the drama and surprises and killings needed to keep a high school class on the edge of their seats if done correctly. My students in particular need a translated version but it doesn’t take away from the plot, themes, or important character traits. With that being said, I was weary a little to get into this.
Boy, I was wrong. This rendition was awesome. It sucked me in immediately. The story stayed true to the original but with such a fresh take that was amazing. This truly can be read by anyone, Shakespeare lover or not, and they’d get into it. What I was so happy about is how Jo Nesbø didn’t change character traits or how the story unfolds. It’s just a modern take on it that really really works. In the first 100 pages, Macbeth is so likable. Nesbø’s version digs more into characters and I like that. There are awesome background stories that help you understand character motives. It makes them real which is at no fault to Shakespeare as plays don’t give you as much room to characterize of course but it was a major plus in Nesbø’s version.
One thing I found fault with is how Nesbø switched between character to character without any warning, characters that weren’t even in the same vicinity. It became hard to follow when he did this at first. I’ve never read any of Nesbø”s other work although I’m well aware of him and his success. I’m not sure if this is just his style. I will be reading more of his work soon. The Snowman has been on my radar anyway.
Even though I knew the story, I’m glad I picked this up. It’s a very fresh take. This is a book that I’ll recommend to everyone.