I don’t remember much about my reading of King Lear, whenever it was that I read it–college probably–but I do remember it being a convoluted family drama. And since I always appreciate the chance to read a re-telling of a Shakespearean play, I picked up this new one–Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn.
I was not familiar with this author or the imprint that publishes these retellings but I was impressed by both. Dunbar is the story of a media mogul whose power-hungry daughters abduct him and enlist the help of a doctor to make their father appear crazy enough for institutionalization before an important meeting about the company’s future.
Honestly, I’d love to go back and re-read King Lear now–or watch a filmed stage production of it–to connect the original story with this new one. St. Aubyn’s writing is impressive. I could feel Dunbar’s madness, and there are lines in this book that made me pause and admire the word choices. The story does have elements of crudeness that might be a bit shocking to some readers, but I did not think they were included simply for shock value. A re-read of King Lear would help me confirm my suspicions that Shakespeare wrote these elements into his play and they may have been shocking in his day.
I’m interested in reading more from this author and in checking out other titles in this series.
Author bio: Born in 1960, Edward St Aubyn is the author of four highly praised novels, Never Mind (winner of the Betty Trask Award 1992), Bad News, Some Hopeand On the Edge. He lives in London and France.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book through the Blogging for Books program. Review reflects my personal opinion.