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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Other Hamlet Brother is a fantasy tragi-comedy written by Luke Swanson. Incorporating some of William Shakespeare's famous characters and storylines, Luke Swanson's novel feels like a fantastical satire on Hamlet. Newly crowned King of Denmark, Claudius feels worried about his nephew's mental health. On his chief counselor Polonius's advice, he sends an ambassador to London to summon Hamlet's identical twin, Tim, a struggling playwright. Meanwhile, Johan Hamlet's spirit visits Tim, informing him of Claudius's role in his untimely death. Feeling a sense of duty to his homeland, Tim sets out for Denmark but faces significant hurdles on his journey. He also forms a sort of kinship with the likes of Nick Bottoms, Romeo Montague, Constable Dogberry, and the Earl of Kent. Upon his arrival in Denmark, Tim finds himself amongst another group of actors.
The Other Hamlet Brother is a humorous and entertaining rendition of Hamlet with a unique twist. Author Luke Swanson's hilarious and seamless incorporation of William Shakespeare's characters makes the book a blast to read. Every single character feels colorful, with a distinct personality that makes them pop out of the page. The narrative is fast-paced and filled with twists and turns to keep you glued to the pages. The dialogue is crisp and laden with wit and humor. I particularly enjoyed the group dynamics and banter between Tim's friends on the isle of the sorcerer, Prospero. Despite the light-hearted tone of the narrative, I found the climax somewhat bittersweet. If you enjoy the works of William Shakespeare, I highly recommend The Other Hamlet Brother.