A review by allonsythornraxx
That Way Madness Lies: 15 of Shakespeare's Most Notable Works Reimagined, by Dahlia Adler

  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

05/04/2021
3 ⭐
I am traditionally not a short story reader - I usually DNF collections like these or just ignore them altogether since it's so rare for me to read a short story and enjoy it. But, then I heard about a collection inspired by Shakespeare's works and on top of that, that some of my favourite authors would be a part of it and I knew this would be the be all end all for myself and short stories.

I still think that I am 99% not a lover of short stories but, I did genuinely enjoy some of these which I think was entirely down to the writers. I genuinely think that I would read a shopping list if it was written by K Ancrum or Anna-Marie Mclemore.

TW: racism, antisemitism, homophobia, child neglect, physical abuse/violence, child abuse, emotional abuse, grooming, loss of a loved one, self-harm, miscarriage

Comedies
"Severe Weather Warning" - Emily W and Austin SB (The Tempest) ↣ 3 ⭐
Fun. I loved the storm and the forced discussion trope.

"Shipwrecked" - Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night) ↣ 2 ⭐
I couldn't keep track of who any of the characters were but I did really enjoy how diverse the characters were along with the talk about how love doesn't need to be romantic or compulsory.

"Taming of The Soulmate" - K Ancrum (Taming of The Shrew) ↣ 3.5 ⭐
When your favourite author champions the ultimate fanfic soulmate trope! I don't even like this trope but this is one of my favourite stories in the collection so far, I LOVE how K Ancrum writes characters!

"King of The Fairies" - Anna-Marie Mclemore (A Midsummer Night's Dream) ↣ 2.75 ⭐
Definitely interesting, I really love AMM's writing and it's what kept me reading the story.

"We Have Seen Better Days" - Lily Anderson (As You Like It) ↣ 2 ⭐
+0.5 stars just for Lily Anderson supporting Solo: A Star Wars Story. Otherwise, I didn't like this one.

"Some Other Metal" - Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing) ↣ 1.5 ⭐
Too meta for me. I thought I would love this because I usually love Much Ado but this was a no from the very beginning.

"I Bleed" - Dahlia Adler (Ther Merchant of Venice) ↣ 3 ⭐
Very disturbing and hard to read, but this was definitely one of the better stories in the collection.

A Sonet
"His Invention" - Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147) ↣ 4 ⭐
This was so good! Disturbing and a bit confusing in the beginning but definitely my favourite story in the collection so far and one I'd actually read again!

Tragedies
"Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow" - Kiersten White (Romeo + Juliet) ↣ 3 ⭐
Texts are one of my least favourite ways to tell a story but, this was actually really good, which is even more surprising because I am not an R+J fan. I loved the characters and how ridiculous Romeo was and I really think this story put in perspective how quickly the R+J story moves.

"Dreaming of The Dark" - Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar) ↣ 3 ⭐
Spooky vibes. I think I liked this one but I'm not really sure.

"The Tragedy of Cory Lanez" - Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus) ↣ 3.25 ⭐
I felt a bit detached from this one but I think that was just because it's music-centric which I'm not usually a fan of, otherwise this was really good.

"Out of the Storm" - Joy McCullough (King Lear) ↣ 3 ⭐
That moved very quickly and was very hard to read.

"Elsinore" - Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet) ↣ 1 ⭐
So so SO boring.

"We Fail" - Samantha Mabry (Macbeth) ↣ 3.5 ⭐
One of the best Macbeth retellings I've ever read!

Late Romance
"Lost Girl" - Melissa Bashardoust (The Winter's Tale) ↣ _ ⭐
This was cute. I loved the addition of all the other little stories and mythologies.

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