Macbeth by Jo Nesbo


Jo Nesbo

In his retelling of Macbeth, Jo Nesbø brings the gritty, powerful procedural gusto that made him an international New York Times bestseller to William Shakespeare's most timeless tragedy.

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Shakespeare’s dark and tragic play retold in a heart-pounding New York Times bestselling thriller from the author of The Snowman and The Thirst.

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.

Advance Galley Reviews

A compelling retelling of Shakespeare's classic. Nesbo maintains the darkness of the original with a fascinating page-turner. Well worth reading!

Penguin First to Read ARC. Shakespeare retelling. Rating: 3 of 5 stars. Interesting retelling, but still very long. Liked it better than the original, this Macbeth is a more likable character but still has his flaws. Politics and power struggles .. violence and death.

Dark, grey, rain-soaked, darker, dirty, depressing, and hopeless. And very richly Macbeth. This is an exploration of greed, ambition, and the corrupting influence of power, as any adaptation of Macbeth should be. I couldn't imagine, before I started reading, that Nesbø would be able to do a darker adapt than the original, but he might have done it. Mostly because the characters were more fleshed out, there was more reflection and more text, more depth to the darkness in all the characters. It's a very successful adaptation, and, perhaps, my favorite of the Hogarth series I've read so far. I finished the book with a feeling of awe, and then a desire to take a long shower and then stroll in the sunshine and smell some flowers. It's a good story. Of course it is -- it's Macbeth. It's also masterfully told. It's hard to write a thriller in which every reader knows what's going to happen, more or less. But he's done it. Highly recommended for Shakespeare and thriller fans, but make sure you take with a dose of sunshine. I got a copy to review from First to Read, even though I didn't make the publication deadline...

A faithful transformation of Macbeth. Everything is updated but the plot is the same. Entertaining, but not as challenging as some of the other recent Shakespeare updates.

This was a very good re-imagination of Macbeth. The only issue I had was that I am very familiar with this play so I knew exactly what was coming next which diminished the fun of reading the story for me. If that is not a problem for you this one is a must.

Jo Nesbo has done an absolutely incredible job with this interpretation of Macbeth. It transfers Shakespeare's original work into a gritty, dark, ultra violent crime novel. While the book was slow to start for me, once the character started to click together and the events began falling into place this story was a fast paced, gut wrenching, wild ride. It is funny that even knowing the original story of Macbeth, Jo Nesbo's vision of the story is so creative that you find yourself hoping that somehow this time the fates of each character just might be different. Of course though this is in fact a tragedy, and a story of what comes to those who will do anything for power, and those kinds of stories do not get happy endings. In Nesbo's version Of Macbeth, we are transported to a world full of crime and corruption where underneath it all is dueling drug lords, police corruption, and organized crime operating out of 24 hour casinos. Of course at the heart of it all is the question is who has the power over all of it, and if you are not that person then what must be done to gain power? Overall I felt once the book got going and Nesbo got into the groove of the story it was great. The book was dark, disturbing, sad, thrilling, and intense. Jo Nesbo really looked at each character within Shakespeare's Macbeth and found the root of them to make them timeless. Particularly haunting is Nesbo's characterization of Lady Macbeth, which was one of my favorite parts of this book. The beginning is a lot to get past though and was almost enough for me to say that I was willing to pass on this book despite my love of other books by Jo Nesbo and my interest in how he envisioned Macbeth. I am so glad I stuck it out and thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I really enjoyed this retelling of Macbeth in true Nesbø style, taking place in police ranks. With a very dark, noir feel to the city itself and corruption in every aspect of the small population of the town, it’s easy to imagine how these horrible things can actually take place and be swept under a rug. I enjoyed everything about it, except for the pace. It dragged on for me but even though I put it down a lot, I kept coming back to read more and find out what happens, so there’s that!

The start of this book is slow, cumbersome and overly macho. Once you get past the intro though the book does pick up and get better. That being said, Macbeth is one of my least favorite of Shakespeare's work so I was not expecting to love the story itself. It is a slow read for as much action and mayhem that was packed into it and I was hoping for more. This is my first Nesbo book and I would not pick up another if this was his overall style. Knowing he was limited in his creative freedom due to the original story of Macbeth though I am still very excited to try his other works.

I am a big fan of Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole books, so I was interested to see what he did with the retelling of Macbeth. Instead of the Dark Ages, this Macbeth takes place in 1970’s Scotland. No places are actually named except for Fife. This is a dark time for Scotland with high unemployment and rampant drug use. After many years of the corrupt Kenneth being the police commissioner, the fair-minded Duncan has taken his place. Macbeth is the head of SWAT in the town. He is approached by the three weird sisters (a local drug lord’s sidekick and two Asian dope cookers) and told that he will become head of the organized crime division and later police commissioner. When the first comes to pass, Macbeth’s Lady (the owner of a high class casino) convinces him that Macbeth must kill Duncan. I enjoyed figuring out which characters in this retelling were the ones in the play, but it had a couple major problems. My main issue with the book was I couldn’t see a good reason to kill Duncan (except for Lady’s ambition). Similarly, I had a hard time with Banquo’s murder. Like the play, murder and mayhem work at Macbeth and Lady’s sanity with the added ingredient of really good dope. I can’t recommend this book for people who don’t like the play. It would be interesting to see the opinion of someone who is not familiar with the play.

I got this as an ARC from First To Read - my thanks to Penguin. This is part of a project re-telling Shakespeare’s tales by current authors in new settings. Nesbo tackles Macbeth and boy, does he do it justice. I will say, the first 50 pages or so were difficult. It was a bit too macho, too much like Sons of Anarchy. I thought I was going to have to give up on it. If you find yourself in that position, keep going. Nesbo turns a corner somehow, & you’re hooked. Nesbo turns this into a tale of corruption, drugs, gambling, power, love, loyalty, rivalry... it’s got it all, & then some. By today’s standards, it has too much for something happening in such a short timeframe. It’s forgivable given Nesbo’s constraints by the original. But if this was his regular style, no one would read him. As outlandish as Harry Hole’s adventures can be, he has nothing on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It’s been a long time since I saw this play, so I can’t give it an act-by-act comparison. But Nesbo does a good job of capturing the story & characters & transporting them to modern circumstances. The greatest liberty he takes is with Hecate & the Weird Sisters. He needs those changes for this story, but it’s not a neat translation, & something is lost. Overall, this is worth the read. I’m excited to see what other plays are being re-made & how their treatments turn out.

This book started slow for me, but once I got into it I really enjoyed it. I haven't seen Shakespeare's original play since I was in high school, so I would have to reread it for comparison, but from what I remember this was a great retelling adapted to the 70s time period. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book First to Read books.

I'm a bit torn over this book. First, the good stuff. It is genius to transport the action of Macbeth into 1970s Scotland and making it about corrupt police officers, designer drugs and criminal enterprise. It works really well and I particularly enjoyed the procedural aspects of the novel. I also thought that the choice of character updates was well done - Macbeth is a SWAT commander, Duff is an ambitious police officer, Lady runs a casino, Hecate is a crime lord etc. All in all, I found the updated aspects of the story really compelling. Now, the bad stuff. I thought that the dialogue was really bad and the prose in general wasn't that great. This is the first Jo Nesbo I have read, so I honestly don't know whether the clunky prose is usual for him, or whether it is just this particular offering, but there were times when I was just thrown completely out of the story because the dialogue was so bad. I appreciate that some of the dialogue is exposition and is quite Shakespearean in tone, but for me, it just didn't work in this environment. So, the story update is great, the prose and dialogue, not so much! I received a free copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Glad I reviewed Shakespeare's Tragedy of Macbeth before reading this modern version by Jo Nesbø. Helpful with story, context & character development. A story Of murder, addiction, lust & power, all of which lead, ultimately, to total & utter tragedy. Enjoyable retelling of the classic. Compelling writing. This is encouraging me to read more of the Shakespeare Projects books from Hogarth Press.

Jo Nesbo is one of my favorite crime writers so I was a bit nervous to read his take on Macbeth. However, Shakespeare's play has many of the same themes that Nesbo usually explores so it worked beautifully. The characters felt so flawed and so human. I absolutely loved this one and can't wait to have a finished copy of my own!

This was an interesting retelling of Macbeth. I enjoyed the characters and the setting. I would encourage others to read this version of Macbeth.

This book was a little slow to start but I enjoyed it overall. I would give it a 3. Reading this, you forget that it is another version of Shakespeare Macbeth. I am definitely intrigued enough to read more of this series.

This is a gritty, post-apocalyptic, drugged-out version of Macbeth so down and dirty that you don't even really realize you're reading Shakespeare. The world that Nesbo paints is vivid, dangerous, and the thrilling pace keeps you on edge the whole time. I never thought I would put film-noir style apocalypse down on a review, but that's exactly where this took me.

I haven't read any of Jo Nesbo's works before so getting a copy of this was great. I like Nesbo's writing style quite a bit. I liked this reworked version of one of my favorite plays. I'd definitely recommend this to any thriller fan.

This is a fantastic read! Even if you are unfamiliar with the plot of Macbeth (or even if you are), this is a great thriller. While being similar enough to Shakespeare's original, it has a modern take on this genre. Some plot lines may have needed to be fleshed out and the beginning was initially hard to sort out but, all in all, definitely worth the time and effort. Melissa Ocala, FL

I haven't read anything from Jo Nesbo before, but I am glad I was given access to this one. I think Mr. Nesbo did a good job reworking and modernizing the story of Macbeth, while still keeping important elements of the play. I will admit the the beginning of the book moved a bit slow for me, but I am glad I stuck with it. I really enjoyed this one, and I would definitely recommend it!

While I enjoyed reading Jo Nesbo's The Snowman, this one seemed to start out way too slow for me. I had a very hard time becoming interested in the story line and eventually gave up on reading it.

I was really on board to try one of the Hogarth Shakespeare books that I have been hearing about, but just could not dig into this one.

Slow start, but worth getting through it. I restarted several times before I finally got hooked. Noir-ish retelling of Shakespeare! Nicely done!

I'm a huge fan of Nesbo and everything he writes. I felt a little ambivalent about this as a Nesbo book. The setting worked really well, and I really liked the characterization of Macbeth himself. I did like that he was faithful to the source material, and maybe that was what the problem was for me. I'm going to definitely have to read it again.

The idea of reinventing Macbeth as a gritty, noir-ish procedural sounded quite interesting to me, but I confess I had a very hard time getting into this story. The opening chapters are densely populated with information about the setting, its history, the crime that takes place within it, and (curiously) the passage of a single drop of rain from the sky to the ground. The characters are introduced in medias res, which is very Shakespearean indeed, but without knowing who they are or why we should care they come across as very one dimensional. I wonder if this is a product of translation since Nesbo is Norwegian. It just feels cold, detached. Certainly, most noirs could be described in similar terms, but in good ones there's an urgency or morbid fascination that compels the reader to move forward. Even though Nesbo's Macbeth opens with a bloody drug bust, I felt removed from the action. Shakespeare made Macbeth one of his most complex and suspenseful creations, but Nesbo can't seem to get it off the ground.

I remember HAVING to read Macbeth in high school. I remember balking at having been assigned YET ANOTHER of the Bard’s plays. It seemed as if every year in high school English we would return to Shakespeare once again. I began to wonder if anyone else in Europe had written anything deemed worthy of reading. Despite my love of reading I often fought against being told what to read. I saw my reading as my way out, at times my only freedom at a time when I thought I knew so much and was being ruled by those who knew so little. So I was surprised that I was taken by this dark and gritty drama where there are no true protagonists, where everyone seems corrupt. Now that I am older and wiser I recognize that there is no such thing as good guys vs. bad guys. The human condition is much more complex. Our lives falling into gray areas more often than black and white. Sometimes we are driven by love, by religious fervor or as is the case with MacBeth’s character -- political ambition. In this edition Shakespeare’s classic is retold by Norway’s eminent noir storyteller Jo Nesbo for Hogarth Press*. All of the original elements are there but with a new and inventive spin. The reimagined MacBeth is set in a corrupt police force within a town caught in the middle of two powerful druglords. One of these, Sweno, heads a notorious biker gang. The other kingpin, named Hecate, is fashioned after the Greek goddess of sorcery and witchcraft. It is from him and the prostitutes who serve him that MacBeth receives his prophecies. His opioid concoction “Brew” allows him to manipulate MacBeth and others in position of power to do his bidding. Nesbo’s version is true enough to Shakespeare’s original where lovers of the classic won’t be upset yet he has managed to incorporate his own style and grit that readers will be propelled through the novel. The intensity of the story was so strong, the plot so gruesome that I couldn’t turn myself away. Despite knowing how the Bard’s tale went I found myself enmeshed with this novel, wondering if Nesbo would choose redemption for MacBeth. In the end this older wizened reader walked away with a greater appreciation for this classic and a deep respect for the author who was able to adopt it while remaining faithful to his own form both in writing and concept. *For those of you unaware of the Hogarth project, here is a brief synopsis from their website – “For more than four hundred years, Shakespeare’s works have been performed, read, and loved throughout the world. They have been reinterpreted for each new generation, whether as teen films, musicals, science-fiction flicks, Japanese warrior tales, or literary transformations. The Hogarth Press was founded by Virginia and Leonard Woolf in 1917 with a mission to publish the best new writing of the age. In 2012, Hogarth was launched in London and New York to continue the tradition. The Hogarth Shakespeare project sees Shakespeare’s works retold by acclaimed and bestselling novelists of today. The series launched in October 2015 and to date will be published in twenty countries.”

I had a rough time getting into this one. I had to read the first few pages a couple of times before it flowed well. I must say it was worth the multiple tries. I loved the modern retelling of the familiar tale about fate, ambition, destiny, free will. I was amazed to see how Nesbø brought these elements into the present.

This book was really hard for me to get into. Try as I might, I could not force myself to read it. Perhaps it was the dark mood. Don’t get me wrong, the book was well written, just not my cup of tea.

This novel started slowly but drew me into Joe Nesbø's film noir version of Macbeth quickly. I say noir, but the women in this version are not "dolls" they are strong, confident women some pulling the strings of the man-puppets in their lives. Even the dark/evil/bad characters made me feel something for them, some level of compassion for the bad choices they made. I would have given this novel five stars if it had been edited and whittled down a bit. All in all, an excellent re-telling of Shakespeare's Macbeth. I received this novel from First-To-Read in exchange for a fair, honest, and unbiased review of this novel.

I'm a big fan of Jo Nesbo and have read many of the Harry Hole books. This was an interesting take on Shakespeare and I would be excited to read more of the books in this "Hogarth Shakespeare" series to see a new take on classics

I think this 'Hogarth Shakespeare' series is great! Jo Nesbo gives a modern day version of Macbeth.....a story of unchecked ambition & desire for power & position. I actually have no desire to read Shakespeare, but I must confess to wondering what his stories are actually about...& these 'Hogarth', modern day versions help to explain those....& enjoy the story/experience! This is the way to read & understand Shakespeare! I definitely recommend this series. In this case, I appreciate the way Nesbo used the original names or versions close to those that Shakespeare used, making it easier to follow/associate the players in the drama. I was awarded an e-ARC from Penguin's First-To-Read giveaway program, in return for my own unbiased fair & honest review.

This was a very different book form the normal Harry Hole series. In this book set in the 1970’s, part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, there are allegories from Shakespeare. In this one it’s from Macbeth, and takes place in a Nordic town where police and drug traffickers are locked in a life and death struggle for control of the unemployed, and addicted population. It helps to be familiar with Shakespeare to understand the story in context. Macbeth is a very likable guy worth rooting for, his loyal friend Basquo is murdered in a horrific way, and Lennox is corrupt and addicted and we find Duff completely selfish and unlikable. I found this to be an original and updated way of telling an old story in an impressive way. It was a bit too long but the storyline keeps it interesting and still suspenseful. Thank you from First to Read in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available.

I was very excited to be given the chance to read this re-telling of Macbeth. This is my 3rd of the Hogarth Shakespeare series and sadly, my least favorite thus far. I have not read Jo Nesbo before so that have contributed to why I struggle through this one. I did appreciate the effort to re-tell this beloved work of the bard but sadly it just was not for me.

Jo Nesbo has a talent for words, that is obvious, but what was not obvious to me was his talent to take a beloved story like Macbeth and make it new again. He paid great homage to the bard with his restraint and because of that, I sped through this book with a smile on my face. This is a gritty crime novel with heart and I thought it was a perfect portrayal of our human ambition. I have a love hate relationship with Jo Nesbo, I love to hate him and his talent. This, for me, was a perfect combination of new and old and I highly recommend it.

Human nature hasn't changed in 400 years. In this seventh book in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, Jo Nesbø has recast Shakespeare's original characters into a believable 21st century tale of power, envy, greed, and evil. He brilliantly transformed the three witches into servants of the city's drug lord, Hecate. Most of the characters' names remain the same, or only slightly changed so the story's plot is easy to parallel to the original, even for a Shakespeare lightweight like myself. Sadly the story is as believable today as it must have been in the 17th century. Few authors can compete with Nesbø in depicting the dark side of human nature, making him the perfect author to create a modern Macbeth. "The days crawl in the mud, and in the end all they have accomplished is to kill the sun again and bring all men closer to death." If that's not depressing enough to think about, try reading the whole book.

A northern town plagued by corruption and deadly scheming for power in Jo Nesbø's Macbeth makes the Shakespeare classic more easily accessible to contemporary readers. In a town with a drug problem propagated by the illusive Hecate and a police force that works to stop him but is undermined from within its own ranks, there's a perpetual struggle for control and power. With Hecate using the connections he has within the police force, he manages to manipulate the actions of some key players in the force, including the young, ambitious, and skilled head of SWAT Macbeth, who, along with his casino-owning girlfriend Lady, make a play for a position of power as Chief Commissioner. The higher Macbeth and Lady climb in their self-perceived noble pursuit to rid the city of corruption, the further they'll fall when their plot is inevitably discovered by those who were the unfortunate casualties to the actions they took in their rise to power.  Keeping a tone of tragedy throughout the novel's dramatic events, the story has a darkness that manifests itself in the deadly actions each of the characters takes. The novel moves quite slowly, which is odd as there is fair amount of action, particularly at the novel's opening, that should make events move along more quickly; the development of the schemes to control the town plod along, but this may be due to the expectations I already had knowing the story that was being adapted. Though knowledge of Shakespeare's Macbeth isn't needed to follow the story of political ambition, corruption, and greed I did enjoy that classic dialogue from the source wasn't copied verbatim into the text, but was instead translated into the actions of the characters - it was an acknowledgement of the play while making it fit unique to this version of the tale. Overall, I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

So I can see how some people would love this book but I just really couldn't get into it. It took me two weeks to slog through it, which for me is a looooong time. It really didn't get too exciting until the end. Just really didn't like it much.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It is a good mystery and holds a certain attraction being based on the Shakespeare play of the same name. That aside, I felt that it fell short for several reasons. While the introduction of all of the characters is given early, having so many in a book makes for a lengthy tome if they are to have their stories told in addition to their contribution to the whole. Needless to say, this is not a book to be read in an afternoon. Shakespeare was a master at understanding human nature and conveyed this extremely well through the words and actions of his characters. The patron is left to discern the thoughts of the characters, and as a result is led into some personal soul-searching as they identify with the players. In writing a book, the thoughts of the characters is put into prose and the reader doesn’t necessarily have to think much about the why of the actions of the individuals and therefore is led into complacency that this is the characters’ story, not mine. I felt that the ending in particular seemed to be hurried in relation to the events that led to the conclusion. Perhaps this is only because most of the characters no longer exist by the end. Overall I found it to be entertaining but bogged down in detail.

I love Jo Nesbo's writing. Harry Hole is one of my favorite characters ever. I was all in to see if Nesbo could work with the dark paranoia, greed,manipulation & lies of Macbeth just as easily as one of his own characters. Was it a success? I struggled with this book a bit. The writing felt a bit dense- perhaps trying to hew too close to Shakespeare and yet modernize the story to the 70s? I can't quite put my finger on it, but I never felt lost in the flow of the story (even knowing the parameters from the play). Still, I think it was an impressive undertaking and worthy of a read if you're a fan of Macbeth.

Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read this book. Jo Nesbo has taken on MacBeth in an another installment in the Hogarth Project. This is the second book I have read in the Hogarth Project. Nesbo's MacBeth is set in the 1970s. I believe it is very difficult to rewrite a well-known play with its own characters and settings. I truly appreciate the effort put into writing the book. Unfortunately, I struggled with the book.

I love the play Macbeth and I had high hopes that I would really like this book. The excerpt sounds great and interesting, however, I just couldn't get into the book. It just wasn't for me personally and it was a DNF. The descriptions of the town at the beginning of the book seemed very heavy handed and I really wanted to just be pulled right into the story. Maybe I will give this a try when it is in print since it's a great concept, but unfortunately it was a no go for me right now.

4.5 stars I was head over my heels when I received this book as part of First To Read early reviews programme. I have read 4 books from Hogarth till now and this one makes the fifth :) Set in 1970's, in a small crime-ridden, drug ridden town somewhere in Norway where mafia heads were saved from Kenneth, the Chief Commissioner of Police. When Kenneth dies, there is new hope for the town. Macbeth is the head of the town SWAT team and doesn't have any ambition to move up in his career. He loves his job and that's it. When Sweno, leader of Norse Riders, becomes a threat to Hecate, supreme lord of drugs manufacturing and selling, Hecate plays around with the people to remain a supreme lord. He lures Macbeth through his love called Lady, a casino owner to dream high and get to the position of Chief Commissioner from town's SWAT team head. Macbeth, blinded by lust, starts to take law by his hand. He kills everyone on his way to power. In name of greater good for the town,he kills, he makes others kill, to cover the killings he kills more. It's a bloodbath. Main point to be noticed is Jo Nesbo's Macbeth, sticks with Shakespeare's Macbeth. Though I have not read Shakespeare's play, I have read the summarized version. And I am happy that I got the exact feelings. Most astonishing part is the climax. I finished the book around mid-night and went to sleep. Only when I got up next day, the last treachery in the plot dawned on me. I was dumbfounded by the plot transformation of Macbeth to 1970's town. Excellent work. Happy Reading!! ARC from First To Read in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

Nesbo's many crime novels have never failed to entertain readers although a few have not be up to the author's usual excellence. This new novel is certainly among Nesbo's top 10. A thoroughly modern telling of the Shakespeare play this novel does not fail to hold the reader's interest and joy at the prose and character development. Do not let the fact that the book is a re-telling of the classic play keep you from reading this truly excellent crime novel. I will not spoil your enjoyment or expectations by telling the modern plot here. Best for you just to get a copy and relax with a good brandy in your favourite chair. Thank you, Jo Nesbo, for helping me to survive the late winter.

As part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, wherein noted authors of today translate Shakespearean plots into present day settings, Nesbo's Macbeth sets the action in a gritty town in Scotland in the 1970's. In his version Macbeth is a SWAT team leader attempting to bring down criminal gangs and curb corruption in local city government, a goal he shares with the idealistic, upright police chief Duncan. Ultimately, however, powerful drug lord Hecate, aided by 3 sisters (think of the witches in the original) fuels Macbeth's ambition and manipulates him into effecting Duncan's removal, leaving Macbeth in charge. Suffice it to say that all the ambition, guilt, greed and political upheaval of the original shows up here in a different time and place.

I tried to enjoy this, I really did, seeing as how much I adore Macbeth as a play. But I just could not get into this. Maybe I can try reading a hard copy once it's released, but as far as digital's a pass for me..

This was not for me (DNF at 20%). It’s a little too noir for my personal tastes. Another reminder to be more selective about my requests.

I think it must very difficult to write within the confines of incorporating a classic. I've read other installments in the Hogarth Project and found them enjoyable, but this one unfortunately wasn't one of them. It is a little strange, because I like Nesbo and I like MacBeth, but the two together just weren't what I was hoping for. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have early access to this.

I really wanted to love this book. The story seemed really promising when I read the synopsis and I was very exited when I was given the chance to review this book through First To Read. Unfortunately though, I am not a fan of the writing style. I have a rule about books- if I do not enjoy a book within about 50 pages, I put it down. There are so many great books I would rather spend my time enjoying! Nesbo really tries to paint you a vivid picture, but I kept finding myself lost in the details and forgetting the larger picture. I found myself rereading paragraphs, or skipping some entirely just to get back to the dialogue. If you are a fan of the original play I may still recommend this book to you, but this is not a book that can be taken lightly. From what I could tell a good portion of the characters are introduced right way, which was a little overwhelming for me, as someone who hasn't read Shakespeare since high school. Again, if you're someone who can handle dense writing and likes more of a complicated story, with many moving parts- enjoy! This might be perfect for you. Perhaps I'll come back and try this book again, but I don't imagine it will be any time soon.

Could not finish the book. Liked the concept, but it just could not hold my attention. Didn't read like a Nesbo.

The latest addition to Hogarth Shakespeare Project is Jo Nesbø Macbeth. For those who do not know, Hogarth was launched in London in 2012 to retold one of the greatest stories of all times by modern day bestselling authors of today. Hogarth was founded by Virginia Woolf and her husband Leonard Woolf in 1917. This modern-day adaption of Shakespeare's original play, sharing the same title is set in the 1970s. The book starts in a vividly poetic style. It is a crime plus noir version of the play that was written almost 400 years before. It focuses on a police force attempting to shed the drug problem in the local town. A drug lord, who keeps the whole town by the strings as if they are his puppets and him, the puppeteer. He has connections that get him what he wants. Absolute power. A major portion of the main cast is introduced in the first chapter. A Lot happens in the first few chapters which set the speed of the novel. Macbeth is the captain of the SWAT team. Duncan is the commissioner. Banquo is still Macbeth's friend and Lady Macbeth renamed as 'Lady'. There are those three witches which turned the life of Macbeth upside down by implanting the seed of greediness. It does seem Nesbo enjoys a lot by giving these characters a life of their own. The character of Duff, the original Macduff, is developed along with the plot to rain down Macbeth. In the original play, his character was not entirely developed. Nesbø fills this gap in his work. There are a lot of similarities with the original play. Both sets of characters share almost identical traits. The plot has the identical flow but what makes this book interesting in my opinion is the way it is written. Each and every detail unfolds in front of a reader like an offspring. There are detailing that as a reader you would not expect the author to go into even though you have read the play and know a lot about the plot. Just like the development of characters like Macduff. Every character, now in 21st century breathes on his own. The length of the novel signifies that it is big but I think once you immerse yourself in the book, you will forget about it. It stays true and close to the original plot. This is the reason I like this book so much and enjoyed reading it. Fans of Shakespeare's Macbeth will find a delight in this modern-day retelling. Fans of Jo Nesbø's will appreciate the hard work the writer might have gone through while retelling the tale.

The writing style and plot were just not for me. I requested this ARC because I thought that the concept was interesting, but I never got into it due to a poor fit between myself and the style.

I wasn't able to focus on this book. As I read, my mind kept wandering away from the story and I found myself re-reading paragraphs. The story is fairly good.


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