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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, thoughtful adaptation of 'The Tempest'.
'Caliban's Hour' is a continuation of 'The Tempest' 20 years from the play's end, and we find that Caliban, the 'salvage and deformed slave' has travelled across the seas with the intention to murder Prospero and Miranda, revenging his enslavement and abandonment on that mysterious island. Finding her alone, he threatens to kill her but first presents his version of...
Published on 8 July 1999

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3.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare.
I love Tad Williams and buy everything he writes, and this, although well written, was the most disappointing book of his. He carries on the story of Caliban, from " The Tempest", which I studied for GCSE, which might have put me off, and its clever, and moves apace, but at the end of it I didn't really feel empathy for any of the characters, as it took you in a...
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. Nicola Fusco


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, thoughtful adaptation of 'The Tempest'., 8 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Caliban's Hour (Paperback)
'Caliban's Hour' is a continuation of 'The Tempest' 20 years from the play's end, and we find that Caliban, the 'salvage and deformed slave' has travelled across the seas with the intention to murder Prospero and Miranda, revenging his enslavement and abandonment on that mysterious island. Finding her alone, he threatens to kill her but first presents his version of events, adding a new perspective to the original play and perhaps redressing the dominance of Prospero's biased account in the play. From his arrival on the island, to his relationship with his mother Sycorax and then his burgeoning and dramatically changing relationship with Prospero and Miranda, this book offers a lively and well-crafted account of Caliban's life. Details from the original plot are extended and a far different tale is told, one that sees Prospero as a cruel manipulator, and Caliban as the anti-hero. It questions audience assumptions and expectations from the play, fills in missing information (like how did Caliban get to the island?) and allows the reader to approach 'The Tempest' with an enriched understanding. It's also a good read even if one knows little about the original source, although some of the story will make less impact if the original version of events is unkown. However, the plot is still strong and clear, and flows very well with a suprising twist at the conclusion. A suprising tale from Tad Williams, who shows that he can not only write excellent fantasy and science-fiction novels from his own imagination, but that he can also comfortably adapt and enhance material from others. Other good sci-fi/fantasy Caliban appropriations include: Isaac Azimov's Caliban, Inferno and Utopia by Roger Macbride Allen, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Tad William's other works (notably the Otherworld Series) are also excellent and well worth exploring.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good book, 12 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Caliban's Hour (Paperback)
a great book, with an interesting perspective but for the former reviewer - if you knew the play you'd know that Caliban was born on the island, and its not that hard to find out as there is a dirty great speech about his origins in the first act!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare., 3 Aug 2013
By 
Mrs. Nicola Fusco (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caliban's Hour (Hardcover)
I love Tad Williams and buy everything he writes, and this, although well written, was the most disappointing book of his. He carries on the story of Caliban, from " The Tempest", which I studied for GCSE, which might have put me off, and its clever, and moves apace, but at the end of it I didn't really feel empathy for any of the characters, as it took you in a completely different direction than the Tempest. Its well written, quite short, moves along well, but at the end I kind of went "Meh!" Its not up to the really high standard his books usually are. In my opinion, of course.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tempestuous stuff!, 29 April 2010
By 
Mr. Kevin P. Futers "Who's afraid of the Bill... (Northumbria, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Caliban's Hour (Hardcover)
(Spoiler Warning especially towards the bottom)

Caliban's Hour is one of my favourite Tad Williams books. It's premise is that at the end of the Tempest Caliban is left behind as Prospero and Miranda are taken back to civilization. Twenty years later Caliban catches up with Miranda ready to enact his revenge.
Caliban tells Miranda his full history - of how before the arrival of the spiteful Ariel he had been given some respect and been taught by Prospero, but that he had subsequently abused and treated as a monster because he fell in love with Miranda.
The book is short by TW's standards and perhaps the better for it. In taking Shakespeare's minor clown character and giving him his own tragic tale, TW has given what could be his most outstanding contribution to literature.

The only downfall perhaps is that after building up the idea of the malignant Caliban exacting his vengeance, TW opts for the Peter Pan ending, which although better than the Scooby Doo ending, is a little bit of a let-down. I will pardon him though, because by the end of the book you really do not want Caliban to sully himself by taking Miranda's life and bringing himself down to the same level as her father.
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Caliban's Hour
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