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In his brilliant new novel, John Updike tells the story of Gertrude and Claudius, King and Queen of Denmark, before the action of Shakespeare’s Hamlet begins.
"What a piece of work is Updike! Our own king of erudition has gone back to the Hamlet story to imagine its inception: its offstage pre-story, when Claudius fell in love with his brother's queen and that first dastardly deed in the garden was set in motion. Wickedly replete with allusions, weaving the history of ideas with the lustier possibilities of adulterous coupling, Gertrude and Claudius is an intelligent little novel of whimsy. . . . There is something delightful about following Updike down this path, seeing his sentiments and sympathies unfold."
--The Boston Globe