If that isn't bad enough, these two tragedies are now comedies with Falstaff, Shakespeare's most popular rogue, thrown in as a bonus. Both Hamlet and Othello are plagued by the scheming Falstaff, a human.
Hamlet is the Prince of Denmarko and is striving to start a private business -- bee-keeping -- to demonstrate his competence and independence from the court. He is shocked to learn, from a ghost, that his uncle Clodio murdered his father. Indecisive, he tries to balance his love of bees with his mother’s demands to help Clodio and the ghost’s insistence that he avenge his father’s murder.
Othello, using a tarted-up resume, is named to the post of Minister of Homeland Security in the city of Dun Hythe. Once he assumes the post he realizes his responsibilities are much greater than he imagined they would be. He soon discovers his appointment was engineered by his wife’s grandmother who heads the local crime syndicate and demands that Othello illegally award her the contracts to rebuild the Dun Hythe’s walls.
Falstaff is a life-long schemer and scam artist. He calls himself Sir John Falstaff since he won the title ‘Sir’ in a card game with the knight. A deserter from the army, he travels around the country with his batman, Poulet, searching for opportunities. During the story Falstaff sees Hamlet and Othello as easy marks and gulls both of them.
Falstaff, claiming he and Othello once fought in the same battle, accepts money from Othello to recruit a force to put down the piracy that plagues Dun Hythe's port. Instead, he steals two ships and goes into the piracy business on his own.
Later on, Falstaff decides to give up piracy as it is getting too dangerous. He saves Hamlet's life after Clodio tries to assassinate the prince. Falstaff helps Hamlet avenge his father's murder, then accumulates vast power by persuading Hamlet, now king, to let him take over the burden of ruling. Falstaff convinces Hamlet that Dun Hythe and Othello will invade Denmarko shortly and their only hope is to attack first. Falstaff recruits an army and leads it , along with Hamlet, to attack Dun Hythe where Falstaff plans to make himself king over the richest city in Gundarland.
Othello, incapable of leading the defense of Dun Hythe, turns over the responsibility to his subordinates and they prepare the city for an attack. Falstaff's arrives and, expecting to attack an undefended city, sees the now formidable defenses. His army falls apart without striking a blow and Falstaff scampers off to seek new prospects.
Hamlet, and Othello agree to end the attack and declare peace.
In the end, Hamlet becomes comfortable with ruling Denmarko, Othello is considered a hero and a success for the first time in his life and Falstaff continues a life of running scams.
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Goodreads reviewers loved the book. Roberto Mattos said: “This is a wonderful and hilarious book.”
Christopher Gerrib wrote: “I am a tough audience when it comes to humor, but Falstaff’s Big Gamble was right up my alley.”
Other reviews agree: “I loved all of the characters- and what a bunch of characters there are!” Rick F. “This was one of those books I couldn't put down once, the constant bickering between the trolls, the ludicrous battle plans, and one very confused elf.” Sky “Fantasy meets Shakespeare! I very much enjoyed this book. I quickly fell in love with the characters as they grew into their own.” Tammy
|File size:||319 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Early in his writing career, he was strongly influenced by two authors: Douglas Adams and his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Happily, Hank has never quite recovered from those experiences. He lives with his wife in northern New Jersey, a mere 20 miles from Manhattan, thecenter of the galaxy (according to those who live in Manhattan). They have two daughters and five grandchildren all of whom live close by. For vacations, Hank and Pat usually visit distant parts of the galaxy. Occasionally, they also time-travel. Besides writing novels, Hank lectures on fiction writing, publishing and book marketing. He is most proud of his talk showing grammar school kids how to create a short story. He used these lectures to create an advanced ebook with embedded videos to coach the students on how to create characters, plots and setting. The target audience is 4th to 7th graders. The book’s title is Fiction Writing Workshop for Kids.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hamlet to be or not to be—a bee keeper? The Fairy Godmother who could run Vito Corleone off her turf? Othello lacking military luster? Falstaff’s Big Gamble is a mish mash send up of many beloved and oft overly- analyzed characters and plots. It’s about time. No one is safe from Hank Quense’s comedic and ironic twists. The foundations are laid for an upside down spin where familiarity provides no certainty. Tragedy becomes comedy, comedy becomes absurd theatre. And funny as the novel is, there are some underlying truths that are a lot easier to swallow because humor softens harsh realization. The story uses a fantasy realm to depict current troubles and human foibles, examining trust and exposing ambition. Falstaff gets his thrills in a world filled with dwarfs, trolls, and hobbits and where corruption, paid politics, and violence are norms, but a new and terrifying situation has developed—peace time has broken out! But not to worry, peace is not all it’s made out to be, at least not when Falstaff’s around. Overall, an enjoyable read. I received a free eCopy for an honest review.
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite Readers both familiar and unfamiliar with William Shakespeare's characters will appreciate this gem of a story. John Falstaff, now self-named Sir John Falstaff, and his page Poulet are escaping on horseback from an angry husband. Falstaff, fat as he is, has a way with married ladies and their money. Meanwhile, in Denmarko, Prince Hamlet is entranced with raising bees, "to bee or not to bee", while his dead father sends messages to Hamlet to kill Clodio, now King of Denmarko and married to Hamlet's mother. And also included in this humorous tale that uses Shakespearean characters is Othello, happily married to Desdemonda, and serving as Minister of Homeland Security in nearby Dun Hythe. Othello is hated by Iago the troll who wants his job. Do all these characters sound familiar? Well, what they are up to is not quite what the Bard offered long ago. Othello and Falstaff agree to hire dwarfs to raid the pirate ships that roam the nearby harbor but somehow Falstaff ends up pirating the pirate ships and helping pocket the profits. Rosencrantz and Guildersleeve throw Hamlet overboard when he sets out to stop the piracy, and Falstaff saves the royal prince from drowning and they become best of friends. Will this story show readers what it is that is "rotten in the state of Denmarko"? Author Hank Quense has written a totally humorous tongue-in-cheek story using famous Shakespearean characters who live and play side by side with trolls, dwarfs and elves who speak rough and broken English straight out of the Bronx. The plot moves rapidly with twists and turns that take us to the story's end and Falstaff is scheming once again in a new setting. This is an engaging tale with characters that resemble their Shakespearean origins while the multiple plots pay lip service to two of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies, now changed into comedies. The reader who is familiar with Shakespeare will enjoy "Falstaff's Big Gamble" the most.