Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book "Falstaff's Big Gamble" by Hank Quense

About the Book: This novel is Shakespeare's Worst Nightmare. It takes two of the Bard's most famous plays, Hamlet and Othello, and recasts them with fantasy characters in a place called Gundarland. Hamlet is a dwarf and Othello is a dark elf. Iago and his wife, Emilia, are trolls. 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. Not familiar with Shakespeare? No problem. You'll still enjoy this romp.

About the Author: Award-winning author Hank Quense writes humorous fantasy and sci-fi stories. His motto is fantasy and sci-fi stories told with humor and satire. He has over forty published short stories and a number of nonfiction articles. On occasion, he also writes an article on fiction writing or book marketing but says that writing nonfiction is like work while writing fiction is fun. He refuses to write serious genre fiction saying there is enough of that on the front page of any daily newspaper and on the evening TV news. Hank lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife Pat. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Hank’s previous works include Zaftan Enterprises, Zaftan Miscreants and Tales From Gundarland, a collection of fantasy stories. Readers Favorite awarded the book a medal and EPIC designated it a finalist in its 2011 competition. His Fool’s Gold is a retelling of the ancient Rhinegold myth and Tunnel Vision is a collection of twenty previously published short stories. Build a Better Story is a book of advice for fiction writers.

He has a number of links where you can follow his work and his occasional rants:

Hank’s Blog:
Strange Worlds website:
Follow him on twitter:
Facebook fan pages:
Purchase Falstaff’s Big Gamble in paperback or kindle format at Amazon

Read the Excerpt!

Hamlet, Crown Prince of Denmarko, paced the castle battlements late on a clear, cool spring night. He walked with hands clasped behind his back and head down. He had a thin nose with brown hair and eyes.
His scrawny build and clean-shaven face gave him the appearance of a starving waif.

He paused, gazed at the multitudinous stars, sighed and continued his pacing. A breeze brought the smells of the harbor: salt water and rotting fish guts. At last, he stopped, thrust one hand to the sky and declaimed, "To bee or not to bee?" He stroked his chin. "Whether 'tis nobler to buy honey from the peasant farmer in the market and thus provide him sustenance and income to support his brood of brats, possibly keeping him from rebelling over high taxes . . . or to grow my own honey thus, gaining coins to assert my independence from my noble family and the sordid court? Hmm."

He paced some more, still troubled by his vexing question. Nothing less than his future depended upon the answer. Because his uncle, and now stepfather, Clodio, had usurped his right to rule the kingdom, he needed a profession and an income.
"Do you always talk to yourself?" a voice said from the shadows.
"Who . . . who goes there?" Hamlet's head snapped from one side to another while his hand grasped the hilt of his dagger.
"'Tis I, the ghost of your father. I bring a message for your ears alone."
Hamlet goggled at the specter who materialized in the shadows of a doorway. "You're not my father's ghost. My father was a dwarf and you're the ghost of an elf. You're an impostor and a dead one to boot."
"Hey, your father is busy and he asked me to fill in."
"Busy? In the underworld? What's he doing?" Hamlet clutched his red tunic and tugged downward as if to hide his shaking hands.
"He met a good-lookin' ghost of a female dwarf and he's wooin her."
"Dead not a month, and he forsakes his wife, my mother?
"You gotta understand. Life on this side — no pun intended — is pretty borin'. When you gotta a chance to do somethin' interestin', you gotta go with it."
Hamlet ran a hand over his face. Why me? he thought. "What's the message?"
"His death was no accident. It was murder most foul. Here is his exact message. 'But know, thou noble youth, the serpent that did sting thy Father's life, now wears his crown.’” The ghost paused then added, "Did your father always talk funny like that?"
"Murdered? By whom?"
"Didn't you listen? The message tells you who whacked him. Your father wants you to send this guy over here so he can talk to him. He doesn't wanna wait until the guy croaks from natural causes."
Hamlet watched in awe as the ghostly figure evaporated. A few seconds later, it popped back into sight. "Oh, I forgot to tell you. Your father says, 'Thy mother the queen is to know naught of this nocturnal visit.’" The ghost disappeared.
His father's murder shocked him. And the murderer had married his mother immediately afterward. Did the world have no morals?
He recalled his first thoughts when he'd heard of his father's death. How he admired the perseverance and tenacity his father must have had to commit suicide by suffocating himself with a pillow. Now all that admiration was wasted; the old dwarf had had help.
What to do? He needed to make decisions about bee farming and now he had to avenge his father. Was there no end to the demands on a prince's time? He said to the stars, "To bee-keep or to avenge? That is the question."

My Review: This is a wonderful and hilarious book. My 16-year older daughter would say that it is hysterically hilarious. The author puts together some characters that we can associate with characters that exist in Shakespeare's Hamlet and Othello. You really do not need to have read those plays to fully enjoy this book. You do not even have to like Shakespeare at all, and you still will enjoy very much this book. The situations created by the author are excellent, with a strong analogy with our current everyday life' situations. The Godmother with all her corruption scheme it is like the Al Capone of Shakespeare's time. The employment of family members in public places, the incompetency, the intrigues, everything is well exploited by the author. And the elements he brings from Shakespeare's plays are appropriate to make the association with the original story, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, asking him to kill his murderer and so on. And finally, our main character, Falstaff, appears as an overweighted human trying to take advantage of every situation. As a con man, he is very good on that!

I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who loves a well written novel with a very high sense of humor. It took me around eight hours to read the whole book.

This book was written by Hank Quense and it was published by Strange Worlds Publishing in August of 2012. I received a complimentary electronic version of this book for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!


Falstaff’s Big Gamble Tour Schedule

September 4
Interviewed at Writing Daze

September 5
Interviewed at Paperback Writer

September 6
Book Spotlighted at Bluebell Books

September 11
Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz

September 12
Guest Post at Literarily Speaking

September 13
Interviewed at As the Pages turn

September 17
Interviewed at Beyond the Books

September 18
Guest Post at Bless Their Hearts
Guest Post at The Book Bug

September 19
Book Giveaway at Bless Their Hearts

September 21
Book Giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

September 25
Guest Post at The Book Connection

September 26
Guest Post at Maureen’s Musings

October 3
Guest Post at Giveaways and Glitter

October 4
Guest Post at Motherhoot

October 9
Interview at Between the Covers

October 10
Book Reviewed at Books and Movies Reviews

October 11
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

October 15
Guest post at Books, Books and More Books

October 16
Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

October 17
Guest post at Sprinkle of Books

October 18
Book Reviewed at Sprinkle of Books

October 22
Interviewed at The Story Behind the Book

October 24
Guest Post at Kitty Crochett

October 25
Book Reviewed at Kitty Crochett


1 comment:

  1. Roberto

    I'm glad you enjoyed reading the book. Thanks for posting this great review for my Falstaff's Big Gamble