Alan Gratz is the new Frank Zappa?

>> Monday, November 24, 2008

If young adult literature is the new Rock ’n’ Roll, as some suggest, then author Alan Gratz is Frank Zappa, and his smart, droll remakes of Shakespeare’s tragic hits – Hamlet and Macbeth – should win new converts to the old bard’s gems.
Thus begins perhaps the best, most flattering review I've ever gotten in print for one of my books. And this from the Christian Science Monitor, no less--a big-time daily! The comparison to Zappa is funny--particularly because I wore a similar imperial mustache back in the Seventies:

(That isn't photoshopped. I swear.)

I'm tempted to quote the whole review here, as it's pretty terrific, but I'll just highlight a few lines and let you click through if you're interested:

Gratz’s new novel intended for older teens, Something Wicked, based on Macbeth, comes on the heels of his first remake, Something Rotten, based on Hamlet.

In that first book, teen sleuth Horatio Wilkes finds something rotten in Denmark, Tennessee: His best friend’s father has just been murdered.

Though the tale follows most of Shakespeare’s original – with a dash of evil environmental pollution thrown in – Gratz succeeds in remaking Horatio into one funny, fresh dude.

Horatio is even better in “Something Wicked.”

He’s a witty, snarky, self-deprecating king of one-liners and inside jokes who never met a metaphor he couldn’t make amusing:

“[A]s awkward as Michael Vick at a PETA rally,” “as white as a suburb,” “as black as a telemarketer’s soul,” “deader than the Confederacy,” a nerdy father and son are “two peas in a pocket protector.”

It’s impossible not to laugh – or at least smile – your way through Horatio’s take on the world. Author Gratz challenges readers, keeps them turning pages, and makes every word count.

Many thanks to reviewer Elizabeth A. Brown. May your car never get a flat in the rain and your children never need orthodontics!


Anne,  November 28, 2008 at 7:07 PM  

They like you, Alan! They really like you!

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