There’s really not much more one can add to what Richard has said about this novelised version by David Hewson, of one of William Shakespeare’s best loved stories of star-crossed lovers caught in the knot of two families embattled against each other:
“I think Romeo and Juliet is the greatest, most tragic love story ever told. What David Hewson did with this script is so exciting to me. I really love the fact that he followed avenues that Shakespeare suggested but didn’t necessarily detail in depth. If you want to immerse yourself in a warm bath of Garganega and the heat of Verona and hear a brilliant story about a young woman who is challenging the restraints of her time, listen to this audiobook, which has romance, poetry, politics, and humor to spare.” (Narrator Richard Armitage)
The unabridged audiobook, lasting a wondrous 6 hours and 10 minutes, was released 6th December, 2016.
In very simple terms, in my own words, I think it’s probably the greatest, most prolific, tragic love story ever told.
What David Hewson did with the script was so exciting to me. I really loved the fact that he followed avenues that Shakespeare suggested but didn’t necessarily go to. I love that he will take the essence of Shakespeare’s words and create modern dialog. I think he’s made an incredible character out of Juliet which, you know, as you listen to the book you’ll understand that her sensitivity and her sensibilities are of a very modern woman, which I found refreshing.
(Romeo and Juliet: A Novel – Behind the Scenes with Richard Armitage (December 6, 20116))
The work received glowing reviews, particularly from Audiofile Magazine:
“Consummate actor Richard Armitage narrates this dynamic reimagining of Romeo and Juliet. It’s an ideal construct for those reluctant to pursue Shakespeare. In addition to using contemporary slang, the author gives the followers of the Montague and Capulet families street cred: They wear red or blue feathers in their hats. Armitage makes even secondary characters unique, with Romeo’s and Juliet’s fathers sounding like the bitter old men they are. The standout is Juliet’s nurse, who provides comic relief. Chapter transitions are faultless, and descriptions of people and places are stellar. Juliet’s social conscience, specifically her desire to teach the peasants to read, adds further depth. Hewson boldly alters the story’s conclusion. In an author’s note, Hewson explains that Shakespeare was inspired by an Italian play similar to Romeo and Juliet. Hewson adds that to him the story is about the contrast between older and younger generations as they react to change.” (AudioFile Magazine)