Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: I, Iago by Nicole Galland

Publication Date: April, 24th 2012
Format: Paperback 400pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"From Nicole Galland, acclaimed author of The Fool's Tale, comes a marvelous evocation of a distant time and place . . . and a breathtaking reexamination of one of literature's classic villains
From earliest childhood, the precocious boy called Iago had inconvenient tendencies toward honesty—a failing that made him an embarrassment to his family and an outcast in the corrupt culture of glittering Renaissance Venice. Embracing military life as an antidote to the frippery of Venetian society, Iago won the love of the beautiful Emilia and the regard of Venice's revered General Othello. After years of abuse and rejection, Iago was poised to achieve everything he had ever fought for and dreamed of . . . 
But a cascade of unexpected deceptions propels him on a catastrophic quest for righteous vengeance, contorting his moral compass until he has betrayed his closest friends and family, and sealed his own fate as one of the most notorious villains of all time. 
Inspired by William Shakespeare's classic tragedy Othello—a timeless tale of friendship and treachery, love and jealousy—Galland's I, Iago sheds fascinating new light on a complex soul, and on the conditions and fateful events that helped to create a monster."

My Review:

One of the most alluring aspects of Shakespeare's plays is definitely the extreme complexity of the characters. Out of all the remarkable villains portrayed throughout his work, Othello's Iago is perhaps the most shocking with his malicious and cold demeanor, and it is this villain to whom Nicole Galland devotes her novel I, Iago

Told from the perspective of Iago, I, Iago gives a unique take on the events which led to Iago's manipulating those around him. Nicole did a fabulous job of making the reader feel sympathy towards Iago, and eliminating any harsh opinions of his character once he began his destructive course. Although the book is based on Shakespeare's play, Othello, the book can be easily read without any previous knowledge of the original plot and characters. The only reason this book didn't receive a full 4 fleurs is due to the slow beginning of the novel. Throughout the first half of the book their was a constant sense of anticipation for the drama to unfold — though at times it was uncertain if it ever would — but half way through the plot picked up speed and concluded with a smashing finale. Overall this is a quick and entertaining read that anyone who's intrigued by Shakespeare's Othello would enjoy.

Copyright © 2012 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.


Mystica said...

It has to be interesting if you can take a difficult character like Iago and turn it into a book.

Nicole said...

Hello dear Svea -
Thank you for this lovely review.
I think you may be the only critic so far to prefer the "Othello-half" of the plot to the "Galland-half" - and I give you thumbs-up for that, as I was somewhat bemused by comments like (seriously): "Well, the first half is fabulous, but then the plot gets all Shakespearean." As proud as I am of my own work, I KNOW the Bard is superior - THANK YOU for getting that!
-Nicole Galland

FennyHerawatiYusuf said...

:D Interesting. Unfortunately I live in Indonesia so I cant get this book in native language, Indonesian..