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I first read King Lear when I studied it at school, it is my favourite Shakespeare play despite its deep darkness It is an epic tale and tragedy, a traumatic, troubling, and gruesome story of a man sinned against than sinning Edward St Aubyn has a monumental task in writing a contemporary reinterpretation that can match how I feel about the original and its emotional place in my heart The truth is he cannot do that, but he has captured distinct elements from the original and weaved a different beast, beautifully written, imbued with the darkest of humour, and which cannot fail to enthrall It has a Canadian Media Mogul in his eighties, Henry Dunbar, a flawed man, used to being in a position of command, whose rage and temper has him disinheriting his beloved youngest daughter Florence in favour of his ambitious and greedy older daughters, Abigail and Megan, with their instinct to flatter and ability to be disingenuous Aided by Dr Bob, Dunbar s physician, Abigail and Megan betray their father, divesting him of all power and have conspired to have him hidden and medicated in a psychiatric care facility, Meadowmeade, in the Lake District.St Aubyn s most masterful creation in this novel is the raging alcoholic and depressed comedian, Peter Walker, the fool to Dunbar, a man from whom insights tumble out, and who never once plays his own authentic self in his efforts to escape from himself He is busy being a myriad of other characters, such as John Wayne and a Nazi Peter hatches an escape plan which they manage to put into action Dunbar has a fragile sense of self, he wants his old life and position back He ends up alone, he feels an aching need to be solitary, to meet himself for the first time as he is He is metaphorically naked, frozen amidst an icy snowstorm He becomes conscious of his misdeeds and sin, his part in shaping his eldest daughters and his shame in his corporate actions He is undone by his catastrophic errors in the sacking of his close friend and advisor Wilson and his unbearable betrayal of Florence, the two people who really cared about him In the meantime, Abigail and Megan call on their vast resources to locate Dunbar to ensure he is no threat to their future plans Florence is determined to find her father first This is a terrific reinterpretation which I thoroughly enjoyed reading It is dark, intelligent, comic and funny, particularly when it dwells on the twisted sexual proclivities of Megan and Abigail, and Dr Bob, their sexual plaything It captures the heinous actions that often go into the building of the modern corporations, just how Dunbar came to be who he is, his dawning horror that he is the architect of his own desperate misfortune I think there will be those who will not like this reinterpretation, but I don t compare it with the original, I see it as a work of art in its own right, and the author has done a great job using King Lear as the source of inspiration Brilliant and highly recommended Many thanks to Random House Vintage. This is one of the Hogarth Press series of Shakespeare modern adaptations and, in this novel, we have Edward St Aubyn best known for the Patrick Melrose novels re imagining King Lear Now, I must admit that St Aubyn is one of my favourite authors and so I am probably inclined to enjoy this than those readers who are looking at it from the point of view of the original and how it has been portrayed St Aubyn has to be in my top ten favourite authors and I never open a new novel by him without feeling a shiver of anticipation Here, we have Lear as Henry Dunbar, a Canadian media mogul, who has been sent for a lovely long rest, at Meadowmeade, a care home in the wilds of the English countryside, where he is befriended by the alcoholic comedian, Peter Walker Walker brings humour to this tragedy, as he encourages the befuddled Dunbar to escape Having disinherited his beloved younger daughter, Florence, Dunbar has given the reins of power to his sadistic, vicious and spoilt daughters, Abigail and Megan They are planning a coup to take total control, but their plans are thrown into disarray by Dunbar s sudden disappearance Along with Dunar s personal physician, Dr Bob, they set off in pursuit, while Florence is intent on reaching him first and spiriting him to safety St Aubyn uses all his dark wit in this novel, with an interesting cast of characters Dunbar has a sense of betrayal, compounded by his own guilt and grief Meanwhile, those he betrayed Florence and Dunbar s long serving friend, and business ally, Wilson, who was summarily sacked by him, along with Wilson s son, Chris, are the only ones who really care what happens Even if you read this as a novel, without knowing about the Shakespeare connection, it works really well It is truly modern full of hostile takeovers, with everyone trying to stab everyone in the back, out for themselves, and with a real sense of family betrayal I personally think St Aubyn does a good job of getting a sense of the original story and moving it to the present, but obviously this depends upon your own view of how well this is realised This is the first of the Hogarth Press Shakespeare novels that I have read, but I am now interested to read in this series I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review. I must tell my storyOh God, let me not go mad I won t lie I am a sworn Shakespeare purist and there is nothing that can alter my mind My opinion on the Hogarth Shakespeare series is somehow divided I adored Vinegar Girl and I look forward to Nesbo s Macbeth , while Hag Seed will find a place in my wintry reads King Lear is one of those plays that have haunted me ever since I read it, some 15 odd years ago I haven t had the chance to attend a live performance yet, but Shakespeare s words and the figure of this highly troubling and troubled, tormented man are so powerful that spring alive from the page Now, with this in mind, I can tell you that Dunbar seemed to me an uneven retelling Naturally, no writer is Shakespeare and it is than apparent in most of the retellings With this novel, I venture to say that the readers who have not yet read King Lear are likely to enjoy it and appreciate it even I couldn t Henry Dunbar is a mass media mogul A widower with three daughters, Abigail, Megan and Florence as in Goneril, Regan and Cordelia Having practically disinherited Florence for being unwilling to dedicate herself to the company, Abby and Megan are given her own share of the fortune And what do they do They imprison him in an asylum in Manchester What happens next would be easy to guess if you read King Lear The characters were the mightiest disappointment, in my opinion Besides Dunbar and Florence, who are strong equivalents of their original versions, and Chris who somehow stands for the King of France, the rest are not good enough to support such an effort Wilson, is a hybrid between Gloucester and Kent, but lacks the tragic nature of the Duke and the savviness of Kent and if Dr Bob is Edmund, then I am OpheliaHe is not powerful enough to make for a convincing antagonist Now, in my opinion, the characters of Abigail and Megan significantly lowered the quality of the entire novel They had no strength of presence like Goneril and Regan, and they had no motive They existed just to be evil and the writer tried too hard to make them appear as such They had no personality, no evil maturity and menace like the villains in Shakespeare They just swear, talk to each other while hallucinating and have sex with any male that crosses their path There was too much emphasis on sex with these women, destroying any hint of a sinister atmosphere and all it accomplished was for them to be reduced to sex crazed psychopaths, characters that escaped from those rubbish quality paperbacks with the disgusting front covers I don t claim to know the writer s intentions, but it was cheap and disrespectful The way I see it, he lacked the deep insight into the human natureWho can tell me who I am Who I really am With Dunbar, the futility and remorse of Lear, is clearly and brilliantly depicted The whole essence of his ordeal was faithful and respectful of its source The agony to right the wrongs and to escape a world that demands you to be mad is tense and vivid The scenes of Dunbar s time in hiding and his thoughts of remorse echo Lear s tribulations Florence s fears for her father and her struggle to protect him from her sisters are well depicted without being melodramatic However, the dialogue was rather average and the fact that there were scattered quotes from King Lear throughout didn t help It rather alienated me, to be honest The overall writing isn t powerful enough to explore the complexity of the themes of identity and despair of King Lear and at times, the story became too action driven and too family drama both of which aren t to my likingNo mercy In this world or the next The problem is that Dunbar s words fall empty The end, although it was to be expected, was no less bitter and shocking However, it wasn t convincing enough I found it to be abrupt and lacking in justice and resolution, the catharsis however limited that is communicated in the final Act of the masterpiece Dunbar may call for no mercy, but there s noone to hear his words Perhaps, you will claim that I should judge the book as a work on its own You will be probably right and I d still give it the rating I did The thing is that it s not a work on its own It s a retelling of Shakespeare s great tragedy and bound to be compared It cannot stand the comparison, I m afraid The finest writers in the world could try to rewrite one of his plays and they would still fall short So, as it stands for me, the writer dropped the ball in certain important moments with momentary satisfying highlights But merely satisfying doesn t do, in my opinion There was no shuttering moments, no dagger nailed into the heart when witnessing the characters ordeal, because the writer doesn t allow us to experience it fully and convincingly Therefore, I believe that even the 3 stars may be too generous Many thanks to Penguin Random House and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.My reviews can also be found on In the beginning was the Thought, and the Thought was with Dunbar, and Dunbar thought car and behold there was a car, and he saw that it was good Henry Dunbar has escaped.Not an easy thing to escape from a mentally ill facility, otherwise known as the nuthouse, the funny farm, the rubber room, and the booby hatch It isn t exactly what Henry had in mind for his retirement He is tired, no doubt about that, but he isn t crazy Well, not too crazy, just a spell of being mad, furious really, which leads to the worst mistake of his life He disinherits his favorite daughter, Florence, who has the least interest in his grand fortune, and gives over control of his company, his life really, to his two power hungry daughters, Abigail and Megan They are rather feral If this story seems familiar, it is because William Shakespeare wrote a play called King Lear, and Edward St Aubyn was tasked by Hogarth to write a modern version of the brilliant play I can t hear the name Hogarth without thinking about the original founders of the press, Leonard and Virginia Woolf I ve enjoyed the Hogarth Shakespeare s and believe the the Woolfs would have approved as well Dr Bob is sleeping with both sisters, sometimes at the same time, and it is good that he has medical training because the romps are proving to be rather a flesh tearing affair It isn t fun until someone is bleeding, right For Megan, rough sex is a way to finally feel something It is a way to open up the emotions in her windswept soulIn her view pain was the gold standard in which the paper currency of love needed to be pegged Pain could be measured, whereas love often couldn t even be located Why not gradually exchange something that was not much better than a rumor for something real Why not turn a fleeting emotion, always on the verge of reversing itself, into a repeatable sensation The daughters are not above torturing people to get what they want The thing is, when you associate pain with pleasure, then are they really punishing people when they give them pain If pain pleasures, then aren t they simply giving people joy Dr Bob, the seemingly most loyal ally of the Dunbar girls, is working a lucrative back door deal with a rival company, Unicom He hasn t enjoyed his bruising time as the Dunbar punching bag, and now, with the company vulnerable from a change in oversight, he sees a chance to destroy and conquer A bold move that, as the sea changes occur, he starts to wonder if he went up the wrong gangway to an unsound boat.Speaking of one of those sea changes, where is Duncan He is in the windHe let his hands fall to his side, completely absorbed in watching a raindrop change color as it swelled on the tip of the leaf and flashed into the ground He longed for its fleeting iridescent he longed to be absorbed into the earth, or, if the earth wouldn t have him, to evaporate into the sky, to become a part of everything, with no part in anything no role, no point, no location, no pattern, and no mind If not for Florence, his jilted child, the octogenarian would probably just escape to a place in the back wilds of England and never been seen again, but he feels there is unfinished business The question is, can he marshall the combative part of his mind that made him so ruthless in business to challenge his spawn, or will the loose threads of his thoughts continue to unravel I would suggest, before you read any of these Hogarth retellings of Shakespeare, that you read the play first, or if you are like me, reread the play My enjoyment of the retellings goes up exponentially Now, unfortunately, when I have suggested this to people, no one that I know of has actually taken my advice Shakespeare has made the greatest contribution to English literature He has added many words to our everyday language You shouldn t be afraid to read him Yes, it does take a bit of a mental adjustment to get into the flow of his style, but you have to think of yourself as a time traveller going back to the late 16th century or the early 17th century Adjustments will need to be made to blend, right Read the notes as you go They do help you make those adjustments, and after a few scenes, you start to realize that you don t need the notes as much because what was so unfamiliar has started to make sense You suddenly find yourself bouncing off people in the mosh pit below stage and starting to have a grand old time I read a lot of Shakespeare while I was in college, and now that I m going back through his plays again with wiser eyes, I am enjoying them because I m building on what I learned then We don t read things once and are done with them, not great things like Shakespeare s plays or Tolstoy or Dostoevsky or Baudelaire s poetry They are to be read several times, and with each reading, new and marvelous things are discovered Even likely with the passage of time, a scene resonates with you than it did when you were younger Anthony Bourdain was a huge fan of Edward St Aubyn s Melrose novels, which I must confess I haven t read yet I d already planned to read the pairing of King Lear and Dunbar, so I put off the Melrose novels to read Dunbar This book starts off absolutely terrific I am thrilled that St Aubyn exchanged Lear s kingdom for a powerful corporate company of today The kingdoms of the future, I m afraid The book seems to flutter away from him a bit by the end I was all geared up for a grand finale, and it was of a balloon popping in lieu of a fireworks display Despite my disappointment in the conclusion, by being encouraged to reread the play and reimagining Lear in the corporate kingdom of Duncan, I am still satisfied that I have been entertained All that is required of me is that I create the conclusion that I want where St Aubyn left off We must never rely completely on the writer s imagination It is wonderful to feel our own imagination stirred by a writer or a filmmaker, or a poet, or an artist, but we must never be complacent in our entertainment Here we are now, entertain us We must let our thoughts go beyond the bounds of what has inspired us We must let go of the hand of the writer In fact, buy him a pint in a pub, let him entertain the natives with his sordid tales, and travel on beyond him If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at What s the Point By what criteria are we to judge the novels in the Hogarth Shakespeare Series This is the sixth to be published, and the question only gets puzzling with each one Famous authors are asked to write fiction based on a Shakespeare play It would not be fair to call them straight retellings, as almost all the writers have felt free to go off in their own directions Think of them rather as riffs on a theme But for what purpose to parallel the Shakespeare original, or to be strong novels in their own right On those criteria, I would say that all of them fail there is not a single one that comes close, even as a translation of Shakespeare, and all would surely be considered relatively minor works in their authors oeuvre So the best one can hope, I think, is for some kind of compromise that the modern writer illuminates the Shakespeare in some way, or that the Shakespeare parallel brings out the special qualities of the chosen author Only one of the six, I believe, says anything valuable about Shakespeare, and that is Margaret Atwood s Hag Seed, her riff on The Tempest. This works, I think, because Atwood centers her novel around a production of the play itself, and the metafiction rhymes surprisingly well with Shakespeare s farewell fantasy My enjoyment of many of the others has mostly had to do with what the subject reveals about the author While Howard Jacobson makes a mess of retelling The Merchant of Venice in Shylock is My Name, his focus on the Shylock character to explore Judaism in a Gentile world is as strong as anything else in his work Anne Tyler sVinegar Girlis an ingenious light hearted take on a comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, but it is nice to see the author letting her hair down Jeanette Winterson sThe Gap of Timetakes on a problem play, The Winter s Talenarratively, it too is a mess, but the author reveals personal connections with the subject that nonetheless give it authenticity of feeling Only Tracy Chevalier sNew Boyis a total failure, saying nothing significant about its model, Othello, and having little redeeming value of its own it only confirms my growing suspicion that Chevalier is not the author thatGirl With a Pearl Earringmight have led us to expect But the two comedies and even the two late plays are the easier ones With Othello, Tracy Chevalier was faced with one of the four great central tragedies Two of the others are scheduled as the next ones up Jo Nesb on Macbeth in 2018 and Gillian Flynn on Hamlet in 2021 It is interesting that both these are mystery authors and very good ones rather than writers of literary fiction it may be that the gross mismatch between genres actually produces something rather exciting Meanwhile, here is Edward St Aubyn, who surely would consider himself a literary novelist, faced with what I would consider the greatest Shakespeare tragedy of the lot, King Lear. Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks rage blow You cataracts and hurricanoes, spoutTill you have drench d our steeples, drown d the cocks You sulphurous and thought executing fires,Vaunt couriers to oak cleaving thunderbolts,Singe my white head And thou, all shaking thunder,Smite flat the thick rotundity o the world Crack nature s moulds, all germens spill at once,That make ingrateful manAll right, by quoting one of Shakespeare s greatest speeches, I am setting the bar impossibly high St Aubyn s Dunbar, the Canadian media mogul, has just declared himself non executive chairman of the mighty Dunbar Trust and handed over control to his daughters Who have promptly put him into a psychiatric facility in the English Lake District And it is there that we first meet him, telling his story to an alcoholic fellow inmate, a professional comedian called Peter Walker Peter is a splendid creation, absolutely in the mould of Lear s Fool hearing his stream of one liners in many voices made me hope that St Aubyn might have found a close kinship with the original Peter helps Dunbar to escape, but soon leaves him, leaving the old man to trudge alone over a mountain pass in a winter storm He hauled himself up and straightened his body one time and brought back both his fists against his chest, inviting that child devouring sky god to do his worst, to rain down information from his satellites, to stream his audiovisual hell of white noise and burning bodies into Dunbar s fragile brain, to try to split its hemispheres, if he could, to try to strangle him with a word noose, if he dared Come on, whispered Dunbar hoarsely Come on, you bastardIf you know the original, you may find some amusement in the echoes But you will also recognize the fatal flaw, that the quality that surely gives King Lear its supreme status its moral scale is entirely absent There is a quality of excess everywhere in Lear the King s capriciousness, the madness that consumes him, the wildness of the setting, the violence and cruelty, and the Gothic malevolence of his two daughters, Goneril and Regan Though St Aubyn may fall short of the existential qualities, he goes to town on the evil sisters dysfunctional families, after all, are what he does His Melrose novels may contain than their share of familial horror, but here he uses Shakespeare as permission to go over the top But without a balancing scale in all aspects of the drama, the wanton violence and sexual perversity becomes merely nauseating.All right, forget Shakespeare s original, does Dunbar work as a novel in its own right Not for me For one thing, St Aubyn s delight in satiric cleverness and he is clever gives the book a comic tone that ill suits its subject, unless he were to have gone all the way and given it a similarly satiric ending For another, it is simply confusing there are too many characters, with all too forgettable names Abby, Megan, Mark, Chris, Peter, Jim, Simon, Wilson, Kevin, and the despicable Dr Bob And most of all, because the novel is set in the world of high finance, with hostile takeovers, voting blocks, side deals, and insider trading Perhaps someone familiar with it even St Aubyn s core fans might fare better, but for me it made one side of the plot virtually incomprehensible Even the faithful youngest daughter, Florence, has been raised in this world, and must use its mechanisms to achieve justice for her father While I saw St Aubyn at least trying for some of the radiant simplicity that makes Shakespeare s Cordelia so heartbreaking at the end, his Florence never really won my sympathy, except in comparison to her terrible half sisters.So a novel that has nothing to say about its original and does not hold together in its own right two stars, or two and a half Only St Aubyn s ingenuity and fount of wicked wit persuades me to raise it to three A fellow reader has pointed out in a comment that Ian McEwan sNutshellmay be the best of the lot Although not part of the Hogarth series, it so fits its concept and scope that it is hard to believe there is no connection And with the daring to go way outside the box, by having it narrated by Hamlet as a fetus in utero, McEwan both gives himself permission a comic masterpiece at least the equal of his previous comedySolar, and casts some quite interesting light on Shakespeare s original by shining it at such an unusual angle. An underwhelming King Lear adaptation Didn t Jane Smiley already give us a less caustic version of this daughters fighting over the family business scenario A Thousand Acres St Aubyn s Lear stand in is Henry Dunbar, an 80 year old who peddled hate as a North American media mogul and whose two dastardly daughters have committed him to a sanatorium in the north of England Here Dunbar communes with Peter Walker, the alcoholic comedian in the next room the Fool figure and spits out all his pills he may have had a moment of madness out on Hampstead Heath, but he still has it all together and is determined to keep Abigail and Megan Goneril and Regan from privatizing the Dunbar Trust to their own profit After he and Peter escape as far as the pub, Dunbar keeps going out onto the snowy wastes of the Lake District, where he has a possibly hallucinatory meeting with a disgraced vicar Chapter 11, the highlight of the book and sleeps under a rock ledge.It is Dunbar and his emotional awakening and reconciliation with Florence Cordelia that power the book The other two sadistic, nymphomaniac daughters they require ever escalating doses of perversion to stimulate their jaded appetites and their henchmen are too thinly drawn and purposelessly evil to be believed Florence is given a tiny bit of backstory via the son of her father s right hand man to make her interesting than just the goody goody scapegoat The Gloucester Edmund Edgar subplot is avoided entirely, although Wilson is a bit like Gloucester and Dr Bob a bit like Edmund.St Aubyn uses some direct literary quotations sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care Macbeth not born to sue but to command Richard II thou shouldst be living at this hour Wordsworth and at least one very closely adapted one from King Lear itself who can tell me who I am, who I really am to good effect Beyond that, though, there are only very occasional interesting lines That s all a sunset was an exultation of dirt and dust Being alive is falling, once you know that, it never stops , with far too much business speak and too many porn lite sex scenes thanks to Abigail and Megan A couple of extended metaphors felt excruciating Bloated on her father s love, she was like a grazing cow that wanders onto the railway tracks just as a high speed train is coming round the bend and Like a swimmer blowing the water from his flooded snorkel before returning to the reassuring, amplified rhythm of his breathing, Dunbar threw off the weight of his dream I ve felt this way with a few of the Hogarth Shakespeares now what s the point when I could just go back and read the original Whereas Tyler, Chevalier and Atwood have written what are actually enjoyable novels in their own right I think I might just do that, actually, given that I only read Lear once, 14 years ago.2.75 ish stars I Really Did Have An Empire, You Know, Said Dunbar Have I Ever Told You The Story Of How It Was Stolen From MeHenry Dunbar, The Once All Powerful Head Of A Global Corporation, Is Not Having A Good Day In His Dotage He Handed Over Care Of The Family Firm To His Two Eldest Daughters, Abby And Megan But Relations Quickly Soured, Leaving Him Doubting The Wisdom Of Past DecisionsNow Imprisoned In A Care Home In The Lake District With Only A Demented Alcoholic Comedian As Company, Dunbar Starts Planning His Escape As He Flees Into The Hills, His Family Is Hot On His Heels But Who Will Find Him First, His Beloved Youngest Daughter, Florence, Or The Tigresses Abby And Megan, So Keen To Divest Him Of His Estate Edward St Aubyn Is Renowned For His Masterwork, The Five Melrose Novels, Which Dissect With Savage And Beautiful Precision The Agonies Of Family Life His Take On King Lear, Shakespeare S Most Devastating Family Story, Is An Excoriating Novel For And Of Our Times An Examination Of Power, Money And The Value Of Forgiveness This is the sixth book in the Hogarth Shakespeare series that I have read It is a retelling of King Lear.It is many years since I read King Lear and it never was one of my favourites out of Shakespeare s plays However Edward St Aubyn does a good job of making it into a very readable book Really he takes the bare bones of the original and builds his own story but there are enough similarities in the action and in the characters to see where his ideas came from.One unexpected delight was the humour Dunbar s fellow inmate, Peter, is very funny as is their rackety escape from the institution they find themselves in It is also quite a short book which seemed to finish almost as soon as it had begun However having just finished a row of lengthy tomes, one of which bored my socks off, I was very happy with something short, sharp and snappy.If you enjoy this kind of retelling of classics then try this series It is excellent. A novel of righteous indignation, cruel betrayal and twisted family dynamics all rendered with clever, precise writing.This is the first of the Hogarth series I ve read if you discount Nutshell which was not official and I thought it was splendidly done Despite having studied many of Shakespeare s plays, King Lear was never on the curriculum so I went into this telling with a fresh perspective knowing only the basics and was impressed with St Aubyn s adaptation it felt very modern and original and even awed by his writing These Dunbar girls were arrogant, imperious, and tough, but toughness was not strength, imperiousness not authority, and their arrogance was an unearned pride born of an unearned income.With an economy of words, yet prose that felt dense and portentous, he is able to conjure moments of brilliance that left this reader dazed This is what landed this in four star category because the story, if you re familiar, is utterly depressing and I can now see why for hundreds of years the ending was altered St Aubyn does not give us that break opting instead to remain faithful to the original in its conclusion, if not its telling.If you re a fan of Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan s writing, then I think you ll appreciate this author s talent. Dunbar is a modern retelling of Shakespear s King Lear It s been quite a long time since I read Lear as an undergraduate and I wondered how much of what I remembered would affect what I read To a casual reader, it is easy to see how Lear makes the skeleton that the book is built on Dunbar ruler of an empire divides his corporation between his daughters to avoid taxes and in the process, the daughter s plot against him with the help of Dr Bob Dunbar finds himself medicated and trapped in a mental health facility His only friend is a depressed, alcoholic comedian who helps him escape Dunbar has three daughters Two daughters, Abigail and Megan, are plotting to manipulate the corporation s leadership and standing in order to make a huge profit Their ally, Doctor Bob, has his own plans and entertains the reader with his self medication and affairs with the two sisters They are despicable characters but with enough backstory to make them interesting The third daughter, Florence, is attached to her father as a person than his riches She wants no part of the empire Florence is environmentally conscious does not want to fly in the corporate jet, lives in Wyoming, worries about her carbon footprint This is a book where the evil characters seem to be likable and definitely interesting than the good Florence although only wants to do good seems boring when compared to her sisters Dunbar has rage issues, is power hungry, and his life had been his empire and nothing else There are plenty of similarities between Dunbar and King Lear to keep a Shakespear fan interested in matching plot and the characters For those who have not read Lear, it is a modern tycoon story that fits in well with American politics and business today This book was received from bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for a review.