Good to see that two very positive reviews of RSB-contributor Paul Griffiths' let me tell you have appeared recently:
At first sight, Paul Griffiths’s exceptional novel might be recognized as an attempt to draw the profile of the woman Shakespeare obscured, and that would not be wrong, but it is not why the book is exceptional. Ophelia has been reimagined before...yet never with such restraint, or, more precisely, constraint....[The] formal restriction still enables Ophelia to tell a story rich in detail and expression, taking us back to her happy childhood with a distant, speech-making father, to the birth of her beloved brother and to the glowing presence of a nameless maid who comes from over "the cold green mountain"; a radiance soon gone. The repetitions of words and familiar phrases powerfully evoke what remains uncertain in Ophelia’s life outside the play, what these words alone will never quite say....The effects of necessary variation and repetition kindle both the freedom of another life and the fire that burns it away.
(Stephen Mitchelmore, Times Literary Supplement, 19/26 December 2008)
Paul Griffiths's book is a more profound achievement [than Eunoia by Christian Bök]... Griffiths pulls off some fine tricks, and shows how much of [Ophelia’s] speech can be chopped up and made to sound like Beckett, or the Beatles (she quotes Love Me Do verbatim), or Oscar Wilde. There are the rhythms of recognisable nursery rhymes throughout....[T]his is a vital book, as much for musicians as for literary theorists. From Griffiths, who is perhaps best known as an invaluable guide to contemporary music, this is a composition in its own right, to listen to along with Berio’s Sinfonia with its spliced quotations from Mahler and Beckett, or John Cage’s Dadaist treatment of Finnegans Wake. For feminist critics, ironies abound: here is Ophelia’s story, at last, but with words that a man wrote for her being hacked about by another man. But then, somebody had to do it (the book does make you feel this way).
(Tom Payne, Daily Telegraph, 20 December 2008)